Shark-O-Phobic: Shark Attack
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Shark-O-Phobic: Shark Attack

Unusual phobias like selachophobia needs to be taken seriously. But if asked to portray a shark, would a 11 ft. mouthful of serrated meat busters fit the description?

Sharks—Beach goers are stricken just by the thought of it. If asked to portray a shark, would a 11 ft. mouthful of serrated meat busters fit the description? Perhaps no, but that's the first thing you could think of. Long before humans, there were sharks. They've lived millions of years feeding off small fish, and terrorizing the deep waters.

If sharks were to prey on people by choice, the closest scenario will resemble "large fishing boats armed with depth charges or nuclear submarines hunting sharks to extinction!" It simply won't be a fair fight. All irony excluded, it means that shark attacks are overrated, and the fear of shark, selachophobia, is in fact exaggerated.

Are you Shark-O-Phobic?

Being afraid of toothy great white sharks is becoming natural (and popular) these days. But cowering, thrashing, and trembling at the sight of a sailing fin, half submerged underwater, is just too undignifying even for people with legitimate phobias.

Let's talk about phobias for a change. Selacophobia, or the extreme fear of sharks, is an unusual phobia that develops from early childhood to adulthood, where it reaches it's peak if not remedied properly. Like all phobias, selacophobia does not have an exact and accurate cure.

Childhood Selachophobia

Selachophobia starts with the little dread that you inject in your kids' head, like the monster in his closet. You won't realize your kids are taking those words seriously: for instance, selachophobia can originate from telling your kids "that poster you brought home has a shark on it, don't put it in your bedroom. It may come out and bite your head off!"

From there, the child starts to develop a mild degree of selachopobia. He will eventually start showing symptoms such as avoiding shark pictures, movies, and even cartoons. He will learn to hate going to the beach. Later on that will elevate, and he'll be scared even stepping in shallow waters.

Swimmers know Selachophobia

Learning to swim is two folds. Swimming can either make it easier for people with selachophobia to cope and get over it, or worsen their case.

Mostly, swimming is accompanied by awareness. You will learn that shark attacks are very rare and are quite hyped up, and that there are only about 60 shark attacks every year worldwide. Most of them are provoked shark attacks.

On the other hand, swimming can also have a negative effect on people suffering with selachophobia—if they are less informed, or not supervised enough. Since phobias give off erratic and uncontrollable symptoms, like panic and muscle spasms, swimmers with selachophobia are in danger of drowning every time they get into the water.

There are isolated cases reported that people drowned after allegedly having seen a shark. All they've really seen was a dolphin's fin then they panicked.

Rookie swimmers experiencing selachophobia will quit as soon as possible, using the vaguest reason. They might not be able to learn to swim at all.

The Seriousness of Shark-O-Phobia

Unusual phobias like selachophobia needs to be taken seriously. Case in point, phobias like this implicate learning essential skills (swimming) and awareness.

There is no easy cure for selachophobia. After all, "Facing your fear" is your best shot to overcoming it.

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Comments (2)

I agree with you. When I go scuba diving I have that fear but there's work to do so I ignore it.

After Jaws, I won't go past ankle deep in the ocean. I used to swim and ride the waves while being waist deep in the water. No more!