I have a Phobia…
I don’t know when it started, but most likely started when I lost my hearing twenty years ago. My phobia is weird, it’s not the usual fear of spiders, I love spiders! And I love air travel! It’s not a fear of flying, heights, social phobia, claustrophobia, or any of the usual things that most people are afraid of.
My phobia is sharks. Understandable I hear you saying. They are big, scary, and can eat you for breakfast. Fear response is justified!
I agree with that, they are, but where the phobia goes from ‘normal’ to ‘ irrational’, which by the way most phobias are irrational, is that I have an irrational fear of sharks in swimming pools. I can’t even go swimming in a pool!
I can’t be the only one…
There’s a word that is dedicated to it. The word is “galeophobia” which is derived from the Greek words “galeos” (shark with markings resembling those on a weasel) and “phobos” (fear). The word Galeophobia almost makes my fear sound like something trendy!
Anyway, I digress…. I can initially, laugh and get in a pool by myself. I’ll be happy swimming some lengths in the cool waters, then suddenly the fear of a great white shark will hit me, and I’ll be overpowered with a panic attack.
I try and laugh it off and tell myself not to be so stupid, but in the end, I always quickly get out of the water, sit on the edge and look out for huge shark that I know is there!
Safety In Numbers
If I have someone with me, then there is no fear. I know the shark will get that person first and I can then get to safety while the shark is devouring them. I always ask my friends to come swimming with me, if they knew the reason why, they would probably refuse!
Likewise in the sea, I will not swim alone, as I can’t hear the sharks coming. I know – no one can, but when I’m swimming, I’m totally deaf and really can’t hear a thing, let alone the theme song from Jaws to tell me that a shark is approaching!
Once again, safety in numbers, and I know my friends will put their life on the line for me and entertain the shark while I get to safety quickly. My friends are good like that!
I’m okay with baths, spa pools, and smaller bodies of water, even rivers to some extent I don’t worry, but come to the sea or a swimming pool I freeze in fear and my fight or flight response kicks in on overdrive!
When I tell people, they tell me to try and rationalise it and ask me questions like…. ‘How would a shark get into the swimming pool in the first place?’
I don’t know – the filter system? The plumbing? Pipes? A bird dropped it in as a baby and it grew overnight? People have pet sharks guarding their swimming pools? I always have an answer. I know it’s irrational, I know it’s silly, but every summer I’m faced with the same fear.
Time For Change
So this year, I decided to do something about it and book an appointment with Chris, my local hypnosis guru, to see if she could help me overcome this irrational anxiety. I had read all sorts of reviews praising her work, so I had to check it out for myself!
I talked to her at length about it and I laughingly told her what the problem was. She was good – even though it may have sounded totally ridiculous, and was probably laughing inside, she remained professional and told me that she would be able to help.
I watched the dot on the ceiling while she took me into a deep relaxation. Before I knew it, she was asking me to wake up – I hope I didn’t snore! I felt wonderfully refreshed.
So a week later I’m at the local pool with no problems. All good so far, but the real test will come in summer when I get to swim in a pool when there is no one else there. Watch this space…
Hey Chris here,
I get clients frequently asking me “but does hypnotherapy work for fears and anxieties?”. Now I love helping clients overcome their phobias and irrational fears, so I wrote this little post.
There’s so many things in life that we don’t need to be afraid of, and if you feel you want to overcome your fears that are holding you back, (and there’s no shame in admitting it!), I’m right here for you in Marlborough NZ.
Fear and Anxiety Control Hypnosis
Ntrance Hypnotherapy Blenheim