An essential of Life
Water is one of the five core elements found in nature. Water is as natural to us as breathing. The body is 60% water and 71% of the Earth is water. So can you imagine if one is scared of something as natural as water? But the fear of water is a common specific phobia.
Hydrophobia vs Aquaphobia
Both these conditions are not the same. Hydrophobia means the fear of water developed in the later stage of Rabies commonly confused with Aquaphobia which is defined as the persistent and irrational fear of water. Aquaphobia involves a level of fear that is beyond a person’s control.
Aquaphobia and how it affects you
Many people are afraid of the water. Overcoming the irrational fear of Aquaphobia can be extremely difficult and demoralising. Like all specific phobias, the symptoms of Aquaphobia vary between sufferers. It can be as simple as being afraid to put your head in the water, or avoiding water altogether. Some people may experience panic attacks. Some may be able to be in shallow water but may have a fear of being in water that is above their neck. They may develop anticipatory anxiety.
Why you may have Aquaphobia
Experts believe that the majority of people suffering from Aquaphobia typically have a traumatic or unwanted experience in the past. It may be that they have almost drowned, or they were pushed into the water or in a boat that overturned or the fear may have developed based on parental influences. Based on their past, a scary experience with water has made them phobic and this fear refuses to leave them
Journey of a client with Aquaphobia
A client came to me with Aquaphobia. She couldn’t understand her irrational fear. She did not have any experience in her childhood which would account for such a fear. She couldn’t enjoy family holidays on the beach, or go swimming with her kids. She wanted to learn swimming but her irrational fear stopped her from doing so.
During her sessions in Hypnotherapy she saw two different past lives. In one, she was a soldier during the Crusades (religious wars undertaken by Latin Church between the 11th and 15th centuries). During the war he had lost his right lower limb and was badly wounded. He was on horseback and while crossing the river the horse slipped throwing him in the water. Since he was incapacitated to a large extent he was unable to swim or wade through the water. He felt extremely helpless and lonely. He was unable to struggle against the current of the river and eventually drowned.
In the second lifetime, she saw herself as a young man swimming with a friend in a pond in the village. They used to go swimming in this pond regularly. On one such day, as an innocent prank, the friend pulled this young man down while they were in the pond. As he was pulled down his feet got entwined and entangled in the weeds. It took a long time for him to untangle himself and could only do so with his friend’s help. During this struggle, he experienced panic, the feeling of air finishing in his lungs and also the fear of death. Even though he knew how to swim he could have died! These emotions got trapped in the subconscious mind of the client.
Two traumatic events in the water had led to this fear in the current life. As mentioned earlier a scary experience in the past leads to Aquaphobia, in this case the past happened to be not in the current past but past lifetimes!
Hypnotherapy as a tool for irrational fears
As we saw in this client’s case, she was unaware of her reason for her fear at a conscious level. The traumas were buried deep in her subconscious mind. Hypnotherapy helps to access the subconscious mind bypassing the conscious mind to find causes to issues in a person’s life. Memories become easily accessible and a person can work on any issue that he/she is facing. With changes at the inner level of consciousness, the exterior and outer projections change. Once the reason for the phobia is clear and the emotions associated with the trauma are allowed to vent and be released through a process done in the therapy session, the client experiences immense relief. Hypnotherapy helped the client reach the root cause of her phobia and to release it. She is now free of her irrational fear of water, has learnt to swim and enjoys holidays at the beach with her family.
The author Smriti Batra is a professional Hypnotherapist in Noida, you can find her profile at : https://wellthlink.com/smriti-batra