Scuba diving PTSD: how common is it, why does it matter and what may be done?

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?

Review of 2022

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

decompression stop

Distress decompression to recover from a bad dive experience

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

reflect on diving trauma

Psychological Trauma in Diving

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

What can psychology do for divers?

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?

Social reactions to decompression illness

What can sociological and psychological sciences do for divers? Studies of diver behaviour can reveal important factors that contribute to risk of injury and how we react to incidents involving injury and/or fatalities and can potentially inform changes to procedures that can influence social attitudes and individual attributions, and ultimately safety. Several months ago I caught a very brief radio piece referring to research on … Continue reading Social reactions to decompression illness