How do I Overcome a Fear of Drowning?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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Overcoming a fear of drowning should be done by learning proper water safety techniques. Drowning accidents do happen, especially when swimmers or others who spend time near or in the water don't practice prevention tips. While a respectful fear of water is actually helpful in preventing accidents, panic and anxiety about drowning aren't going to stop it from occurring. If you learn swimming and safety techniques, replacing your fear of drowning with life-saving prevention knowledge is possible.

Your public health department is likely to have pamphlets about drowning and its prevention. Learning about how drowning commonly occurs and easy ways to help prevent it can be a good start to addressing your fear. Realize that the information you read may initially cause you to become even more afraid, but tell yourself that the rational facts, as long as you learn and apply them correctly, will help you better ease your fear of drowning. Change your fear into a respect for the power of water and the realization of the need for safety.


After reading about drowning and its prevention, you shouldn't stop there but rather take some classes in your community. Drownproofing is an absolutely essential technique to learn. Contact your local community center swimming pools to find out when they have these classes. You don't have to know how to swim to learn the technique, and it can save your life if you ever find yourself in the position of drowning. Of all the information you can arm yourself with to overcome your fear of drowning, knowing the drownproofing technique is the most crucial because it can actually save your life.

Drownproofing correctly means knowing how to keep your head above water while moving your arms and legs. Breathing technique also factors into proper drownproofing; you should learn this drowning prevention method from a qualified professional only. Anyone who is near the water with you, including children, should also know how to drownproof correctly. To overcome a fear of drowning, as far as other people are concerned, you should also take classes to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you don't already know the life-saving technique.

If someone is drowning, CPR can safe his or her life. The signs aren't usually obvious as swimmers in distress don't always flail their arms, but rather may show subtle signs such as glazed eyes which may be easily missed. Knowing how to perform CPR is a safety technique you should know if you spend time near the water in any capacity. To further overcome your fear of drowning, make sure you practice safe swimming and boating, such as by not going into the water alone and using life rafts and safety jackets.


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