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9 years ago, I was involved in a water accident where the boat I am in capsized, throwing me 8 feet into the sea. I was only 9 back then. 2 months ago, I was made to board another boat ride again, sending me into a fit of paranoia and hysteria. Yesterday, I battled Thalassophobia (fear of water travels) by getting myself into a recreational water ride called Crazy UFO. The ride lived up to its name! Ask me how, ask me why, ask me anything!

W.Smith
Jun 17, 2017

Crazy UFO isn't called "crazy" for nothing. Man, that was one hell of a water ride! It was similar to a banana boat, only stronger (LOL)-- only circular. You can check out the images below for references.

The ride didn't remove my phobia entirely, but the thrill and experience made me wanna ask for more! 

Still wouldn't want to ride a boat when travelling, though. The feeling of being surrounded with nothing but water sets me off. 

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Conversation (78)

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Hello Ate, just dropping by your AMA. where is this place located?

Jun 20, 9:49AM EDT1

Hello po! It's in Batangas City called Isola Vista Resort near Monte Maria. :D It's kind of a hidden place, and before getting there you have to pass by a  zigzag road on a mountain. But it's worth the dizzying roadtrip. :)

Jun 22, 2:43AM EDT0

Wooow. I'm so glad you survived. Are you conformtable enough to discuss how it happened?

Jun 18, 7:06AM EDT1

Hello, thank you for that! :D For a brief moment, like this AMA discussions, yes it's okay with me. But in extensive periods like theraphy session, group discussion, idk but I can't hold myself if that's the case.

Jun 18, 10:00PM EDT0

Can you tolerate standing on a bridge under which water is flowing?

Jun 17, 2:55AM EDT1

Yep! I'm actually a thrill-seeker, but only on land and heights LOL. It is the open water and travelling via water that makes me lose it, just to clear things out. I think the fear of the water in general is called Hydrophobia, and that's a different story from Thalassophobia. :)

Jun 17, 10:05AM EDT0

Have you ever tried discussing your problems with people suffering from the same condition?

Jun 16, 3:30PM EDT1

Nope. The thing is, my fear intensifies when it's being discussed over in details like how it felt, what's with the water than I'm afraid of, something like that. This triggers the memory and I cant stand holding a discussion like that for more than a minute. Informing people that I have this kind of phobia, just like in this AMA, is okay with me. But as in thoroughly discussing it, given that these people and I can relate? Can't do that :( But am still emphatizing with all the people going through the same fear with me, nevertheless. 

Jun 17, 10:02AM EDT0

Are you confident you can beat Thalassophobia and go into the water in the future?

Jun 16, 12:06AM EDT1

I am, but that'll take a serious amount of time. I've been battling this fear since childhood but I'm still hopeful I can stop this fear from sticking into my head for the rest of my life. It's not too late if one really wants it to happen, right? :) 

Jun 17, 9:56AM EDT0

Have you ever attempted to rationalize that every boat does not capsize?

Jun 15, 7:44PM EDT1

Always. But fear is a demanding force and eats you up on the inside, so thinking rationally is the least thing you'll ever think of doing when the phobia hits up. Wish beating up fear is as easy as your suggestion. :(

Jun 17, 9:52AM EDT0

Do you have any other fears or do you suffer from any other phobias?

Jun 15, 6:47AM EDT1

There are 2 other more that's on my list. Blood and dolls make me go haywire asa much as water travels do. I started flipping out because of blood ever since I was kid. I was (and still!) a sickly girl, always hospitalized because of my asthma or anemia or both. Blood has been a common sight for me during my hospitalizations, so seeing it in oozing from wounds makes me go nuts. The fear of dolls is another story. So, I have this aunt who passed away when I was 5. She owns a porcelain doll displayed in the living room, caged up in glass. My cousin did a terrible trick of telling me the dolls was haunted by my aunt's ghost and laid it up beside me while I was sleeping. When I opened my eyes, the doll stared back at me and that's where the whole phobia thing picked up from. Fortunately, none of them feel as life-threatening as my fear of water travels. 

Jun 17, 9:51AM EDT0

Do you intend to go back on the recreational ride Crazy UFO?

Jun 15, 2:37AM EDT1

I would whenever I could! That's so much fun! :D For roughly 5 minutes I somehow forgot I am Thalassophobic because the ride gave more enjoyment than uneasiness. Planning to hop in to more extreme rides in the future, so by the time I'll be boarding a boat once again there'll be no more crack ups!

Jun 17, 9:40AM EDT0

Don’t you think as a person who almost drowned, you would be safer if you learned survival skills like swimming and diving?

Jun 14, 10:59PM EDT1

Actually that are exactly my thoughts after the accident, so I did learn how to swim. :) But sadly, my basic swimming skills aren't enough to make this phobia go away. I think it is not acquiring skills that'll help me beat this fear, but facing it head on through riding water rides little by little and eventually hopping on a boat. 

Jun 17, 9:36AM EDT0

Who suggested that you try Crazy UFO to fight Thalassophobia?

Jun 14, 6:15PM EDT1

My inner, much-logical voice! It's been here in my head whenever my phobia's scaring me out, and this time it won! :D It says Crazy UFO is a fair "safe zone" in my case, since it's circular and has a back support, so it basically felt like you're just sitting on a couch while being dragged around the water. The safety gear, the nearby life guard, and the proximity of the water where we are being hauled to the shore are major pluses. It made me get a hold of myself for the time being and take the big leap. :)

Jun 15, 6:44AM EDT0

Have you tried therapy to get over your fear of water travels?

Jun 14, 1:43PM EDT1

I haven't, and never tried to. :) It's maybe because I want to beat this phobia on the spot, when I'm in actual contact with water. I have this uneasy feeling when talking about my phobia adeptly, concerning medical matters. I can bare chatting about it for a few minutes, just like here in AMA, but as in extensively? That's not something I'd like to do. I mostly like my phobia left alone unless I'm feeling it real time.

Last edited @ Jun 17, 9:57AM EDT.
Jun 15, 6:37AM EDT0

How did you feel on the recreational water ride Crazy UFO?

Jun 14, 9:21AM EDT1

Felt great, felt better! :D The latter's what I like best. My phobia is like a spring on my back, pulling me back when I've already step far enough— and I've just managed a few more steps than the usual, keeping a steady hold on the ground. The next time I'll go for a different water ride, I'll make sure it'll make me some inches closer to fully breaking the spring! :)

Jun 15, 6:34AM EDT0

Was there any change in your beliefs regarding tackling water after being on Crazy UFO?

Jun 14, 8:25AM EDT1

Nothing so tremendous—but it made me want to put an end to phobia once and for all in small, baby steps. It made me feel rewarding for somehow battling my fear in tiny efforts and I want to feel this satisfaction some time again. :)

Jun 15, 6:25AM EDT0

Were you terrified to enter the bath tub filled with water?

Jun 14, 12:57AM EDT1

No, maybe because we can't afford a bath tub. Haha! But actually, I'm not afraid of the water in general. I think that pertains to Hydrophobia which is a completely different case from Thalassophobia. I'm only scared of the open water, travelling via water, and being thrown into it. In fact, I'm fairly a good swimmer, but my phobia still won't shut up. Ironic. 

Jun 14, 7:33AM EDT0

Do you intend to experiment with other water rides and tackle Thalassophobia?

Jun 13, 11:38PM EDT1

Yep! The next time we're out for another beach outing, I'll definitely try banana boat. It's a bit extreme than Crazy UFO (in my case!) since UFO is balanced and you'll just go bumping and jumping throughout the ride. Unlike in banana boat, there's no back support to keep your balance. That one's next on my list, hoping for zero flip-outs! :D

Jun 14, 7:29AM EDT0

Did your family ever attempt or help you overcome your fears before this latest attempt?

Jun 13, 9:23PM EDT1

They surely do, but they never forced me or anything like that. They let me recover in my own time and in my own choice, so no pressure. 

Jun 14, 7:26AM EDT0

Have you lined up activities to help you tackle Thalassophobia?

Jun 13, 8:30PM EDT1

Haven't. I don't really like thinking about the open water or my phobia or my way to fight it when I'm not in actual contact with the ocean. I'd prefer to tackle it spontaneously and on-the-spot. :)

Jun 14, 7:12AM EDT0

Don’t you think the fear is just in the mind and you can overcome it through positive thinking?

Jun 13, 5:34PM EDT1

The fear really is just in the mind but it finds its way from my head to my whole body. This body-mind connection is affected by my phobia, making me paranoid and dysfunctional and miss out all the fun. And no, it cannot be overcome through positive thinking. I really wish it can, but it's harder than that. It's like telling a bird not to fly by keeping its wings on its side. 

Jun 14, 7:10AM EDT0

Did you research online to find some solution for this condition?

Jun 13, 4:26PM EDT1

Nope, I don't like being in contact with things that remind me of my phobia so I always try to stay away from it. I'd rather face my fear when I'm in actual contact with the ocean. 

Jun 14, 7:05AM EDT0

Who accompanied you at the time of your boating accident?

Jun 13, 3:58PM EDT1

I was with my brother, 5 at that time, my cousin, 11, and my uncle when the accident happened. We  decided to go out for a ride early in the morning, with only my uncle who rows the boat. We got no life vests or any inflatable material, and my uncle isn't really skilled in boating, only knowledgable. My 11 year old cousin is a rowdy one and is being his usual goofy self during the boat ride, wriggling so much it tipped our boat over. None of us knew how to swim, not even my uncle, but the good thing is the locals there are early birds and do know how to swim so we were rescued just in time. Regardless, the whole thing terrified me greatly. 

Jun 14, 6:58AM EDT0

Did you suffer any bad after-effects after riding Crazy UFO?

Jun 13, 12:52PM EDT1

Lucky enough, I've got none! :D The only thing I've earned after the ride is the feeling of satisfaction. This was the first time I've faced my fear without flipping out or bailing out on the last minute. It feels so rewarding!

Jun 14, 6:48AM EDT0

Have you selected any more rides to experiment your tolerance and beat Thalassophobia?

Jun 13, 7:46AM EDT1

Not before the Crazy UFO, that's my first one. :) I'm thinking of trying out some more which feel "unsafer" (or so my phobia says!) than Crazy UFO. Crazy UFO is fairly balanced since its structure is like a couch, so next time I'll pick a banana boat, then the flying fish, and finally a boat ride. Hope I won't flip out too much when that happens!

Jun 14, 6:43AM EDT0

Did your family and friends encourage you to fight the fear of water?

Jun 13, 3:49AM EDT1

They always, always do but the decision to ride the Crazy UFO was all mine. :D It's kind of a little achievement for me because no one encouraged me to ride it, the idea just popped in my head and I just acted into it. Feels so great. :D

Jun 13, 6:52AM EDT0

How many years has it been since the boat capsize incident?

Jun 13, 12:54AM EDT1

It's been 9 years since the incident happen but the phobia I got make it felt like it just happened yesterday.

Jun 13, 6:48AM EDT0

Did you ever try to wade through a swimming pool just three feet deep?

Jun 12, 10:07PM EDT1

The funny thing is I'm not afraid of the water itself, only of the open water and water travels. The only good thing the accident brought is my willingness to learn how to swim. Years passed and I really did learn. However, I still chicken over a boat ride and being surrounded by nothing but water even if I do know how to swim. 

Last edited @ Jun 14, 7:41AM EDT.
Jun 12, 11:30PM EDT0

Did you join any online forums or support groups to get help and advice from others who overcame Thalassophobia?

Jun 12, 9:30PM EDT1

I haven't. I don't like being reminded of my phobia and seeing it being discussed can make me recount the accident and my fear, which I hate above all else. So, there. Haven't really considered joining a support group, but I feel bad for other Thalassophobic people like me all the same. 

Jun 12, 11:27PM EDT0

What exactly motivated you to tackle Thalassophobia and overcome the problem?

Jun 12, 7:47PM EDT1

It's mainly because I'm so tired missing out all the fun. Boarding this water ride is just a baby step, reminding myself I won't be out in the open water or be further away from the shore. I'm planning to try more water activities so I can conquer the phobia little by little, and eventually remove it out of my system. :)

Last edited @ Jun 12, 11:24PM EDT.
Jun 12, 11:23PM EDT0

Do you think you would not get an anxiety attack if you were on a boat but unaware of the fact?

Jun 12, 4:53PM EDT1

Since I haven't tried or even thought of doing this, I'm not really sure. For a time I think this'll do the trick, but the people who put me onboard should be careful of me discovering I was inside a boat. That'll make things hell lotta worse lol. Given that I'm never at ease not knowing where I am or where I'm going to, there's 100% percent chance I'll go asking and nagging and peeking. And if that happens and I'll get my answer, I'll immediately regret asking for it. Haha!

Jun 12, 11:21PM EDT0

Have you ever had to take any medication due to Thalassophobia symptoms?

Jun 12, 4:51PM EDT1

Only my antiasthma meds and my inhaler. I always get asthma attacks whenever my Thalassophobia kicks in. As for the antidepressants, I never take them because I never went to a trip to psychologists in the first place.

Jun 12, 11:15PM EDT0

Did you display any of your usual Thalassophobia symptoms while being on Crazy UFO?

Jun 12, 4:21PM EDT1

I did, but only during the first minutes. It felt like some kind of achievement! :D I think maybe my love for adventure overpowered my fear of the water while I was on the Crazy UFO. Having proper safety gears like tight lifevests and whistles really helped a lot. During the water accident we didn't get the luxury of being equipped with these. A nearby lifeguard and the sight of the not-so-far-away-shore also put me at ease, making my water ride a thrilling experience. :)

Jun 12, 11:12PM EDT0

What would happen if someone blindfolded you and got you on a boat?

Jun 12, 4:20PM EDT1

I actually have no idea what'll happen. If I am informed I'll be blindfolded before getting me onboard, I think I'll feel 100x worse because I'm seeing nothing. But if I'll be blindfolded by force, unaware that I'm being dragged into a boat, man, I swear that'll be a great danger of tipping the boat. Knowing myself, I'll squirm violently and yank the damned blindfold off my eyes. Hope no one dares to try it with me. Haha!

Jun 12, 11:06PM EDT0

Don’t you feel bad when you lose out on activities with your family and friends due to Thalassophobia?

Jun 12, 3:47PM EDT1

Definitely! :( My family once went to a trip to Kwebang Lampas Beach in Pagbilao, Quezon.

It was a hidden beach in the Philippines, a couple of hours away from our city. I Googled it immediately after they told me about it. It was really breathtaking, with the fine white sand and the crystal clear waters and all, but I had to ditch it because we need to board a boat ride for about 2 hours before reaching the island. I even had to fake a fever so they won't convince me to join. I really felt bad missing out on that trip, but I have to this phobia to blame so... :/

Jun 12, 10:54PM EDT0

Were you offered medical assistance and care after the accident?

Jun 12, 3:33PM EDT1

If being rescued just in time before fully drowning and covered in towels and blankets available once ashore counts, well I think I was. The island where we were is a remote one and not necessarily a resort so there's no available lifeguard or first aider around. I am really lucky that the locals there do know how to swim. 

Jun 12, 10:47PM EDT0

Did your family send you for PTSD counselling and psychological help after the accident?

Jun 12, 3:26PM EDT1

Unfortunately no, they haven't. I've never shown signs of being Thalassophobic unless I'm being dragged into another boat ride again. I'm not afraid of the water in general, only of open. That doesn't look quite of a severe case so I think that's why my parents haven't considered planning a trip to counselling.

Last edited @ Jun 12, 11:34PM EDT.
Jun 12, 10:41PM EDT0

Is your fear associated with boats or does open water equally scare you?

Jun 12, 2:38PM EDT1

It is associated with both. This may explain why I was able to handle my phobia quite better on the Crazy UFO than on a boat. Since this water ride doesn't go further away from the shore, I somehow became at ease. But with a boat everything's different. I think I can literally go crazy if I'd been stuck again in one. 

Last edited @ Jun 12, 11:33PM EDT.
Jun 12, 10:37PM EDT0

Have you been ridiculed or mistreated for your fear of water bodies?

Jun 12, 2:33PM EDT1

Nope, in fact my family and friends are considerate of my phobia whenever they're planning an outing. As much as possible they never plan a trip to somewhere that's only accessible via boat ride. I haven't been ridiculed under any circumstances, not even called a "K.J" or a "hassle" but I do miss out on a lot of fun, so yep. Sucks. :/

Jun 12, 10:34PM EDT0

Were you always scared of water after the water accident?

Jun 12, 1:17PM EDT1

Not the water in general, but the open water, being surrounded by it, and travelling via water. It makes me panic and get short on breath so whenever someone asks me to go island hopping or visit an island via boat ride, I always say no.

Last edited @ Jun 14, 7:35AM EDT.
Jun 12, 10:32PM EDT0

What symptoms do you display when you have to get onboard a boat?

Jun 12, 11:32AM EDT1

I always get short on breath because of extreme nervousness, leading to an asthma attack. I also turn severely pale and my hands turn sweaty and cold. 

Jun 12, 9:25PM EDT0

Did you ever attempt to get over your fears after that accident at the age of nine?

Jun 12, 10:07AM EDT1

No, I was so scared to even think of conquering my fear. After that accident, my family have to cancel a trip to the beach or leave me at my grandparents' house because when they tried bringing me there one time, I got an asthma attack for being so nervous that time.

Jun 12, 9:24PM EDT0