Aquaphobia

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Not to be confused with Hydrophobia.

Aquaphobia or waterfright is a persistent and abnormal fear of water.[1] Aquaphobia is a specific phobia that involves a level of fear that is beyond the patient's control or that may interfere with daily life.[2] People suffer aquaphobia in many ways and may experience it even though they realize the water in an ocean, a river, or even a bathtub poses no imminent threat. They may avoid such activities as boating and swimming, or they may avoid swimming in the deep ocean despite having mastered basic swimming skills.[3] This anxiety commonly extends to getting wet or splashed with water when it is unexpected, or being pushed or thrown into a body of water.

Prevalence[edit]

Of the simple phobias, aquaphobia is among the more common subtypes. In an article on anxiety disorders, Lindal and Stefansson suggest that aquaphobia may affect as many as 1.8% of the general Icelandic population, or roughly one in fifty people.[4]

Manifestation[edit]

Psychologists indicate that aquaphobia manifests itself in people through a combination of experiential and genetic factors.[5] In the case of a 37 year old media professor, he noted that his fear initially presented its self as a, "severe pain, accompanied by a tightness of his forehead".[6] In addition to this he experienced a choking sensation, discrete panic attacks and a reduction in his intake of fluids. [7] These manifestations can have a profound effect on a persons health, work, confidence and overall well being.

Etymology[edit]

The correct Greek-derived term for "water-fear" is hydrophobia, from ὕδωρ (hudōr), "water"[8] and φόβος (phobos), "fear".[9] However, this word has long been used in English to refer specifically to a symptom of later-stage rabies, which manifests itself in humans as difficulty in swallowing, fear when presented with liquids to drink, and an inability to quench one's thirst.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Edmund J. Bourne, The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, 4th ed, New Harbinger Publications, 2005, ISBN 1-57224-413-5
  3. ^ Dr. Kennedy's cumulative Vocabulary Course
  4. ^ Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 1993 Jul;88(1):29-34.
  5. ^ Lynne L. Hall, Fighting Phobias, the Things That Go Bump in the Mind, FDA Consumer Magazine, Volume 31 No. 2, March 1997
  6. ^ Ajinkya. "Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Panic Disorder with Aquaphobia". Sleep and Hypnosis. 17. 
  7. ^ Ajinkya. "Cognitive Hpnotherapy for Panic disorder with Aquaphobia". Sleep and Hypnosis. 17. 
  8. ^ ὕδωρ, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  9. ^ φόβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus