I was 19 when I was pulled by a current off the Long Island coast. Scared, I tried to stay calm, float parallel to the beach, and, above all, not waste energy struggling to fight the current. “Just keep your head above the water” my instincts told me.

Instincts can make mistakes but they aren’t liars. And, although I eventually arrived safely on shore, the fear of deep water has never left me.


Note: “Thalassophobia” is the fear of deep water. The term comes from the Greek “thalassa” (sea) and “fobos” (fear).

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5 Responses to Thalassophobia

  1. sherry says:

    learned something new today….thanks. Enjoy your posts. Take care.

  2. I don’t know that I fear but I stronlgy dislike and feel uncomfortable while in deep, dark water. I’m not sure if it is so much the depth alone than the inability to see what is below and around me. This applies to swimming in a lake. But when I’ve swum in entirely clear water, like a mountain lake, the feeling is entirely different.

    • Yes, just seeing deep, dark water makes me queasy…I would never try swimming in a lake.

      • But I would emphasize clear water is entirely different, at least for me. I lived in North Carolina for a while. The water in the mountains was always crystal clear. There was a pond that was fairly deep, maybe 30 feet down, but I could see all the way to the bottom. The only thing liviing in it were bullfrog tadpoles and just by looking I knew there was nothing else in there. That was some beautful water.

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