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View Full Version : Calling all dive shrinks, armchair or otherwise



Lulubelle
04-27-2010, 19:19
First of all, this is a serious question. Couldn't figure out where to put it but thought it fit best here.

1. New insecurity about diving-When I was a newly certified diver,I immediately started making deep dives here in NC. The comment was made that I looked quite comfortable and indeed I was. So fast forward to last fall. I came really close to meeting my Maker and was terrified. It was a long recovery but I am FINE now. It had NOTHING to do with diving. Why then am I so anxious about the start of dive season? Wondering if I am going to be up to it? Wondering if I am ready for NC's challenging conditions? I don't get it. If I didn't have this anxiety before, why now? What do I do about it?

2. Lack of excitement about diving-I fell in love with diving from the very first discovery dive and that enthusiasm didn't flag...Until...Some really traumatizing stuff found it's way into my life last season as a result of being in the dive community. It had nothing to do with diving itself. I find myself irrationally being very blase about diving now even though I have scheduled two trips. Why? How do I get that enthusiasm back?

SO, help Lulu get her game back?

Largo
04-27-2010, 19:39
A good way to deal with diving anxiety is to hire a DM, or dive guide to dive with you for awhile. These guys are really nice, and very knowledgeable: www.aquaticsafaris.com (http://www.aquaticsafaris.com)


If you are looking for a challenge, then I would recommend Frying Pan Tower, off of Wilmington, NC.

Kicking currents make it an exciting dive. Sometimes, you get to see Sandtigers.

Lulubelle
04-27-2010, 20:06
A good way to deal with diving anxiety is to hire a DM, or dive guide to dive with you for awhile. These guys are really nice, and very knowledgeable: www.aquaticsafaris.com (http://www.aquaticsafaris.com)


If you are looking for a challenge, then I would recommend Frying Pan Tower, off of Wilmington, NC.

Kicking currents make it an exciting dive. Sometimes, you get to see Sandtigers.

The DM idea is a good one. I just don't understand why I feel this way NOW. I did the Papoose as my first dive out of OW. Fearless but respectful of mother ocean was my MO.

As for the exciting part...the problem is that number 1 and number 2 don't go together very well.

You should dive out of Morehead sometime...the Spar will deliver dozens of Sandtigers. I've been out with AS before and they are a good outfit. I've never been out to FP tower though...that could be fun.

vegas911diver
04-27-2010, 20:50
I agree, with hiring a DM, or another idea is to enroll in a continuing education class.

And ultimately I would say just get back in the water. Once there seeing everything the underwater world has to offer, you pay get that passion back!

PlatypusMan
04-27-2010, 20:57
Regarding number 1 on your list:

You are gunshy. My armchair analysis is that since you have had a brush with the possibility of cessation of your existence on a real and personal level, that you are subconsciously stepping back from things that you know have the potential risk of injury or worse.

Consider this quote from Frank Herbert:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Hope this helps.

PPM

Lulubelle
04-27-2010, 21:18
Regarding number 1 on your list:

You are gunshy. My armchair analysis is that since you have had a brush with the possibility of cessation of your existence on a real and personal level, that you are subconsciously stepping back from things that you know have the potential risk of injury or worse.

Consider this quote from Frank Herbert:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Hope this helps.

PPM

I think we have a winner. Love the quote.It was more like a strong probability of the cessation of my existence. But knowing how fearless I was about diving before that happened (NC diving is not fun unless you are strong in your skills and confident) it is just weird to feel this way. I am trying to face it and figure it out. I'm going to get my very first dive buddy, who was my buddy on my first dive after certification, which was a deep one on the Papoose, to get back in the water with me here as soon as it gets a bit warmer. It will be my first dive since Sept 12th, I was on my way to meet my Maker 4 days later. And as for trying to get my enthusiasm back, I have scheduled two dive trips, one to Little Cayman and another to Bali/Indonesia. With good people who are all solid divers. I just hope I can get excited about them.

Zenagirl
04-28-2010, 07:10
I had a minor dive accident a few years ago and remember feeling nervous about diving afterward. What I did was make sure my next dives were easy and shallow, with good viz and lots of cool things to see. I was nervous before splashing in, and I'd like to say I totally relaxed once I hit the water, but honestly it took a couple of dives before I wasn't thinking about the "what ifs".

So I'd recommend you plan for at least a couple of easy, relaxing dives for your first ones in Little Cayman, cut yourself some slack for feeling uneasy, and give yourself time to relax and get excited about diving again.

Flatliner
04-28-2010, 07:48
Personally, I would recommend a trip with a friend. Someone you can be yourself with. Do some diving but also do some other stuff. I agree that the anxiety is coming form the fact that you had a realization of your own mortality. My thought is that doing something fun with someone you care about (ie a good female friend that you can be yourself around) will help you ease back into the diving.

Rileybri
04-28-2010, 08:15
I will preface this with the fact that I am both a diver and a shrink..........(There for this information will be worthless)

Mortality has a funny way of rearing its ugly head into our lives at the most inopportune times. It can rattle us in the most inconvenient ways. Think NASCAR driver or Olympic down hill racer after a bad crash.... Why diving though? Well cuz it real and you dont ant to depart this earth right now and diving is the one thing you do where even if everything goes well you are still at risk. I would begin by calling DAN and running thought with them everything you have been through lately and get the medical facts about the risks and effects of diving. Then use that info to reinforce that you will be "medically" ok. i would then begin with some boring old shallow dives with no other objective other than to gear up and go diving and ge out again ok. Bringing a DM is a good idea as well. Gradually bring your self back to the diving you know and love.
As for the vicarious trauma. The best revenge is to live your life well. dive for the love of diving and if you dont love it any more then dive for our love of diving. You will find your mojo and groove again you just have bigger inner battles to fight at the moment. Let diving be your catharsis and you escape not you focus and cause!


just my 2 psi........

Lulubelle
04-28-2010, 09:51
I will preface this with the fact that I am both a diver and a shrink..........(There for this information will be worthless)

Mortality has a funny way of rearing its ugly head into our lives at the most inopportune times. It can rattle us in the most inconvenient ways. Think NASCAR driver or Olympic down hill racer after a bad crash.... Why diving though? Well cuz it real and you dont ant to depart this earth right now and diving is the one thing you do where even if everything goes well you are still at risk. I would begin by calling DAN and running thought with them everything you have been through lately and get the medical facts about the risks and effects of diving. Then use that info to reinforce that you will be "medically" ok. i would then begin with some boring old shallow dives with no other objective other than to gear up and go diving and ge out again ok. Bringing a DM is a good idea as well. Gradually bring your self back to the diving you know and love.
As for the vicarious trauma. The best revenge is to live your life well. dive for the love of diving and if you dont love it any more then dive for our love of diving. You will find your mojo and groove again you just have bigger inner battles to fight at the moment. Let diving be your catharsis and you escape not you focus and cause!


just my 2 psi........

:smiley31::smiley31::smiley31::smiley31::smiley31: I do hope I find the love of diving again. I am planning trips as if I already have. Surely, if I am going to fall in love with it again, I can do so in LC or Indonesia?

I know I am medically OK, but maybe I will waste a DAN doc's time so that I can see it in writing. Nothing wrong with positive reinforcement.

Send me a bill. :smiley36:

Flatliner, the Cayman trip is with a local dive shop and the trip leaders are friends, albeit new ones. I think there will be some easy shore diving to be had as a start. Indonesia is also with a friend, one who called every day from overseas when I was in the hospital and recovering at home and getting ready to miss Indonesia trip number 1. So a good person who can probably understand that I am still shellshocked. Good advice all.

Diver Kat
04-28-2010, 10:37
Hey Lulu! I think all the armchair buddies you have here are pretty spot on!! Any brush with our own mortality is like a bucket of cold water in the face ...realistically we all know that diving can be dangerous, even deadly. But under normal circumstances we keep those thoughts compartmentalized. Your serious medical emergency brought all those thoughts to the forefront, even thought it wasn't dive related. Who wouldn't have some second thoughts and concerns about jumping into a physically challenging environment considering what you have just survived through. Logic can tell you you'll be fine, but emotionally there's that tendency to worry about all the 'what if's'.

As for the lack of excitement, I'd guess that it's partially caused by the emotional stress of all you've been through medically, as well as some dive related personal issues. Mash the medical & the personal all together and I could see a bit of the emotional dread just saying "why bother." I think the suggestion to talk with DAN is a great one. A professional opinion to enforce that you're ready to get wet again might help a lot with your comfort level. And although you originally started out diving with hardcore dives from day 1, it might be very beneficial to find an easy boat or shore dive to start off with. Something where you can get under and just relax, and watch the marine world go by. A little Zen dive to get yourself back in the groove, and make you realize you DO still :smiley27: diving! (And you know you do!!)

Glad to hear you have some super trips planned! Just wish I could hit the lottery and go with you!! :smiley36:

Lulubelle
04-28-2010, 10:51
Hey Lulu! I think all the armchair buddies you have here are pretty spot on!! Any brush with our own mortality is like a bucket of cold water in the face ...realistically we all know that diving can be dangerous, even deadly. But under normal circumstances we keep those thoughts compartmentalized. Your serious medical emergency brought all those thoughts to the forefront, even thought it wasn't dive related. Who wouldn't have some second thoughts and concerns about jumping into a physically challenging environment considering what you have just survived through. Logic can tell you you'll be fine, but emotionally there's that tendency to worry about all the 'what if's'.

As for the lack of excitement, I'd guess that it's partially caused by the emotional stress of all you've been through medically, as well as some dive related personal issues. Mash the medical & the personal all together and I could see a bit of the emotional dread just saying "why bother." I think the suggestion to talk with DAN is a great one. A professional opinion to enforce that you're ready to get wet again might help a lot with your comfort level. And although you originally started out diving with hardcore dives from day 1, it might be very beneficial to find an easy boat or shore dive to start off with. Something where you can get under and just relax, and watch the marine world go by. A little Zen dive to get yourself back in the groove, and make you realize you DO still :smiley27: diving! (And you know you do!!)

Glad to hear you have some super trips planned! Just wish I could hit the lottery and go with you!! :smiley36:

Well Kat you will be the first person I call when I do win the lottery:smiley20:

It is hard to make these grand plans when my heart isn't it in them, but I am hoping that by making them I will start getting excited about diving again.

Diver Kat
04-28-2010, 12:28
Hey Lulu! I think all the armchair buddies you have here are pretty spot on!! Any brush with our own mortality is like a bucket of cold water in the face ...realistically we all know that diving can be dangerous, even deadly. But under normal circumstances we keep those thoughts compartmentalized. Your serious medical emergency brought all those thoughts to the forefront, even thought it wasn't dive related. Who wouldn't have some second thoughts and concerns about jumping into a physically challenging environment considering what you have just survived through. Logic can tell you you'll be fine, but emotionally there's that tendency to worry about all the 'what if's'.

As for the lack of excitement, I'd guess that it's partially caused by the emotional stress of all you've been through medically, as well as some dive related personal issues. Mash the medical & the personal all together and I could see a bit of the emotional dread just saying "why bother." I think the suggestion to talk with DAN is a great one. A professional opinion to enforce that you're ready to get wet again might help a lot with your comfort level. And although you originally started out diving with hardcore dives from day 1, it might be very beneficial to find an easy boat or shore dive to start off with. Something where you can get under and just relax, and watch the marine world go by. A little Zen dive to get yourself back in the groove, and make you realize you DO still :smiley27: diving! (And you know you do!!)

Glad to hear you have some super trips planned! Just wish I could hit the lottery and go with you!! :smiley36:

Well Kat you will be the first person I call when I do win the lottery:smiley20:

It is hard to make these grand plans when my heart isn't it in them, but I am hoping that by making them I will start getting excited about diving again.

Hey! I'm excited for you!!! Does that count??? :smiley36:

PACKRMAN
04-28-2010, 13:48
:eek2: WTF :eek2:
What is this crybaby little girl talk?
Put on your big girl britches and get back in the water:smiley35:



There, how's that for a pep talk:smiley2:

DevilDiver
04-28-2010, 14:09
:eek2: WTF :eek2:
What is this crybaby little girl talk?
Put on your big girl britches and get back in the water:smiley35:



There, how's that for a pep talk:smiley2:

:smilie39:

Noob
04-28-2010, 14:21
I agree with the rest of the guys. Especially Platypusman.

I think the first time you get back in the water and dive the stress and anxiety will cease. I personally think it would be a great benefit to you from what you had been through.

Lulubelle
04-28-2010, 15:25
:eek2: WTF :eek2:
What is this crybaby little girl talk?
Put on your big girl britches and get back in the water:smiley35:



There, how's that for a pep talk:smiley2:

:smilie39::smilie39::smilie39::smilie39: Yes sir.

Lulubelle
04-28-2010, 15:31
I agree with the rest of the guys. Especially Platypusman.

I think the first time you get back in the water and dive the stress and anxiety will cease. I personally think it would be a great benefit to you from what you had been through.

I think it would be kind of therapeutic too, I just have to learn to trust my body again and let go of the fear/baggage/prior associations. I'm questioning getting back in the water HERE, there aren't any predictable kind gentle days here for the most part. I may just wait until the Little Cayman trip and talk someone into suiting up for a shore dive when I get there.

The folks I am traveling with are top notch, the trips were selected somewhat on that parameter. I know that if I can get myself on that plane and go, I will have some lovely memories to fill in the dark spaces.

Largo
04-28-2010, 15:46
If I may be so bold, how about this one?

1. On a Friday night, catch an Amtrak train to Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami area.

2. Saturday, go diving. Nice, warm, clear water.

3. Sunday morning, Amtrak back to NC.

Lulubelle
04-28-2010, 15:56
If I may be so bold, how about this one?

1. On a Friday night, catch an Amtrak train to Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami area.

2. Saturday, go diving. Nice, warm, clear water.

3. Sunday morning, Amtrak back to NC.

I had thought of that but haven't been able to talk anyone into going down there with me yet. But I'd be more likely to fly. SW and I think Delta go direct.

alpha
04-28-2010, 15:57
Agree, shallow clear water with a lot of fish, coral, etc. to enjoy as soon as you hit the water.

scubajane
04-29-2010, 16:27
lets see.... anxiety. I am anxious before every dive. It heightens my ability to protect my life by being very cautious in setting up my gear and paying attention to my dive plan and dive buddy. I often wonder if my excitement masquerades as anxiety.

lack of interest..... are you protecting yourself from disappointment just in case the dives don't go well??

my anxiety disappears at about 10 ft. no time for anxiety, only time to look wide-eyed at the underwater world and listen to the bubbles.

please let us know about your dives we do care!!!

if all else fails, get a set of cowgirl boot shaped fins and kick butt underwater!!!!

Tassie Diver
04-29-2010, 17:00
Hey Lulu, do you take photos underwater? I find that the increased observation skills required to find good photographic subjects results in me "seeing" more when I dive. Seeing more means I get greater enjoyment.

Once the thrill returns, the rest will take care of itself!

TwistedSister209
04-29-2010, 18:56
:smiley31::smiley31::smiley31:
I'm looking forward to our dives!

Lulubelle
04-29-2010, 20:15
lets see.... anxiety. I am anxious before every dive. It heightens my ability to protect my life by being very cautious in setting up my gear and paying attention to my dive plan and dive buddy. I often wonder if my excitement masquerades as anxiety.

lack of interest..... are you protecting yourself from disappointment just in case the dives don't go well??

my anxiety disappears at about 10 ft. no time for anxiety, only time to look wide-eyed at the underwater world and listen to the bubbles.

please let us know about your dives we do care!!!

if all else fails, get a set of cowgirl boot shaped fins and kick butt underwater!!!!

Thanks SJ. I think that Platypus Man hit the nail on the head with the anxiety. As for the lack of interest...My dives have always gone well,so I don't think that is it. It is more of an irrational response to some really traumatic stuff brought my way via the dive community. But I suspect that I just need to make myself jump back in, affirm for myself that my body is ready, and start forming new memories.


Hey Lulu, do you take photos underwater? I find that the increased observation skills required to find good photographic subjects results in me "seeing" more when I dive. Seeing more means I get greater enjoyment.

Once the thrill returns, the rest will take care of itself!

You know, I have never tried to take photos underwater. I have watched SO many novice underwater photographers miss the coolest things because they were busy trying to get a shot. I'm sure it feels much different once shooting becomes natural. And I can imagine that it does make you notice the little things more. For now, I am abstaining, I like the Zen of ONLY seeing, floating, breathing. But I should try it.


:smiley31::smiley31::smiley31:
I'm looking forward to our dives!

Me too!

Tassie Diver
04-29-2010, 21:19
Hey Lulu, do you take photos underwater? I find that the increased observation skills required to find good photographic subjects results in me "seeing" more when I dive. Seeing more means I get greater enjoyment.

Once the thrill returns, the rest will take care of itself!

You know, I have never tried to take photos underwater. I have watched SO many novice underwater photographers miss the coolest things because they were busy trying to get a shot. I'm sure it feels much different once shooting becomes natural. And I can imagine that it does make you notice the little things more. For now, I am abstaining, I like the Zen of ONLY seeing, floating, breathing. But I should try it.
Here http://www.divetheblue.net/pdf/artBackyard.pdf is a link to an article I wrote a few years back that talks about swimming slowly and "seeing".

Good luck with it all!

PS - don't get into underwater photography... it's addictive:smiley36:

Lulubelle
04-30-2010, 04:40
Hey Lulu, do you take photos underwater? I find that the increased observation skills required to find good photographic subjects results in me "seeing" more when I dive. Seeing more means I get greater enjoyment.

Once the thrill returns, the rest will take care of itself!

You know, I have never tried to take photos underwater. I have watched SO many novice underwater photographers miss the coolest things because they were busy trying to get a shot. I'm sure it feels much different once shooting becomes natural. And I can imagine that it does make you notice the little things more. For now, I am abstaining, I like the Zen of ONLY seeing, floating, breathing. But I should try it.
Here http://www.divetheblue.net/pdf/artBackyard.pdf is a link to an article I wrote a few years back that talks about swimming slowly and "seeing".

Good luck with it all!

PS - don't get into underwater photography... it's addictive:smiley36:

I'm sure underwater photography IS addictive, but when someone is new to it, it just looks like a lot of work and a way to consume more air.

Cool article, thanks. My favorite dive buddy, who is way too hyper for me on land, goes into her zen zone when in the water. Both of us, if we spy something tiny, will just hover and watch. We're the ones looking at the glass shrimp and such. Right now, I see photography as something that would spoil that zen for me. But I am mighty thankful that others like to take photos and share them with me :smiley20: