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sid101
05-27-2008, 19:21
Hi guys now i have a question but first let me tell you the story.

Since i live in a tropical country with many natural reserves and a beautyfull ocean i have at my disposal many clear water reef and beautyfull places ith almost no current and great visibility, warm waters and great peopel to divew with.

My first "dive" was when i was 7 years old i saw my older brother coming out of the water in full 1988 diving gear, we were in a beach we were taking vacations and when i see him i remembered all the jackes cousteau documentaries and got "whoa my brother is a diver" after about 2 hours i took his snorkel and mask when he was flirting with soem girl and ran to the water since the reef in that place start at about 15 feet from some parts of the shore i was delighted seeying all the fishes and corals and what not and so theres was my first half dive.

Later that same day i realize i am strong enoug to pull the tank with reg and everything by myself so i wait for my brother to go flirt with some other girl and tryed to run with the tank and all the other stuff... well did not make it to the water but my brother asked me if i wanted to use the tank and well he put the mask on me and the reg in my mouth and walked besides me while i would see the sea life up close (i was 3 feet deep and he was holding the tank basically walking besides me) didnt last for long but i was hoocked.

Well 19 years have passed and i have about 10 dives with me (i knwo im stupid for not getting certificated before started diving) since that moment and at last i decided to get certificated... why?... because when visibility goes down i ussualy come into panic same happens with dark waters or bad visibility so i think having someoen with me /specially a friend who will be my instructor) the whole time and maybe facing those condition in open water would help me get rid of my fear right?
I have no idea of why im afraid but it happens.

I ask you guys because i have already selected some specialties with padi

Deep diving.
Peak performance buoyancy.
Night Diving.
Drift Diver.
Cavern Diver.
Wreck Diver.
There are some that i wont be able to take up untill im advanced but i plan on doing advanced as soon as possible after getting open water.

I think these specialities would help em deal with my fears right?

If you got another method of being able to get rid of my fears please tell me.

buddhasummer
05-27-2008, 19:34
Do you know what it is that you are actually afraid of? panic normally has a trigger of some description assuming you dont generally suffer from panic attacks in other situations...

Rainer
05-27-2008, 19:42
Start again slowly and if the panic is still present, perhaps diving just isn't for you. There are plenty of activities that I know I'm never going to try.

maggs_the
05-27-2008, 19:49
i agree with everyone else... start slow. it may be that since you've not gone through the certification class yet, you panic because you don't know what to do if a situation comes up that you must deal with.

the certification class will help answer a lot of your questions.

after you get certified, you will go thru an underwater test of the skills you will have learned and you can talk with your dive instructor about possible causes and how to practice and work through them.

the greatest thing about diving (FOR ME) is how relaxing it can be so there's no need to hurry up and dive. relax and breathe and relax.. and breathe..

i wish you the best!! it is impressive that you still wish to get certified. good luck to you!

also, i will be down close to your area in August. we are going to Curacao for a week of shore diving so we will not be in Venezuela but we will be buying foods from the floating market that comes over to Curacao :)

sid101
05-27-2008, 19:51
Well i think by august i will be certified and the scuba school i atend will do a trip to bonaire you can check out the last one in here: YouTube - Buceo en Venezuela Epsilon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMIOJk8Kojo)

if you like the caribbean for diving i will highly recomend you to come dive in Venezuela my 2 favorite places are "morrocoy" with is a national park of many islands and a lot of reefs and LOS ROQUES thats basically the same but more out in the ocean and there are as far as i know over 100 islands and about the same amount of reefs and most of them are not even below 30 feet great sealife. there is one place called "francisqui" with some currents that can be tricky but they bring so much food to the sea life in there that you can see some great stuff the reef is about 3 miles long or more .

The problem is not diving, scuba diving is something i have only done 10 times but snorkeling i have done it at least once amonth for the last 10 years so you can be sure that i love diving if just those conditions, once i got in certain panic because of bad visibility but i tried to take is slowly that time i didnt surface just stood there and focused on controling my breath i did and cound get 20 more minutes of great diving, the bad visibility conditions ussually come when the floor gets stern (i dont know how to spell it sorry) and everything comes flying arround, i know that would keep me off from tech diving with i dont mind but come on! i have had to surface more than once because of getting too scarred underwater wich we all know is a big hazard, i dont know what trigers it i just know it happens i have been able to control it a couple of times, the weird thing is that are my only fears in water, i have been with sharks and some pretty dangeroud sealife once even got my reg pulled out by a litle octopus and didnt got scared, its weird..

Geoff_T
05-27-2008, 20:05
I think this will get better as you become more comfortable under water. That said sometimes you have to conscientiously tell yourself to calm down, forcing yourself to control your breathing and heart rate.

As for the visibility thing it is natural but if you are not diving in an overhead environment than you need to remember that up will always be up. If you are feeling disoriented try watching your bubbles rise when you breathe than get your bearings and move on.

USF_Diver
05-27-2008, 20:34
Dive with your buddys and stay close, go down slowly also.
The more you dive the more comfortable you will feel. Goodluck.

maggs_the
05-27-2008, 20:59
well it sounds like you are taking the correct steps to become more comfortable and try to manage the panic.

and we LOVE diving in the Caribbean waters!!

i have to admit, i do not like very much the low visibility of lakes and rock quarries but i will dive them when i cannot get to the beautiful warm clear waters in the Caribbean. i still enjoy the feeling of being underwater but i can sometimes feel the panic creeping up on me when the visibility is not good. taking the Limited Visibility and Navigation classes helped but for my own comfort level, i prefer the clear water. when the visibility is low, i want to stay very close to my dive buddy and sometimes, i even hold on to his side just to make me feel more comfortable.

i know my limitations and i will never be comfortable doing wreck penetration dives. i did one in Cozumel and it was neat, but i really am quite happy playing in the wide open reefs :D

scubasamurai
05-27-2008, 21:18
i do get that panic feeling once in awhile, mostly in the dark deep sink holes of where i live. but i grown to over come this feeling most of the time. what you really need is to look at your instructor teaching and taking you into those enivroments that cause you to "panic" or have those feelings. do you feel comfortable with them. several times i had a "panic attack" at depth and i look over to my instructor just hanging out and basically signing "breath" and take it easy . sure enough their confidence flow over to me and the feeling went away. when i dove the blue hole with other divers i made it to the 130 mark in farily murky water and did fine. so time and training will only tell if you can handle those issues you have, but if you can't over come those feelings than maybe deep dark diving is just not for you .

Grizbear98
05-27-2008, 22:14
I'd just take it slow, I was quite a panicky diver when I first started my open water, murky water makes me feel like I am enclosed and like I can't see what is coming near me, I'm afraid of stumbling upon something. I did my open water twice because of hypothermia and just was not ready the first time and when I got to do it the second time not only was I relaxed I was very prepared for it. I still don't like diving in murky waters, but what helps me is sticking close to my buddy (this would not work with someone I am not familiar with) and knowing that I am comfortable with my abilities to save myself, but that my buddy is there too. Dive with someone you know and trust, that might help you. Being confident that you can get yourself out of any situation that you put yourself into and being calm helps with panic for me too. Just breathe, best advice I've ever had.

mm2002
05-28-2008, 08:52
My first OW dive was in 2-3 ft vis. I was trying to follow the instructor, but kept losing sight of him. My wife was following me, so I kept turning to make sure she was ok, and then when I'd look forward again, the instructor had disappeared. I was breathing very rapidly, and I know I was verging on panic. That dive was a nightmare. Every dive since then has got easier and easier. Just remember that if you start feeling panicky, stop, check your air, breath, and think. Once your brain realizes you have plenty of air, and that everything else can be worked out, you'll find that the panic will subside. Also, try looking at fish or rocks, or something to take your mind off it. That has really helped me. I only have 20 dives, but I'm getting to the point that bad vis doesn't stress me a bit. As long as my SPG says I have plenty of air, I'm OK. The only thing I find still stresses me a bit is if I lose my bearing and don't know exactly where I'm at. To me, that's worse than bad vis. I still don't panic, but a couple of times I've slowly surfaced just to see where I was at. I'm really working on my navigation skills.
Hang in there, if I can do it, anyone can!

maggs_the
05-28-2008, 09:49
excellent post MM:smiley20:

Kingpatzer
05-28-2008, 10:03
If you really want to get over this, I'd suggest reading a few books on anxiety disorders and treatment, if not seeing a compitent therapist who specializes in those areas.

Deep seated fears are not trivial and are notoriously hard to get over by one's self.

However, knowing what your triggers are, you can easily enjoy diving by avoiding those activities for now. Gaining confidence and comfort just being underwater can really help you alot.

Dive shallow, clear, warm water on bright sunny days. Do that until you feel entirely and totally comfortable doing it. Slowly introduce diving later or earlier in the day until you can tolerate diving near (not at) twilight). At that point, get some training and add some depth to your dives. You don't have to go real deep, but learning the rules will again add confidence.

Slow and steady. But don't ignore the reality that overcoming anxiety is a long process. Those fears and feelings may not be totally rational, but that makes them no less real and no less dangerous to you as a diver.

I would strongly urge you to not dive without a very compitent buddy who is aware of and supportive of your issues. Any anxiety can be over come with enough work, dedication, time and proper support.

I wish you luck.

sid101
05-28-2008, 10:13
there have been two times when i have panic beyong my own control capabilities as far as i can remember, first i was in los roques doing some snorkeling and i saw a beautyfull blowfish si i started to follow him around and got alitle separated form my group but i didnt mind because we were relativelly close to the boat (arround 300 feet from it) well the beautyfull blowfish goes arround and i go after it just to get a better look at it, then i find a beautyfull spoted eel and start seeying it i was soo happy to see those fish with no scuba tank in my back to scare them but then something passed to my left very fast and i looked left to see it, i was right on the edge of a 200 meter underwater cliff and could nto see a thing down there not even coral in the wall that was the first time i really panic when diving luckily my breath reflex kicked in and made me swim up to get some air, after that i just went straight to the boat and didnt leave it for the rest of the day.

The second time i can remember was while helping my brother with his new boat he lost something overboard and he asked me to retrieve so i put my mask and fins on and jump to the water... i didnt remember that marina water has very low viz and its oili and stuff, seeying myself between two boats like that and with less than 6 feet of viz i paralized again but at least got my head out the water but sttod there paralized, my brother had to scream to me to get me out of it and get me out of the water..

It was happened to em more when snorkeling than scubadiving.

The weird thing is that maybe i have seen too many movies and get scared cuz in bad viz i dont knwo whats gonna come out of it ^^

Its weird hwo those thinsg happened and both using snorkeling gear with scuba only happened to me twice also very alike to those two but wasnt so ba wich is weird cuz it should be worse under 33 feet of water than in 3 ^^

cummings66
05-28-2008, 10:48
I believe you panic because you're not completely at ease with diving. With time you'll do better, but with knowledge which you will gain with certification you'll feel more confident and that will tend to even out the panic.

If you know what to expect, and you know how you'll react, you won't panic as easily.

gthomas
05-28-2008, 11:13
I always feel a little panic getting into the ocean on the first dive. I try to allow a few moments to just breathe and calm down. I tell myself that I know what I'm doing and that I'm in control. It always seems to work.

ChrisA
05-28-2008, 12:19
Here is a good general rule you can apply. People don't panic when you find themselves in a familar situation.

The trick is to go slow. For example the best way to learn about diving at night is to go do an easy shalow dive that you've done before. Do a simple out and back pattern. then wait for dark and do the exact same dive over again. Continue doing that same dive at night untill the "at night" part seems not to mater. Then you are ready to do a night dive in a new location. But still only do very conservative shallow dives at night.

mm2002
05-28-2008, 15:36
excellent post MM:smiley20:

Thanks! Lots of good posts on this thread. Since panic is probably the most dangerous aspect of diving, this could be one of the more valuable threads on this forum for a new diver.

chinacat46
05-28-2008, 17:35
Panic effects everybody differently and a little bit of nerviousness is actually good. That being said it seems to effect different people in different ways. Some just on their first dive or two. Others every dive but only the first few minutes. I seem to get the most nervious in airports as compared to on the boat. Don't mind flying just hate all the crap you now have to put up with to be allowed to fly. Got to agree thought the best advice is to just breathe.

mm2002
05-28-2008, 17:47
Panic effects everybody differently and a little bit of nerviousness is actually good. That being said it seems to effect different people in different ways. Some just on their first dive or two. Others every dive but only the first few minutes. I seem to get the most nervious in airports as compared to on the boat. Don't mind flying just hate all the crap you now have to put up with to be allowed to fly. Got to agree thought the best advice is to just breathe.


Definitely. As long as you can breathe, everything will be OK. It's a tough concept to convince your brain of, but it's so true.

Rainer
05-28-2008, 21:25
Panic effects everybody differently and a little bit of nerviousness is actually good. That being said it seems to effect different people in different ways. Some just on their first dive or two. Others every dive but only the first few minutes. I seem to get the most nervious in airports as compared to on the boat. Don't mind flying just hate all the crap you now have to put up with to be allowed to fly. Got to agree thought the best advice is to just breathe.


Definitely. As long as you can breathe, everything will be OK. It's a tough concept to convince your brain of, but it's so true.

Well... it's a good first start...

rawalker
05-28-2008, 22:22
Preparation and practice are the only way to control panic, but in the final analysis some people will always react badly to stress, while other are near impossible to shake up. This is just a matter of the way some people are wired.

Grin
05-29-2008, 09:16
Great Topic!
There was a show on Discovery, or some channel like that, a few years back in which the topic of the show was how people react differently in life or death panik situations.
Some people fight all the way to the end, and seem to never panik at all.
Most people panik and scream and die in situations where they might very well have survived, if they kept their head.
The main example they used was a plane that crash landed, and caught on fire. The few who escaped with their lives, had to climb over the majority, who sat in their seats screaming while doing nothing to try to escape(they died).
They portrayed many other real life examples and interviewed survivors. It was a very interesting show to me.
If you ask 100 people how they will react, almost all of them will claim they will fight to the end to save themselves in a panik situation. Reality is possibly only about 5 % actually will not panik.
As I would imagine anyone else would claim, I like to think I am one of the survivors. I have been in panik situations, and I think I reacted very well at not paniking. But I am not sure if my situations compare to a situation like being, in a plane on fire. I don't think I'm one to panik and scream while completely out of control, and die in a screaming horror.
This show really made me think alot. I often think of the topic this show was about, when I see people in real life react the way they do. I often label people (in my own mind, to myself) as panikers, and say to myself "there's someone I'd be trampling in a aircraft fire".
What it comes down to is few will readily admit they are a paniker. But the end result is, your proud claim means nothing. You have to proove it with your action if the situation ever arises.
A good question is: Can you prepare for panik?
As far as diving goes, I would have to say you can eliminate the possibilty of getting into a panik situation to a degree. Obviously, if you have practiced thing like OOA situations. Then a OOA situation happens some day, it could easily be the difference between paniking or not.
Obviously you can't practice escaping a burning plane.

Any which way I'm sure we have all seen someone absolutly loose it in a split second, when they do something like drop their regulator at depth. Instead of calmly reverting to their training, and completing a simple task, they would drown without you there to hand them their reg back. Some people do defiantly stay calm in almost any situation, and many definatly will panik in almost any situation.
Since I am a almost 100% solo diver I have contemplated this idea many times. It would be real easy for just about anyone to make the bold statment that they would not panik in any situation. But in solo diving you have to be as honest as you can with yourself.
It also akes you wonder if a person is as likely to panik in a solo situation, as if they were in a group situation. When you know, absolutly 100%, noone is there to help, is there a reason to scream and panik.
Lots of stuff to think about with this topic.
I specifically know of one incident where a life long friend of mine, who out right has claimed he would never panik. And I have seen him wide eyed and frozen a multiple of times. Obviously he is one of the 95% panikers, but he would never in a million years admit it. And even though he has paniked, in what I would call mild situations, he dosn't realize it and thinks he's a survivior. In acuality he is one of the worst of all panikers and doesn't even have a clue about it.
Who knows, maybe I'm one of them also! I don't think I am though! Definatly not to the degree most are, I can gaurantee that much, anyway.

georoc01
05-29-2008, 09:50
Great Topic!
There was a show on Discovery, or some channel like that, a few years back in which the topic of the show was how people react differently in life or death panik situations.
Some people fight all the way to the end, and seem to never panik at all.
Most people panik and scream and die in situations where they might very well have survived, if they kept their head.
The main example they used was a plane that crash landed, and caught on fire. The few who escaped with their lives, had to climb over the majority, who sat in their seats screaming while doing nothing to try to escape(they died).
They portrayed many other real life examples and interviewed survivors. It was a very interesting show to me.
If you ask 100 people how they will react, almost all of them will claim they will fight to the end to save themselves in a panik situation. Reality is possibly only about 5 % actually will not panik.
As I would imagine anyone else would claim, I like to think I am one of the survivors. I have been in panik situations, and I think I reacted very well at not paniking. But I am not sure if my situations compare to a situation like being, in a plane on fire. I don't think I'm one to panik and scream while completely out of control, and die in a screaming horror.
This show really made me think alot. I often think of the topic this show was about, when I see people in real life react the way they do. I often label people (in my own mind, to myself) as panikers, and say to myself "there's someone I'd be trampling in a aircraft fire".
What it comes down to is few will readily admit they are a paniker. But the end result is, your proud claim means nothing. You have to proove it with your action if the situation ever arises.
A good question is: Can you prepare for panik?
As far as diving goes, I would have to say you can eliminate the possibilty of getting into a panik situation to a degree. Obviously, if you have practiced thing like OOA situations. Then a OOA situation happens some day, it could easily be the difference between paniking or not.
Obviously you can't practice escaping a burning plane.

Any which way I'm sure we have all seen someone absolutly loose it in a split second, when they do something like drop their regulator at depth. Instead of calmly reverting to their training, and completing a simple task, they would drown without you there to hand them their reg back. Some people do defiantly stay calm in almost any situation, and many definatly will panik in almost any situation.
Since I am a almost 100% solo diver I have contemplated this idea many times. It would be real easy for just about anyone to make the bold statment that they would not panik in any situation. But in solo diving you have to be as honest as you can with yourself.
It also akes you wonder if a person is as likely to panik in a solo situation, as if they were in a group situation. When you know, absolutly 100%, noone is there to help, is there a reason to scream and panik.
Lots of stuff to think about with this topic.
I specifically know of one incident where a life long friend of mine, who out right has claimed he would never panik. And I have seen him wide eyed and frozen a multiple of times. Obviously he is one of the 95% panikers, but he would never in a million years admit it. And even though he has paniked, in what I would call mild situations, he dosn't realize it and thinks he's a survivior. In acuality he is one of the worst of all panikers and doesn't even have a clue about it.
Who knows, maybe I'm one of them also! I don't think I am though! Definatly not to the degree most are, I can gaurantee that much, anyway.

While you can't practice every situation, you can try and visualize the potential situation, (like a fire in a home or a plane) and what you would do in different scenarios. Having at least thought through it, it can really make a difference. How many of us actually pay attention to the briefing at the start of the flight when the say 'Please recognize the two closest exits to you, even if it may be behind you' actually do? Note where the life rafts are? Where the AED is stored if its needed?

Same with dive trips. Some dive briefings are better than others. And when you get onto a boat, do you look around to see what is on the boat in the event of an emergency?

I know for myself, the more experience I get, the more aware I have become of my surroundings and try to think through some of these situations, even if I haven't practiced it per-se.

Grin
05-30-2008, 07:54
That is true. My discussion was revolving around how individuals handle panik, once paniked, wether prepared for it or not. Some people panik even if they prepared for it, some panik on things they didn't think to prepare for, and some don't panik even if caught by complete suprise.
I agree the more prepared you are the less chance you might find yourself suprised by something, thus the less chance you will find yourself in a possible panik situation. But how easily each individual enters a panik decision, and how each individual reacts while paniking is what intersted me. Some people function pretty good while paniking. Some freeze. Some people plain don't panik at all. Some panik at the thought of almost anything. Trying to rate yourself, and trying to rate those around you, is the interesting part.

buddhasummer
05-30-2008, 09:31
When I was younger I started to get panic attacks, at first seemingly for no reason and the more I thought about them, i.e. scared of having another one it became worse it got to the point where I was scared of having another and would start to feel panic if I was anywhere that I couldnt get out of, planes, buses, elevators, meetings at work, getting my hair cut, within about 6 months it was ruining and running my life, I went to my doctor who told me to relax and that if it got too bad he could prescribe medication. I figured I needed to do something myself to deal with it, so I began at first lying in bed and night and would begin to wind myself up so i would start to feel the sensations of panic and instead of freaking out I would just sit with the feelings and tell my self "this isnt so bad, its just adrenalin etc etc nothing to be afraid of, I did this over a period of some months and eventually they no loger scared me and as quick as they came on they vanished, the fear of the panic was keeping it alive, once I no longer feared the panic it lost its power, I havent had another one for over 15 years. Anyway I dont know if this will help or not, but just remember panic itself will not kill you, although a full panic attack while diving I imagine could be dangerous. Perhaps it might be helpful for you to try to address the panic by itself as opposed to making too strong a connection between panic and diving. Im not a psychologist, please take what as I say as my personal experience and I shared it with you because maybe something in there might be of help to you. Anyway goodluck.