Experiencing some lingering distress , mental or emotional issues after a traumatic experience is relatively common. Mostly, the person heals and the problem resolves naturally. However, for a proportion of people this reaction may develop into psychological stress injury or post-traumatic stress (disorder, i.e. PTSD). Divers do occasionally face challenging incidents or circumstances, such as decompression illness, barotrauma, entrapment/entanglement, lost gas events and rapid ascents. … Continue reading Scuba diving PTSD: how common is it, why does it matter and what may be done?
Every year I pick a theme for Fit To Dive’s work. There are so many ways psychology can improve diving, and vice versa, it’s easy to get lost while chasing ideas. It helps to have a little bit of a path to keep coming back to. I use one word. Since the middle of last year, I thought that I had decided the word. Yet, … Continue reading Intentions for 2023
In December 2021 I asked: …is it okay if we talk about what happens when dives go wrong? Is that something you would talk about with your buddies, or instructors? The rest of the newsletter read: Diving Psychology can help scuba divers in all sorts of ways, but there’s only one of me so next year I’m focusing on psychological trauma in diving. That’s stress injuries, or post-traumatic stress … Continue reading Review of 2022
Stress (or more accurately distress) is strangely similar to nitrogen. As divers we protect ourselves from injury because we understand the way that nitrogen build up in the body while breathing compressed gas/air during a dive. Being aware of the way that distress can be stored in the body can help to recover from a bad dive experience. That experience may be anything along a … Continue reading Distress decompression to recover from a bad dive experience
This month I was honored to be invited to the British Hyperbaric Association (BHA) annual meeting, and conference hosted by DDRC Healthcare (was Diving Diseases Research Centre). I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk about my work and share the ways that Diving Psychology can help divers. I presented a recent case, where the diver was helped to recover from a distressing diving experience … Continue reading Presenting at the British Hyperbaric Association Annual Conference 2022
When someone is physically harmed in an accident, we tend to have a rough understanding of the urgency of medical help. If the person has severe bleeding, broken bones, respiratory distress or other obvious signs of physical trauma, immediate healthcare is required. Some diving-related injuries are less obvious, particularly decompression illness, where symptoms can be mild. Yet, the advice is clear: if the person has … Continue reading PTSD after diving accident: when to seek help?
Do you think there is enough information and support for scuba divers after diving goes wrong? Not the immediate rescue, aftermath and medical assistance, but resources for mental and emotional impact. What about when there was no need for rescue and support, yet the diver is struggling to make sense of what happened or experiencing post-trauma issues. Would you be aware of options in this … Continue reading New page to inform divers of support and self-help when a dive goes badly wrong
If you’ve been following my work in diving psychology, you’ll know one of the topics of interest is panic and anxiety in scuba diving. You may also have noticed that the handful of surveys I tend to quote are rather old! That’s not because I do not look, it’s because there just is not a lot of research on this issue. Something to also note: … Continue reading Diver Panic: new survey & in depth article
Diving is not always easy and sometimes things go wrong. The physical impacts of diving-related trauma are the realm of dive medicine, where we are making developments all the time in treating decompression illness and barotrauma. But what about the psychological aspects? Are we talking enough about trauma in diving, and developing support for those who need it? In the UK (for example) our healthcare … Continue reading Psychological Trauma in Diving
Diving can be challenging & exhilarating or a relaxing escape from everyday life. Whichever sort of diving you are looking for, have you tried these ways to make scuba diving easier? Stay shallow & stick within limits Obvious, but frequently overlooked. Deeper and more challenging diving comes with more risks and increased stress, particularly when done before the diver is ready. Limits of depth and … Continue reading Ways to make scuba diving easier