Yesterday I was teaching PADI Psychological Diver, on a Zoom call, with six divers from around the world. The course encourages sharing of experiences, fascinating discussions and inspiration. This course was no different, and one of the ideas hit with such force, it has to be shared. Towards the end of the classroom session we look at diver stress and how panic develops. Experiences of … Continue reading How isn’t there a dive signal for panic?
It’s the beginning of a new year and a new decade. I’ve had the iceberg metaphor in mind since the end of December. Fueled by the excitement of what is there to explore and the frustration of communicating it sometimes. This post is simply a wander through some of that and a reflection on dive psychology. The iceberg dive How deep does it go? Where … Continue reading The Dive Psychology Iceberg
Freaking out when scuba diving is understandable As a new scuba diver, it is not unusual to get a bit freaked out at some point. It can happen during training, or maybe not till 10, 20, 50 … dives in. It’s hardly surprising though, because we are going into an extreme environment. We can’t breathe. Everything looks kind of weird and strange things can happen. … Continue reading Why am I freaking out when scuba diving, for no reason?
Divers frequently talk to me about the difficulties they have had with anxieties in scuba diving. Struggling to scuba dive in training is not unusual. Once, I talked to a woman who had not managed to complete her open water training, but had faced some difficult conditions on the course dives. She said: “It was really hard, but I toughed it out and got through … Continue reading Struggling to learn to scuba dive, should I tough it out?
You know that you want to go scuba diving, and put a lot of time and effort into getting ready for the dive. You were excited about getting back under the water and looking forward to what you might see. But, when you see the thumbs down signal and go to press your deflate button, you suddenly find it really hard to let yourself slip … Continue reading Why do I feel panicky when descending underwater?
Because your mind and body sense a threat We are underwater. We would not survive long without our scuba equipment. Experiencing emotions like anxiety and fear is perfectly normal. These emotions are our signals to detect problems. But anxiety can sometimes get out of control, and its useful to reflect on the question “why do I panic underwater?” We have an instinct for survival. We … Continue reading Why do I panic underwater?
Most of the time, a scuba diver who panics will be probably be lucky enough to escape without injury. But that is not always the case, because panic is a state that makes people do strange things. The instinctive actions of someone in a panic underwater can make them a danger to themselves or other people. So what happens if you panic while scuba diving? … Continue reading What happens if you panic while scuba diving?
Gas narcosis in scuba diving Narcosis in scuba diving is the change in thinking and awareness, sensory and motor function and behaviour that occurs at depth. Breathing gas at depth leads to narcosis, often noticed around 30m it can be an issue from around 20m and below. What does nitrogen narcosis mean? Narcosis: “a state of stupor, drowsiness, or unconsciousness produced by drugs.” Oxford English Dictionary Narcosis is … Continue reading What does nitrogen narcosis mean?
Like any extreme environment, being underwater has a profound effect on how we behave and think. Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour, often described as both an art and a science, it provides insights into why we do what we do. But what can psychology do for scuba divers? “There is magic in human behaviour and there is an artistry to understanding … Continue reading What can psychology do for divers?