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Scoobidoo
12-31-2007, 19:28
Hi all,

I'm a relatively new diver, logged around 10 dives only :smiley1: I love diving, but I'm having problems controlling my anxiety when I'm underwater. I'm not sure if this is a normal progress for new divers, when I submerse into the water, I am constantly thinking about whether I'm breathing properly, looking up knowing I'm meters under the water surface I get a little scared. The anxiety gets worse when the visibility is bad.

I feel quite heavy underwater most time as well, which gives me a feeling that I'm sinking all the time, this scares me.

Other than that, I do quite enjoy the underwater experience, even just seeing a fish relieves my anxiety quite a bit, reason why I'm still diving.

Now my question is, how can I overcome the anxiety of getting in the water and make the whole thing a bit more relaxing? :smiley13:

NitroWill
12-31-2007, 19:31
What your feeling is quite normal for newer divers. It is good you are concentrating on your breathing and skills - but don't worry about them. Just relax and breath slowly and deeply.

Are you neutrally buoyant at your safety stop or heavy? You might try taking off a pound or two on a shallow dive to see if you can hold your safety stop on a low tank.

Just keep diving as often as possible and you will develop your skills and the anxiety will slowly go away. You are not in a natural habitat for humans so it is plenty normal - but just relax and have fun!

Scoobidoo
12-31-2007, 20:10
What your feeling is quite normal for newer divers. It is good you are concentrating on your breathing and skills - but don't worry about them. Just relax and breath slowly and deeply.

Are you neutrally buoyant at your safety stop or heavy? You might try taking off a pound or two on a shallow dive to see if you can hold your safety stop on a low tank.

Just keep diving as often as possible and you will develop your skills and the anxiety will slowly go away. You are not in a natural habitat for humans so it is plenty normal - but just relax and have fun!
Thanks Will. I have a feeling I'm carrying weights more than I need, but then I kept getting told I'm new and I should overweight myself a little so I can "get down".

I guess also my constant awareness of "gee, there's water all around me" gets me a little nervous as well.

But yes, I'll try and dive more from now on :smiley1:

Matt P
12-31-2007, 21:29
Yes, it's very natural to feel a twinge of anxiety. The best thing to do is simply dive. It'll start to feel more natural. You'll relax more. It'll take more to raise that sense of anxiety. Next thing you know you'll start to crave that sensation of being weightless underwater.

Keep working on the small stuff - breathing, proper weighting, enjoying yourself

cutter77
12-31-2007, 21:29
I probably checked my gauges every 2 minutes for my first 30 dives.

50% of the advice given to new divers is, "it will get better as you dive more" and "dive as much as you can".

And, sure enough, it does get better and your air consumption and spotting talents will all get better as you get more comfortable with your gear and in the water.

Scoobidoo
12-31-2007, 21:48
I probably checked my gauges every 2 minutes for my first 30 dives.

50% of the advice given to new divers is, "it will get better as you dive more" and "dive as much as you can".

And, sure enough, it does get better and your air consumption and spotting talents will all get better as you get more comfortable with your gear and in the water.
Yea, that's why I decided to own most of the gear so I can get familiar with using the same thing no matter where I am. And guess where I got my gear :smiley2: (ST!)

And Matt, thanks for pointing out doing simple dives to start off. I've had some difficult times for my first sea dive, I actually went into an anxiety attack. What happened was, I had a rented over-sized over weighted BC, big swells on the day, and so on top of being dizzy and all, I went into the water anyway, I sank like a rock and couldn't control my buoyancy at all. The divemaster says level off around 15 meters, I saw my gauge going over 15 and still sinking and the only in my mind was "oh shxx, I need to get back on top". So I went for the magic inflator button, got myself up in no time and took the regulator off ......:smiley5: not a good idea, it was the first time I actually feel salt water is really salty. Anyway, long story short, when I finally got myself together again I got really exhausted from controlling buoyancy and fighting the swells.

The dive was obviously above my level and being a new diver on board, I had no say on how much weight I "should" carry, which resulted in a very unpleasant diving experience. This put me off diving for a few months before I can get back into the water. This time with my own gear. But I still have trouble relaxing. Hopefully I'll overcome this with time.

crosseyed95
12-31-2007, 22:13
Hi all,

I'm a relatively new diver, logged around 10 dives only :smiley1: I love diving, but I'm having problems controlling my anxiety when I'm underwater. I'm not sure if this is a normal progress for new divers, when I submerse into the water, I am constantly thinking about whether I'm breathing properly, looking up knowing I'm meters under the water surface I get a little scared. The anxiety gets worse when the visibility is bad.

As a DM, here's what I tell those that are new: "If there is a little part of you that enjoyed yourself, then keep diving because given time it all works out".

OK maybe not that exactly and I'm no poet on these sites but that's the basics. When I started, I had the same anxiety about all the water above me. It felt crushing!! But like everyone has said, the more you dive the better it gets.

However, always remember that even when it goes away, it's still there in the back of your head. Like a monster, it can slam into you full force given the right circumstances. That's why someone who is really experienced can panic. The trick is to know it's there and know that it's the animal part of you saying "get out of the water, you don't belong here". Learn to control that part of yourself and accept it.

Try to hook up with a partner who has some experience. Be truthful about your fears. If he's a cool guy/girl, then he'll respect you for it. Keep diving and pretty soon you'll look in your logbook and laugh about what you wrote. That's what I did!!! And boy did I laugh!!

Scoobidoo
12-31-2007, 22:23
As a DM, here's what I tell those that are new: "If there is a little part of you that enjoyed yourself, then keep diving because given time it all works out".

OK maybe not that exactly and I'm no poet on these sites but that's the basics. When I started, I had the same anxiety about all the water above me. It felt crushing!! But like everyone has said, the more you dive the better it gets.

However, always remember that even when it goes away, it's still there in the back of your head. Like a monster, it can slam into you full force given the right circumstances. That's why someone who is really experienced can panic. The trick is to know it's there and know that it's the animal part of you saying "get out of the water, you don't belong here". Learn to control that part of yourself and accept it.

Try to hook up with a partner who has some experience. Be truthful about your fears. If he's a cool guy/girl, then he'll respect you for it. Keep diving and pretty soon you'll look in your logbook and laugh about what you wrote. That's what I did!!! And boy did I laugh!!
Thanks!! Another reason why I kept doing it is the people. Divers come together in a community and I got so much out of it just by chatting to you guys :smiley20:

Kokomo
12-31-2007, 22:50
I became certified 2 years ago . I was anxious when I was diving to the point where I had to consciously try to control it. I was especially anxious about depth. I know that I am a little claustrophobic and to me, the further away the surface is, the further away the door is. Anyway, I've had 60 something dives now. I still get anxious but I am way more comfortable than I used to be. I dive as often as I can. That has definitely added to my comfort level. Also, I am very careful not to dive over my comfort level. And...when I am on a training platform, I"ll just fool around and practice my skills. The more second nature this stuff becomes, the more comfortable I am. It does get better the more you dive.

RoadRacer1978
12-31-2007, 23:19
It has been said numerous times, but keep diving and it will get better. I am still a new diver myself and I can tell you it will get better. I still get nervous evertime I dive in a new unfamiliar spot ad it takes a couple dives there before I start to calm down a bit. Try to slow down and have fun. Oce you get the bugs worked out and find your proper weighting, boutancy will start getting easier. You can also take a Buoyancy class. If you go through PADI they offer a Peak Performance Buoyancy (PPB) class. I did PPB as one of my dives in AOW and found it to be very helpful. We went over proper weighting and found our correct weighting for the configutation and conditions we were diving. This gives you a base line to start with when conditions change. We also did several skills under the water to practice buayancy. I can tell you that one dive did more for me learning to control my buoancy than anythin I have done before. If you find a good instructor, I highly reccommend the class.

Have fun, and keep us posted on your progress.

whse56
01-01-2008, 00:44
My suggestions would be to get a dive partner that you trust and explain your concerns. Keep your dive partner within touching distance, make sure that he or she makes eye contact with you every couple of minutes. It's amazing how comfortable you can get when you know and trust your dive partner.
Another thing that might help your anxiety would be to get a pony tank or spare air. Having your own backup that can get you to the surface without emergency procedures helps some people with the bad thoughts. Just having a seperate air source without having to catch your dive buddies attention is kinda nice.
The other thing that helps me is practice your mask flooding, mask removal, reg swap, you know all of the basics. Practice helps everyone with comfort levels.

fisherdvm
01-01-2008, 08:09
Take a xanax, valium, and 2 glasses of wine. Dive to 200 ft till you are well narced, and enjoy! Hey, I'm just trying to get my 10 buck gift certificate, don't take me seriously.

Scoobidoo
01-01-2008, 15:35
Take a xanax, valium, and 2 glasses of wine. Dive to 200 ft till you are well narced, and enjoy! Hey, I'm just trying to get my 10 buck gift certificate, don't take me seriously.
LOL...and literally, the last thing you wanna do is to dive. So I am on my way to the $50 voucher as well.

I'm taking everyone's advise and planning the next dive, I have a choice of going on a boat dive or a shore dive, either or I'll be going with knowledgeable people. Any advise which one I should go to?

RoadRacer1978
01-01-2008, 15:55
Which type of entry are you more comfortable with, boat or shore? Will the shore entry be at a beach and include a surf entry? Since we are talking about controlling your anexiety, I'd reccommend going with the one that is the least stressful on you.

snagel
01-01-2008, 16:30
Hang in there....it took me about 25 dives before I quit having that "freakout" moment when my head went under. Until then, do your best to stay calm and enjoy. I promise you this will go away. Everybody I've talked to had to go through this.

S. Nagel

BuzzGA
01-01-2008, 18:11
My wife is still a fairly new diver and is still not totally comfortable but with each dive she says her comfort level rises. Some of the things she did to help herself get relaxed was getting in a pool with her gear (a good Christmas present last year) and a just sitting on the bottom getting used to everything and then running through some drills (clearing mask...etc) with a friend of ours who is an instructor. She knew that the pool was an easy environment so she didn't have to worry about currents, waves, vis etc. Also on shallower dives once we are in the water we quickly find a sandy spot and stop for a minute or two. It gives her a chance to get all of her bearings, "take a deep breath" and then we head off. It will get better with time

Kokomo
01-01-2008, 18:28
Take a xanax, valium, and 2 glasses of wine. Dive to 200 ft till you are well narced, and enjoy! Hey, I'm just trying to get my 10 buck gift certificate, don't take me seriously.
LOL...and literally, the last thing you wanna do is to dive. So I am on my way to the $50 voucher as well.

I'm taking everyone's advise and planning the next dive, I have a choice of going on a boat dive or a shore dive, either or I'll be going with knowledgeable people. Any advise which one I should go to?

Where do you live and what kind of conditions do you normally dive in? I tend to be more comfortable with shore dives. I've been lucky. My husband is a divemaster and I feel very safe diving with him. The reason I like shore diving is because we can have our own agenda. I don't have to worry about others' time limits or worry about keeping up with other people. We can just do whatever we want to. In Bonaire we did one boat dive and it wasn't a problem...I just didn't go quite as deep as some of the others. And in the Keys it was all boat diving but they didn't send a divemaster in with you so hubby and I could follow our own agenda...just be back to the boat in an hour. So that was ok , too.

cummings66
01-02-2008, 21:05
I believe that every diver out there can feel anxiety given the right situation. If I took a diver with 1000 dives into a cave, deep into it I'd be willing to bet you that he'd have a higher SAC rate than if we did a dive to 60 feet. I think anxiety tends to show first in a higher breathing rate, then eventually panic after things go south or not as expected.

Be aware of your limitations and dive within them and you'll feel better, that lets you grow.

wheelman
01-02-2008, 22:01
Be aware of your limitations and dive within them and you'll feel better, that lets you grow.

That is excellent advice. Give it time and you will feel better and progress.

texdiveguy
01-02-2008, 22:10
Lets not forget that a wee bit of 'anxiety' is of benefit to the diver.

cummings66
01-05-2008, 09:06
I suspect a bit of anxiety is a good sanity check. I know in a new situation I think about it and take things slow to insure my continued well being. I'm not the one to rush in.

ixrayu
01-05-2008, 23:29
As a very anxious new diver at the beginning of our dive season last year, the keep diving is really the best advice. I also only dive with my husband (who says that I am no good to him dead. So I know he is watching me)when son goes he is with other friends. I stay at depths that I am comfortable at and Gary does not ask any more of me. Wouldn't do him any good to anyway. I'm stubborn. I also practice the basic skills like mask removal, etc.

RoyN
01-05-2008, 23:49
I think it grows on everybody, the anxious goes away when you finally open your eyes to the underwater world. Thats what happen to me. :) Around my 25th dive, I stopped being worried about my air, weights, how I look and then I started feeling more relax and then the diving completely took hold of me and costed me my gf and surface life. :D But I still dive.

Scoobidoo
01-06-2008, 04:43
...diving completely took hold of me and costed me my gf and surface life. :D ...
Ouch...

OTGav
01-06-2008, 22:27
I've found that little rituals before you go in are good to help relax too.

Gear check ritual - you can be sure you've got everything where it should be.

Then I like to do something a bit like I hear bobsleigh guys do before a run - sort of imagine what we are going to do and run it through in my head, round here it's all boat dive in open ocean....."jump in, currents is running a bit so swim up to the line - have a rest, go down to 5m, check how I'm doing, buddy? Drop down to 20m, sort out bouyancey - take a min just to check all my crap is where I want it, and wander off to the SW until 100 bar..."

I'm doing my DM course at the moment, still do my little ritauls before all my dives - helps me build relaxation into the dive, and helps with all those little saftey checks along the way. Also is a big help with route planning and remembering where to ascend.

The big thing to remember is there is no rush to do anything once your in the water, take it all nice and slow and get yourself comfy - is more fun that way and you see more than if you're racing around all over the shop.

Getting your weight right will help loads too - just makes life hard when it's wrong.

Scoobidoo
01-06-2008, 22:44
I've found that little rituals before you go in are good to help relax too.

Gear check ritual - you can be sure you've got everything where it should be.

Then I like to do something a bit like I hear bobsleigh guys do before a run - sort of imagine what we are going to do and run it through in my head, round here it's all boat dive in open ocean....."jump in, currents is running a bit so swim up to the line - have a rest, go down to 5m, check how I'm doing, buddy? Drop down to 20m, sort out bouyancey - take a min just to check all my crap is where I want it, and wander off to the SW until 100 bar..."

I'm doing my DM course at the moment, still do my little ritauls before all my dives - helps me build relaxation into the dive, and helps with all those little saftey checks along the way. Also is a big help with route planning and remembering where to ascend.

The big thing to remember is there is no rush to do anything once your in the water, take it all nice and slow and get yourself comfy - is more fun that way and you see more than if you're racing around all over the shop.

Getting your weight right will help loads too - just makes life hard when it's wrong.
Thanks Gav! This is very helpful, I'll try it next time I go diving. Where about in Brisbane are you? I'd like to go there one day on a diving trip.

The problem seems to be worse when the visibility underwater is bad, when I can't see stuff I'm worried. I'm also trying to get use to the million of things to think about. The inflator hose, air, breathing, finning, ascending/descending speed, navigation....

Luna
01-07-2008, 07:38
I was about to start a new thread about my issue but I guess it relates quite well to anxiety as well...

I'm taking my OWD at the moment. I've been to pool now 3 times (done confined water dives 1 & 2, partly 3) and finally I start to feel a bit more relaxed. The biggest reason for my somewhat slow or at least challenging progress is that at some point of the dive I start breathing out from my nose. First I thought it was only my mask leaking so I tried several different ones, but now I admit that the problem is in me, not in the mask... :smiley9: Last dive showed clear progress as I was able to be in the pool 1,5h before this started. And for the first time diving as a matter of fact felt quite nice! But it's quite annoying as even though I try to concentrate to exhale through the regulator, it's difficult to stop it underwater once it has started and I feel a need to hold my mask. So last time I had also a feeling of inhaling some water through the nose and it started to feel so annoying that I decided to ascent - stupid me.:smiley24:

This makes me wonder if I ever dare to dive as "deep" as 15m or so... Hopefully this is something that goes away just by practicing and diving. However I don't have anymore problems with clearing the mask or being without it. But all tips to this problem are welcome...

cummings66
01-07-2008, 12:30
With all things time will help, however a good saying is this. Perfect practice makes perfect. That means if you want to improve in diving you must practice it, but you need to do it the right way and not the wrong if you want to see improvements.

At the point you are right now just concentrate on getting things down well enough to pass the course, then afterwards start diving. Keep it simple, don't do anything deep. Shallow dives are more challenging to skills than a deep dive is. Deep dives require planning abilities and a slightly different skill set depending on how deep you go, but for an OW diver just dive shallow until you feel comfortable.

wgt
01-07-2008, 15:01
I was about to start a new thread about my issue but I guess it relates quite well to anxiety as well...

I'm taking my OWD at the moment. I've been to pool now 3 times (done confined water dives 1 & 2, partly 3) and finally I start to feel a bit more relaxed. The biggest reason for my somewhat slow or at least challenging progress is that at some point of the dive I start breathing out from my nose. First I thought it was only my mask leaking so I tried several different ones, but now I admit that the problem is in me, not in the mask... :smiley9: Last dive showed clear progress as I was able to be in the pool 1,5h before this started. And for the first time diving as a matter of fact felt quite nice! But it's quite annoying as even though I try to concentrate to exhale through the regulator, it's difficult to stop it underwater once it has started and I feel a need to hold my mask. So last time I had also a feeling of inhaling some water through the nose and it started to feel so annoying that I decided to ascent - stupid me.:smiley24:

This makes me wonder if I ever dare to dive as "deep" as 15m or so... Hopefully this is something that goes away just by practicing and diving. However I don't have anymore problems with clearing the mask or being without it. But all tips to this problem are welcome...

What happens if you are using your snorkel with your mask? Do you still exhale through your nose? My hunch is that getting a bit of skill with the snorkel might transfer to the use of the regulator.

Luna
01-08-2008, 08:27
What happens if you are using your snorkel with your mask? Do you still exhale through your nose? My hunch is that getting a bit of skill with the snorkel might transfer to the use of the regulator.I haven't noticed it happening with the snorkel. At least when swimming, haven't tried it at 5m or so ;) But I agree that practicing with snorkel might help. Actually first time I ever really used one, was when we were practicing changing from regulator to snorkel and vice versa in session 2. It was a bit challenging for the beginning as I had never even tried emptying a snorkel before that... Practicing isn't just too easy here at this time of the year when all the lakes start to be frozen and you're not allowed to use snorkel in public swimming pools besides those times reserved for clubs etc. (and that's when we're having our course, so cannot practice it on my own except at home in a baby bathtub... :uhoh:).

Kingpatzer
01-08-2008, 08:56
Personally, I took to diving like a fish. My wife was not so lucky, she really had to make herself get under water and focus on relaxing and just trying to get through a dive. But after about 30 dives or so, she really got into it and now I can't get her out of the water.

(Side note, if anyone sees a really cute hungarian lugging a new BC and tanks to a lake, let her know that I'm looking for my credit card, cause I need some new gear too . . .)

Anyway, probably the best thing you could do is find a local dive shop with a pool and just go play in the deep end. It doesn't matter what you do, just get under water and get comfortable with the equipment. Blow bubbles and it all works out ok after a bit.

Scoobidoo
01-08-2008, 16:44
...Anyway, probably the best thing you could do is find a local dive shop with a pool and just go play in the deep end. It doesn't matter what you do, just get under water and get comfortable with the equipment. Blow bubbles and it all works out ok after a bit.
Thanks. I have done that, and have to say diving in the pool helps "relax" a lot knowing it's a safe and confined environment, everything seems fine in the pool.

But things change when I'm in the sea, my senses change - I'm suddenly very aware that water is salty, counting every breath and there are meters of water above me, am I finning properly...etc.

I have thought about giving up all together, maybe diving is not my thing. But thanks to you guys, maybe this is something every diver has to grow out of. I will be taking a private AOW course with my sister soon, and do our best to "learn" the basic skills properly, and take things from there. After reading all the nice posts on advises and experiences, I'm still optimistic! :smiley20:

OTGav
01-09-2008, 08:13
But things change when I'm in the sea, my senses change - I'm suddenly very aware that water is salty, counting every breath and there are meters of water above me, am I finning properly...etc.

I have thought about giving up all together, maybe diving is not my thing. But thanks to you guys, maybe this is something every diver has to grow out of. I will be taking a private AOW course with my sister soon, and do our best to "learn" the basic skills properly, and take things from there. After reading all the nice posts on advises and experiences, I'm still optimistic! :smiley20:

Private Adv course will be fun, but I'd consider leaving it a few dives until you sign up for a date. One of the things that you could ask yourself before booking on is "am I generally happy having fun diving at 10-18m?".

I think very soon the answer will be "yes" for you, but no point adding to any current stresses by loading on 5 more layers of skills and learning before it is.

Adv course isn't too hard at all, and it has some great skills to learn along the way - but it is more learning and skills testing rather than just going out and having fun. I guess all I'm saying is get to a point where you are having fun for the full duration of a nice regular dive before booking onto a course that involves trying out deep / night/ drift / wreck diving.

I only mention it becuase on my Adv course I was buddied with a young lady who had come straight form her OW course and wasn't all-together comfortable - to be honest I don't think she enjoyed having to stretch her comfort level out to new areas before she had worked out what she really enjoyed about being underwater.

So maybe try a few more fun ones and then start the working through books again :smiley2:

P.S. I live in South Brisbane, diving here is great - except for cyclones which, you know, can be a bit annoying.

Puffer Fish
01-09-2008, 08:33
I would hope that knowing you are not the only one with those feelings would help, but nothing beats actual diving. I remember a few years ago, switching from my trusty Poseidon reg to a Zeagle.... the sound was so different, the feeling so odd to me, that I found myself doing the exact same thing...and I have more than just a couple of dives.

But as I found with my students, it is important to be doing something to focus on, or you will be focusing on every micro detail. UW photography (even with a Point and Shoot is great. Hunting for lobster is great. Looking for Sea Horses (or any other specific fish) are all things that allow you to look out and not in.



...Anyway, probably the best thing you could do is find a local dive shop with a pool and just go play in the deep end. It doesn't matter what you do, just get under water and get comfortable with the equipment. Blow bubbles and it all works out ok after a bit.
Thanks. I have done that, and have to say diving in the pool helps "relax" a lot knowing it's a safe and confined environment, everything seems fine in the pool.

But things change when I'm in the sea, my senses change - I'm suddenly very aware that water is salty, counting every breath and there are meters of water above me, am I finning properly...etc.

I have thought about giving up all together, maybe diving is not my thing. But thanks to you guys, maybe this is something every diver has to grow out of. I will be taking a private AOW course with my sister soon, and do our best to "learn" the basic skills properly, and take things from there. After reading all the nice posts on advises and experiences, I'm still optimistic! :smiley20:

thor
01-09-2008, 09:26
Good visualization can also help anxiety. Before a dive, you can think about what you want to do while you are diving. Visualize being neutral and weightless and deep breathing. Go through a virtual dive in your head from descent to ascent. See yourself back on the boat safely. Then when you dive, try to replay this back and execute it. Ohmmmmmm. Ohmmmmmmmm.

Also remember that you can breathe underwater with that regulator you have. You can even cough underwater if you get some water in your mouth or lungs, with the reg in your mouth. And remember, you're smart enough, you're good enough and gosh darnit, people like you.

Mtrewyn
01-09-2008, 12:08
I'm still pretty new my self and I understand your feelings, but every time I go I get a little better, and over time I know I'll be OK. There are still some things that bother me but slowly as I work on them they go away or at least I understand them and I start to feel better.

jwdizney
01-09-2008, 16:54
being also a new diver, I have some pretty major anxiety issues myself! one thing that helps me is knowing that, no matter what the dive plan is, at any time I have the power to call the dive and return to the surface. not only do I keep the dive plan in mind, but i'm also aware of my "escape" plan, should I encounter trouble or even if it just don't feel right. so far, i've not had to use it to abort a dive, but it's always there, just in case.......

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
01-09-2008, 18:11
In my case I wanted to dive so bad anxiety wasn't an issue until after my first few after OW cert. Then all I did was once in the water I just stopped for a moment took a couple deep breathes, focused on the fact that I was doing what I've wanted to do "forever", and all seemed peaceful and calm. So I guess just focus on your reasons for wanting to be under water in the first place and let the quiet and calm relax your anxieties a bit. Then just progress with your dive and enjoy. Like others said with time and experience it will go away.

DallasNewbie
01-12-2008, 23:36
I'm fairly new myself, but I'll add my $.02. For me, being overweighted always contributes to increased anxiety. Being overweighted, you have to add and remove more air from your BCD, concentrate more on boyancy, etc. And the more I think about that stuff, the more anxious I get. I also have trouble getting down sometimes, but I have found that I do not need more weight if I calm down and let myself really exhale. It's amazing how much air you can hold in your lungs when you think they are empty. Especially when you are nervous.

Luna
01-14-2008, 03:07
So I guess just focus on your reasons for wanting to be under water in the first place and let the quiet and calm relax your anxieties a bit. Then just progress with your dive and enjoy. Like others said with time and experience it will go away.Feels so true. Already last session went so much better than the previous ones :smiley32: . I was able to focus on controlling buoyancy etc., not just breathing itself. Can't wait to get to Red Sea in February to do my open water exercises!

MichaelinDallas
01-15-2008, 11:44
I really needed to read this post. I have done one day in the pool and have another coming up. I did go through all of the prolblems above. For a momement, I thought what have I got myself into???

But like THOR said "And remember, you're smart enough, you're good enough and gosh darnit, people like you." Brilliant!

Scoobidoo
01-15-2008, 18:54
Thanks for all the sharing, guys. I will be taking them all with me when I do my next dive in about a week time, will see if I get any better :smiley2:

I have a friend who just had her first OW pool dive yesterday, soon after she's done, she called me and said she doesn't think she is up for it. Like many others, she got caught with the mask clearing drills, she also doesn't feel like she can catch up with the class. She's normally a very composed person, but I guess underwater anxiety can really hit anyone. It's ironic when she calls, I'm telling her things you guys have said in this thread :smiley36:

MichaelinDallas
01-18-2008, 12:36
Spent a night in the pool last night. Had to do a full flood of the mask. I was not looking forward to this at all, don't know why it freaked me out... I had read all the posts to this topic prior to last night. By the end of the night had no problem removing my mask, leaving it off, replacing it and clearing it! Thanks to everyone who contributed on this post.

Michael

fisheater
01-19-2008, 11:51
Glad it all worked out for you.

It's amazing what things that appear pretty darned simple topside, can cause problems when you're in a brand new environment with new rules and sensations.

Scoobidoo
01-22-2008, 15:56
Yesterday, I got back into the lake that I did my OW checkout dives at. Although it wasn't a very interesting dive, no pretty corals or nice fishes, the important thing is: I was not anxious! Fact that it was a much calmer and more familiar environment, also less the salty water, I was able to focus on the dive, rather than "am I doing everything right so I don't die" kind of feeling.

I was also diving with a very experienced instructor (note: experienced instructor, not just an experienced diver). He checked on me literally every 2 minutes to see if I'm ok, cracked jokes on his wetnotes and made sure the dive was kept at my level. Little gestures like that made the dive more enjoyable than any dives I've had! For the first time, I know I'm diving.

"Dive in a familiar environment, dive with someone who will look after you", it really helps!

Goober
01-22-2008, 16:10
Welcome it like the sun on a cool day. It'll keep you sharp. Situational awareness, personaly I'm all about it.

At some point if it is ruleing your dive, use the old..."you know what, if it is my time to go, there is not a damn thing i can do to change it" state of mind. If it is not your time, things will work out:smiley31:.

Don't fight mother earth, physicaly or mentaly. She'll stomp a mud puddle in your @$$ everytime.

cutter77
01-23-2008, 23:26
"I was also diving with a very experienced instructor..."
_____________________
Makes all the difference.~

Mtrewyn
01-24-2008, 01:28
"I was also diving with a very experienced instructor..."
_____________________
Makes all the difference.~


Amen to that :smiley32:

WAHMof2
01-26-2008, 12:17
This is a good thread, and all new divers should read it. If you're having a bit of anxiety problems when starting out, it's nice to know it's not just YOU! When my husband and I took OW, we were both fine in the pool, but our anxiety hit in the lake. The visibility was terrible, which didn't help any, but we both lost that comfort level we had in the pool. What did it for us is that after our second OW dive, the instructor called off the classes for the day, and asked if we just wanted to do a "fun" dive. We all went out to about 25-30 ft, and relaxed on the bottom and fed the fish. Now, all of the sudden, we weren't "working", we were playing. Feeding the animals was so entertaining and relaxing, that we forgot all about being nervous. Before we knew it, 20 minutes had passed and we were having the time of our lives! We went back a couple of days later, finished our OW dives with no problems at all, and couldn't wait to get back in the water. We dove every weekend until the weather got a bit too cold. Now we're counting the days until spring! I truly think every OW class should be broken up with a "fun" dive in there somewhere.

breckere@palmbeachstate.e
05-27-2010, 16:10
I am an experienced diver with over 500 logged dives but have not dived in over two years. The last time I went diving before that was 5 years, so I did most of my diving in the 1990's when I was in my 30's. I was never really anxious back then and did many deep dives pretty fearlessly, and enjoyed myself tremendously underwater. The dive two years ago has sent me into a real anxiety state. I had just turned 50, I was in decent shape, I exercised regularly, but I went diving with a group of avid very experience divers, when I was just returning to diving for the first time after many years. Shortly after submerging, I realized i was having trouble keeping up with them and they did not seem to be watching back at me. We were only in 60 feet of water. I had my first anxiety attack underwater right then. I felt that I would run low on air before they did and would be force to surface alone in 3-4 foot seas. I got a grip on my self. I said "what is this? I love scuba diving and I fought back the panic successfully. I got into enjoying looking at the fish and completed the dive and the second one just fine. However, That experience now haunts me. I haven't dove since then. I want so badly to return to diving but I am obsessed with that memory of panic even though i successfully fended it off. I have considered taking arefresher course but am even anxious abou that! i practice my skills in my pool. I never had any trouble with removing and repalcing my mask underwater before, but now I can get uncomfortable sometimes just breathing from the reg without my mask on. This generally happens when my exhalation of bubbles enters my nose and makes me feel like water could get up there. I even had to surface one time because of this! I am starting to tell mysef "well you had a good run of scuba, you dove the caymans, Bahammas, Fl ect. you are older now 50 years old, it's time to stop these dangerous sports and become a land lover" But I really, in my heart, I still want to keep diving. This is really getting ridiculous! I feel like I need a diving psychiatrist!!!!!

Kimbo
05-28-2010, 08:52
I'm glad you shared this story. I too have had a full blown panic attack under water...what a miserable experience. I made myself go back in the water, again and again to try to get past it. I LOVE DIVING, but the anxiety continues to be a burden even now (why do you think I'm on this page!). I've become more fearful as I've gotten older (older even than you!). But I think that's normal for everyone, diver or not. Every year the first couple of dives kick my butt. After those dives I start getting comfortable and then suddenly remember why I put myself through it. A couple of suggestions: do a refresher course (private if possible). Work with someone you trust. You have the experience and skills and with a little practise you will become more comfortable. Go to a dive spot you love with someone who is aware of your situation and will take their time, not rush you through the dive. If you still have a passion for diving it will find you! I really hope you can get past this - there's so much joy to be found under water and I don't want you to miss it! Wishing you all the best

breckere@palmbeachstate.e
06-01-2010, 08:46
Thanks for your encouragement. I am going to try to take a refresher with a private instructor and just come clean about my anxiety. I do not want to give up scuba!