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#4433 - 08/07/01 12:21 AM Fear
rambler Offline
new diver

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2
I was certified through NAUI at the Open Water Level about seven years ago. I did a few dives during the next two years. Some were successful; some weren't. I have always loved water and swimming so I don't know how to deal with my problem. Every time I go to the ocean I snorkel. I'm not all that comfortable with people I don't know well; I'm very shy. I took the class with my brother, but still experienced difficulties during the decent. I experienced anxiety before and at the start of every dive until I got into it which may or may not have happened each dive. I had trouble association fun with diving until it was all over. Then I'd think about what I saw. The only time I really enjoyed diving at the same time I was diving was when I dove the Indra in Beaufort, NC. I did have a panic attack before I actually did that dive. Once I saw the boat (Indra) and the fish, I was so excited I forgot to be scared. I haven't dived in about five years. Now my brother wants me to start diving again. He did his first dive in years yesterday, but it comes easy for him. He told me that it will be like nothing for me now, but I'm scared to death. I don't even know if I'll remember how to use the euqipment; he assures me it will come back like it did for him. I'm getting nervous at the thought of ever going again. Is there any hope for me? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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#4434 - 08/06/01 01:11 PM Re: Fear
jbd Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 17
With your level of stress I would question whether or not this is something you really want to do. If you do decide to go back into diving I would suggest that you find a dive shop that you are comfortable with and sign up for a refresher course. This will take you through all the skills again and get you started on the right foot so to speak. Find an instructor that is willing to spend time with you since this may take a few days in your case. Please think this over carefully for your own safety.

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#4435 - 08/06/01 05:42 PM Re: Fear
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
I would defiantly take a refresher course. After that I would suggest an advanced class. Dive as often as you can preferably with an instructor so he can give you pointers on making you more comfortable.

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#4436 - 08/06/01 07:13 PM Re: Fear
The Natural Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18
Loc: Hollywood, FL, USA
Maybe even take a couple of VALUIMS

Just kidding. Like they said, just relax. Diving is supposed to be a fun and great experience. I don't think I could dive if I felt the way you did and still have fun

Good luck, and be careful.


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#4437 - 08/07/01 07:24 AM Re: Fear
munch_5150 Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 32
Loc: Stamford, CT USA
I would definitely take a refresher course. Please don't think diving is like riding a bike, there are skills required and you want to be sure you can handle a surprise or emergency situation. You can do it, it's just a matter of whether you want to and what it will take to make you comfortable.

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#4438 - 08/08/01 01:04 AM Re: Fear
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
The Divers Alert Network did a little blip in the Alert Diver not too long ago on this very subject. You may wish to contact them (or do a search on their site) for more information.

However, I would like for you to ask yourself something: "do I have fears/anxiety in other areas of my life?" What precipitates those fears, anxieties, emotions? What is the premise of that anxiety or fear? Fear of dying, getting eaten by a big animal, drowning, what? Furthermore, if these emotions are happening in other aspects of your life, I would recommend conseling. If you really need to dive, I would still recommend counselling to work out those fears. Some divers have panic attacks in everyday life and are on medications to help alleviate the symptoms. Some divers have panic attacks underwater at bizzarre times and many proponents have attributed those episodes with Nitrogen Narcosis. As I stated above, look into DAN; they are the major resource on diving.

After you have conquered the fear, I would take a refresher course with an instructor you feel comfortable with and is patient.

I wish you the best of luck in conquering this.


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#4439 - 08/22/01 06:48 AM Re: Fear
Reef Guy Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 21
Loc: Puerto Rico
"Fear is the the path to the dark side, Fear leads to hate, hate leads to anger,anger leads to suffering"

Yoda :Episode I
The Phantom Menace


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#4440 - 08/22/01 02:18 PM Re: Fear
rebelrph Offline
avid diver

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 9
Loc: Calhoun City, MS
Diving is not for everyone. The only reason I dive is for the great enjoyment I receive from the sport. If I went through everything you described I would consider another hobby.
My wife has some anxiety before diving , but as soon as she gets her head under water she calms down and does fine. As everyone has sugggested, I would also recommend a refresher course if you decide you want to try again. Becoming familiar with and trustin g your equipment is a must. If it takes 10 "dives" in a pool for you to do this then take your time and get comfortable with everything before going to open water.

Good luck


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#4441 - 09/10/01 05:38 PM Re: Fear
Anonymous
Unregistered


well i'm doing my 4 open water dives this weekend and im scared sh*tless. i've always wanted to scuba dive and i love sealife but my biggest fear is also drowning so my mind is having a hard time dealing with the whole breathing underwater thing. I've done all pool excercises with no problem and i scored a 96 on the written exam. the only problem i have now is my mind vs my mind and it sucks. if there's anything u guys can suggest for a newbie. it would be greatly appreciated.

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#4442 - 09/10/01 10:41 PM Re: Fear
jbd Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 17
Breidy,

If you did well in your pool sessions then you will probably not have any problems during your certification dives. Remember that an instructor will be right there with you. If you get scared or start to feel panic coming on stop everything you are doing breathe, think, breathe,take appropriate action, breathe, breathe relax,breathe. Bolting to the surface is not appropriate action. Looking at your instructor or divemaster and communicating that you have a problem is appropriate. Main thing is to relax and enjoy the dives. Don't work yourself into a stressed out state of mind this week. Just relax and breathe while you are underwater. Also I think tha you will probably be so focused on what you are doing that you probably won't think about any fears other than, I wonder if I'll pass?
Keep us posted on your progress. We love to hear about new additions to the diving community. Good Luck!!


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#4443 - 09/11/01 04:28 PM Re: Fear
Anonymous
Unregistered


thanks for your reply. i spoke to the instructor too about my concerns. he told me how the whole thing was gonna be so i know what to expect. i've been alot calmer since. for sure i will keep you guys posted. thank you for your support.

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#4444 - 09/11/01 08:53 PM Re: Fear
BrianO Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/04/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Irvine
Keep in mind that your instructor has been evaluating your progress and mastery of the skills required to safely engage in SCUBA. If you have successfully navigated to the point that you are redy for open water dives, be they in a lake, quarry, or the ocean, it is the natural progression for the training you've embarked upon. Keep in mind the thousands of new divers that are certified every weekend around the world from the local swimmin hole to the gin clear waters of the great barrier reef. Every instructor you've ever met was not born with that qualification, they achieved that level of competency one dive at a time, just like every other person with a C-Card. Focus on the task at hand and you'll be fine.
Keep in mind also, that it's not a natural act to breathe underwater. The cool thing is that we can do it safely with the proper equipment and training. Hang in there and ask as many questions of your instructor that you need to to be comfortable. It sounds like you've got a good one so far and he/she should continue to explain what's going to happen next. Sounds like that already helped a bit.
Take care and get in the water.

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#4445 - 09/28/01 12:29 AM Re: Fear
CrunchTime_WFO Offline
new diver

Registered: 09/27/01
Posts: 3
Loc: Alvin,Texas United States
[QUOTE]:FOCUS,FOCUS,FOCUS!!!!Like everyone else is telling you;Have fun,period.I was certified yesterday in the Comal River in NewBrunsviles,Texas.Lots of strong current,and plenty of great sunshine.I thought at first that well,maby we should go find a nice sand pit somewhere.But as soon as i deflated my BCD and saw all the wonders that this subsurface world has to offer;there was no looking back.Man.. I even opened my own buisness today doing what I realy want to do...DIVE....Hang in there and think of all the great things that YOU have seen that most in thier life will never experience.GOOD LUCK

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#4446 - 09/28/01 02:54 PM Re: Fear
Chris G Offline
avid diver

Registered: 08/24/01
Posts: 5
Loc: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 926...
First of all, you need to decide if diving is really something you want to do. Diving is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If you are filled with anxiety, it isn't fun.

If you decide it is something you want to do you need to basically start from the beginning again. Even though you are certified you need to start from the basics with an instructor you feel comfortable with. Go to a few shops and talk to instructors. Once you find one you have a good rapport with, you should consider taking a private class one on one. This gives all the instructors attention to you alone. Hopefully, you will be able to find the thing that triggers your anxiety and overcome it.

Just make sure the choice you make is what you really want.


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#4447 - 10/13/01 07:54 PM Re: Fear
gqmedic Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/01/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Moreno Valley, CA. US
Ok, here's the skinny.

Fear gets a bad wrap far too often. Factors that your going into an alien invironment, regardles of previous dives, the fact you must take life support systems with you to do this, the inner fear of sharks, drowning, claustrophobia, loss, etc manifests it's self in fear about SCUBA. Fear is not necessarialy a bad thing really, properly managed, it becomes common sense.

Don't let anyone talk you OUT of diving. Rather, feel encouraged by those who would encourage you. While being a shy person about being around others unknown, that is not a bad thing either. It equates to being selective who you feel comfortable with.

As they have suggested, a refresher course may be just the thing, it certainly would not hurt. But if your not wanting the more advanced classes, don't feel obligated or pushed into those either. An advanced class can't hurt, in fact, it will most likely be fun for you. If you don't want to dive, that's most certainly your decision and your none the poorer for it, after all, you have dove before, but if you feel that pull inside that leads you to dive again. Go for it. Treat it a little like you did when you first started diving, from the student point of view, some caution, some wild eyed curiosity with this very cool under-water world. I think it would be total "Bull-puckey" if ANY diver said they did not feel fear or apprehension at first, of even after a long duration between dives, ie, 5 years. But, with more diving, comes the realization that sharks arn't out to get you, with the proper equipment and education and diciplen, your not going to drown, the ocean won't swallow you up and a mermaid won't kidnap you (I know, the last would be a hopefull!), your eventually going to find it to be the time of your life and even discover that those work hours sure cut into your SCUBA schedule!

Ultimately, the choice has always been yours.
Hmm, lets see, to get wet or not to get wet.

In any regard, have fun.

Dennis


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