Anxiety and Diving

January 30, 2020

By Scuba Bill

In my most recent discover scuba class, a participant approached me to let me know that she had previously tried DSD and had not been able to complete it because of anxiety.  Firstly, I want to applaud the fact that this person was willing to give it another go with a different instructor and in a different environment and secondly, that she alerted me to her potential issue.  Even standing on the pool deck talking to her, I could see her anxiety growing.  Anxiety about and during a dive can be caused by many things (see link to a helpful article at the bottom of this blog).  The key thing is to recognize the stressor(s) and work to resolve them, hopefully before the become a full-on panic attack.  As professionals, we are taught and practice experience these panic events and force our minds to resolve the issue before our "fight and flight" (aka our lizard brain) kicks in and causes us to do something we regret.  In the case I described, I am pleased to say that with a little extra patience and attention, this participant was calmly hovering at the bottom of the pool gently breathing in and out in the underwater environment.  Her fears completely (at least for the moment) resolved.  

Anxiety: Is It A Reason Not to Dive?