All About Thalassophobia, Fear of Ocean.

By admin
September 29, 2022
4 min read

Thalassophobia is the fear of the ocean and megalohydro-thalassophobia is the fear of other large bodies of the ocean. If you don’t like the ocean or even watch it on television then you have Thalassophobia.

What is Thalassophobia?

It is a form of a phobia that is linked with tenacious fear of deep water for example the ocean or the lake. Individuals who are diagnosed with the fear of water either completely ignore deep water or encounter a panic attack. These types of phobias are usually common. As stated by the professional diagnostic criteria, around 7-9% of people have some kind of phobia in the United States.

What are the symptoms of Thalassophobia?

The individual can initiate the symptoms when being near deep waters or on a boat. The fear of the ocean has both, physiological and physical symptoms which are similar to panic attacks.

The symptoms usually start when a person thinks about or sees a deep body of water. The panic for the fear of deep water activates “fight, flight or freeze” reciprocation. The symptoms include lightheadedness. Trembling or shaking, also insomnia, and avoidance of the feared object or situation. Megahydrothalassophobia can also trigger a panic attack. Which can make an individual feel as if they are going to die or they are trapped or they are losing control. The person experiencing the fear of water can also feel disassociation. Disassociation is feeling like you are not in your own body or the ongoing situation.

What are the causes of Thalassophobia?

Usually an individual encounters the fear of the ocean after a traumatic encounter. It is possible that the person had a bad drowning experience or maybe they witnessed another person drowning in the ocean. It is also possible that the people do not remember what triggered their phobia. Thalassophobia or megalohydro-thalassophobia can develop at an early stage of life which makes it hard to remember the initial cause.

Moreover, Family dynamics can also develop this kind of phobia. Growing up in an anxious household can play an important role in developing this phobia as fear can be a learned emotion. Such as if either one of the parents has the fear of the deep waters so the children can easily pick it from them. Parents are the primary source of learning for children.

Diagnosis for Thalassophobia:

Thalassophobia tests can be conducted as these types of phobias are generally recognized by the DSM-5 which has the following criteria to diagnose phobias such as the fear of the ocean. It consists of almost feeling immediate anxiety when near the object, the deep waters. Also to actively avoid the deep waters or the sea creatures to cope with anxiety. Lastly, the person has no other mental health issues to justify it. Also, the thalassophobia test includes taking a quiz where different sets of pictures or questions are asked about the ocean and magalohydro-thalassophobia. 

Treatment for Thalassophobia

Thalassophobia can be treated via therapy, there are several options available:

Exposure Therapy:

It involves the person getting closer to the things or situations that frighten them. Sometimes a therapist can make them imagine it. The purpose is to make the individual believe that something is not dangerous as they believe.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

It is a type of talk therapy in which a person is challenge unhelpful thoughts and beliefs so that the anxiety can be minimized. This therapy can help a person realistically assess the situation. It can change their perspective of a phobia trigger. A therapist can help to learn about their anxious thoughts about the ocean. It makes them understand how it affects their emotions, physical symptoms, and behavior.


Medication can decrease anxiety and fear. But it doesn’t cure the fear of the ocean. Benzodiazepines can be given to reduce anxiety such as to get on a boat. Or anti-depressants can be given to reduce the fear. To live better with healthy style, its important to take action about this fear.


Thalassophobia can be treated by the therapies mentioned above. In the short run, coping strategies such as breathing exercises can stop hyperventilation. Moreover, self-compassion is when the person accepts that there are good and bad days which eases off their anxiety. However, the Thalassophobia test is advised to confirm the phobia. 




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