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
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?
Why am I excited to share my first article on diving psychology in DAN Europe (Divers Alert Network Europe) Alert Diver magazine?!I’ve been thinking/talking/writing about Diving Psychology for over a decade now .. but it was around 2015 I really started looking for what was already out there. Turns out, not very much at all! But one of the few places I found useful articles … Continue reading First article in Alert Diver
I wrote PADI Psychological Diver in 2015, and created the elearning in 2016. It’s always been that students take the elearning, and then (to receive the PADI certification) must attend in person for the classroom session or optional dives. The course can be completed “dry”. For years divers have contacted me from all over the world, asking if we can do the classroom session online. … Continue reading Doing the PADI Psychological Diver course during lock-down
If you are looking for a way to improve your scuba skills, consider learning effective techniques to mentally rehearse any skills. You can read our brief introduction on the PADI blog below. If you would like to learn this skill more deeply, and be aware of how to avoid the pitfalls, please check out our course. The course guides you through this accessible way to … Continue reading Improve scuba skills from your sofa
When we do something new, we often benefit from rehearsing the skills and getting familiar with the situation. To actually do this, we need to be in the real-life situation. In scuba diving that usually means underwater, with all of our kit and people to dive with. But we don’t have to be! We can also practice skills using mental rehearsal for scuba diving. What … Continue reading Mental Rehearsal for Scuba Diving
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?
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?