Fear of Whirlpools

Whirlpools are an interesting phenomenon. For many they are beautiful to behold, although the danger of whirlpools is widely recognized. Some whirlpools are as small as draining a sink filled with water while others can be larger than the largest boat. Those who fear whirlpools are said to have Dinophobia. This term is also used to describe someone who fears dizziness.

A whirlpool can develop unexpectedly. In this way they can be a bit like a tornado or hurricane, but found in water. The result of being caught in a whirlpool could mean death. However, instead of having a healthy caution the phobic personality would likely stay completely away from water potentially resulting in at least one secondary fear.

What Causes Dinophobia?

For many the visual phenomenon of a whirlpool on television or in movies can introduce the danger of whirlpools. This can lead to an obsession with the naturally occurring event. That obsession can lead to avoidance and the avoidance can ultimately become a phobia.

It’s possible an individual develops the fear from personally observing a whirlpool or getting caught in one, or they might be reflecting a fear they learned from a trusted adult in their lives.

To be clear there is nothing wrong or unhealthy about having a strong respect for the power of a whirlpool, but an unreasoning fear needs to be dealt with.

Symptoms of Dinophobia

An individual with this fear will avoid the ocean and lakes. They may even extend that to rivers and streams. They may avoid baths in favor of a shower because of the potential for a whirlpool as the water drains.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Extreme air hunger
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Feelings of control loss
  • Trembling
  • Weeping
  • Screaming
  • Fainting

These individuals may feel as if they are drowning by simply observing large bodies of water.

How to Overcome Dinophobia

Understanding that whirlpools are naturally occurring can be somewhat helpful in facing your fear. They are not the result of some plot designed to kill or hurt others. Whirlpools are no more unusual than tornadic activity or hurricanes. No different than snow or rain. And while these forces of nature can be feared there is also hope for each phobic tendency that the fear can be reduced and the reaction altered.

In order to do that the phobic individual will need to find a support group to help after seeking the assistance of a therapist. The reason a therapist can be helpful is it is not easy to simply say to yourself, “I will not fear anymore.” There needs to be some guidance in learning how to face the fear and how to approach your response rationally rather than emotionally.

This fear is also used to indicate a fear of dizziness. The whole idea of a swirling motion can be used within the naming of Dinophobia.

So it is possible other fears such as amusement rides, tornadoes, hurricanes and even earthquakes would be additional fears this phobic personality might experience.

The fear of whirlpools is also referred to as:

  • Whirlpool fear
  • Dizziness fear
  • Dinophobia
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