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?
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
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
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
Could you be holding onto a block … a feeling of something distressing, challenging or outright traumatic that seems to pop out of nowhere? Maybe you know that it is linked to an accident or other problematic diving experience, or perhaps you have no idea why it happens, just that you feel stressed by a specific scuba skill or situation. These mental blocks can really … Continue reading Removing mental blocks to diving with a new approach
There is something I do that I don’t talk about very much, (partly because I’m not allowed to!). I’ve been working with individual divers who have somehow gotten stuck with their scuba diving. For example anxiety or panic at a particular depth, fears or specific phobias and sometimes distressing experiences in diving. Often the issue is really quite frustrating for them. Usually they’ve tried various … Continue reading Some reasons you want your psychologist diving
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
A metaphor about psychological support We can imagine that going through life is like sailing your own boat across the ocean. We all have different boats, some are faster, some slower. Some are power boats and others sail with the wind. But most importantly we all have different directions that we want to go in, and destinations that we want to visit along the way. … Continue reading Why seeking psychological services is not like calling the coastguard.