We at Onder Water Sport TV, thought we could kick this brand new site off with a bang…and something a little bit different!
You see, we are all about watersports, but we take health & safety very seriously and there are too many members of our team that have unfortunately lost some good friends through careless acts.
So without further ado; we present to you are massive guide about how not to panic when scuba diving:
We can differentiate several more or less important states with related fear.
These states are in the order of importance:
- The stress
- The recognition of one of them should lead you to apply a logical response in relation to the emotional state of the moment.
Some of these statements may be stimulating or inhibiting and in absolute terms, we must not seek to curb these states directly, but rather use it as a starting point for an appropriate response that will mitigate or disappearance of emotion.
An important quality that a diver must have in this case is: patience.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Although they are slightly different, there is a tendency to confuse them and that is why we consider them together.
Stress is a more or less temporary physiological condition caused by an interaction of psychosocial external constraints, considered positive if they allow us to give the best of ourselves, and become aggressive when they are incurred since then they exceed our natural limits of adaptation as anxiety is an emotional state consisting of three basic areas:
- The perception of imminent danger, real or undetermined
- A waiting attitude to this danger
- A feeling of disorganization linked to the consciousness of a total helplessness in danger
So the state of emotions resulting from the anticipation or fear of approaching danger. It’s feeling great concern because of the uncertain situation or apprehension of an event that can generate a sense of insecurity, irritability up an uncontrollable fear.
It differs from fear by the intensity of anxiety, it is caused by intense fear, sudden and unexplained from a feeling of imminent threat and which is accompanied by autonomic symptoms characteristic (spasms, dyspnea, tachycardia , sweating, etc …).
From the floating anxiety to debilitating anxiety, frequency and intensity of physical discomfort and mental discomfort vary from one individual to another. Some representative disorders acute stage of anxiety attack are described in panic.
Here is a partial list of disorders that can be experienced, and often overlapping them: the diver aware of his state will recognize these signs and act accordingly.
So once anguish or anxiety detected, it will take steps to relax (see below):
- Twitching legs
- Chest tightness often short rate (panting)
- Chest pain or discomfort: sometimes felt as a precursor to seasickness
- Heart palpitations
- White or trembling voice: difficulty communicating with the monitor
- Tied throat (difficulty swallowing)
- Dry mouth, inability to spit in your mask
- Knotted stomach: feeling like seasickness
- Sweaty hands: hardly detectable
- Sweats (hot flashes and cold)
- Blackouts: does not remember important points of the briefing
- Blush: hardly detectable by the dive sites
- Inability to look someone in the eyes directly visible throughout the dive
These are acute anxiety attacks, sudden terror, accompanied by very heavy physical disorders that are often interpreted as precursors to a heart attack and imminent death.
In diving, panic can occur unexpectedly and spontaneously and can obviously cause a rapid rise with a risk of pulmonary barotrauma and decompression sickness.
The physical and psychological problems it causes (just before the loss of control) are:
- Fear of death: causes a panic rise
- Fear of going crazy: rarely seen underwater, due to the particular nature of the marine environment that will favor rather the fear of death by drowning or stuffiness
- Feeling of unreality: difficulty communicating with the person refusing certain orders or becomes angry when asked to keep the regulator in the mouth by example
- Feel faint: that fortunately does not happen (see below)
- Dyspnoea (difficulty breathing) increased by the resistance of the regulator and the ambient pressure
throttle sensations increased by the resistance of the regulator and the ambient pressure
- Dizziness dizziness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Twitching: associated with tremors
- Tetany (muscle contractions)
Flight or Fight Response
Anxiety is a reaction to an imminent or future danger. From a psychological standpoint, it causes a reaction that is called by some scientists as “face or flee.” The first physiological purpose of anxiety is to prepare the body to handle a situation (muscularly, mentally, etc …) or to flee.
At a time well before our own, “the caveman” already held this “reflex” to respond quickly to the existing constant danger. Even today, in our modern societies and stressful, this old reflex is required.
To understand this principle, imagine your locked car on a railroad track with a train heading towards you. Without any anxiety, there is a good chance that your body reacts slowly and the train hits you.
To sum up this story, the object of anxiety is to protect the body and not to assault. Hence the need for the diver to use anxiety instead of undergo.
In general, when the sympathetic autonomic nervous system starts up, it tends to stimulate all of these components (simultaneous tripping of all the symptoms seen previously) or do nothing at all.
It is so rare to see a single symptom of an anguished person. This is a good thing for the diver will be able to easily detect anxiety through a wide range of possible symptoms.
On a purely biochemical level, the sympathetic nervous system releases two hormones in the body, “adrenaline and noradrenaline”, secreted by the adrenal glands on the kidneys. The role of these hormones is to allow the sympathetic system to be able to continue its effects in time.
It is therefore logical that intense anxiety can not be resolved in minutes. The introduction of soothing techniques for the diver must start at the first symptoms recognized to obtain a rapid effect. If recognition is late, or if the time between registration and immersion is very short, the diver will have to be careful to avoid other events or stressful situations do come amplify the mechanism.
The activity triggered by the sympathetic system will still be interrupted in two ways:
Epinephrine and norepinephrine are destroyed by other chemicals in the body.
The parasympathetic nervous system starts to restore a state of relaxation. We must realize that the body is self-protective and triggers the parasympathetic system that anguish lasts forever and it reaches a dangerous level for the organization.
This takes a little time but can still be accelerated by the diver, using relaxation methods.
Another important point is not to ignore that adrenaline and norepinephrine present in the body after an anxiety stage need a certain time before being neutralized (time required for the adaptation of a life hostile environment where danger can reappear and where the body needs to remain ready to respond in case of return of danger. this is characterized by a small dive persistent anxiety and a sizeable fatigue in the stressed person.
This is because it is unnecessary to take a dive too long in a person who has already arrived to fight anxiety. This feat requires a lot of physiological energy, physical and mental. Wanting absolutely endure immersion can lead to not enjoy fully the last minute, and therefore out of the water with a poor memory of the experience. in addition, we must not forget that fatigue and anxiety are factors favoring breathlessness, cold, panic and therefore, the pulmonary pressure or decompression sickness following a panic.
The effects on the cardiovascular system
The essential change that will take place at this level helps prepare the body to react quickly with the aim of creating an accelerated pace in order to increase the supply of oxygen to tissues.
This also results in an increase in the strength of the heartbeat that causes an often bothersome sensation and amplifies the feeling of anxiety.
In order to provide enough oxygen to vital parts, blood flow changes by diverting blood from places where it is least useful (peripheral vasoconstriction) to vital organs and the large muscles of the thighs and arms. (Also, in the life of every day, this is very useful in case of injury as this lessens the risk of fatal hemorrhage).
Other physiological effects
Other symptoms (caused by activation of the sympathetic nervous system) may appear. They are neither harmful nor dangerous.
- Dilated pupils, Let go more light but can create a blurred vision
- Decreased salivation: Dry mouth (increased effect by dry air from the bottle and can sometimes become unpleasant)
- Decreased activity of the digestive system causes nausea and heaviness in the stomach
- Usually, because this sequence of side effects requires a lot of energy, people feel tired eventually, exhausted, drained
The behavioral mechanism
Since all of the symptoms mentioned above has only one purpose: to prepare the body to deal with a particular situation or flee, it becomes clear that those subjected to these physical symptoms n ‘ have only one desire: to flee the place where they are.
If the leak is not possible (as can happen on a boat) and anxiety about control, some attitudes may appear to begin pacing, foot tapping or become unsociable. Once in the water against, this can lead to panic, abandoning voluntarily or abandonment by simulating any problem.
The mental mechanism
The first objective of anxiety or anxiety is to alert our organization to potential danger: the result is immediate and automatic diversion of attention. Vigilance takes orders to scan the area to detect any potential threat.
It becomes difficult to focus on common tasks. It is normal for a diver to feel inattentive, be it at the briefing, surface or underwater.
This state of vigilance also affects short-term memory, so listen long briefing is often unnecessary.
As we have said previously, anxiety states or anxiety are important to the limits of what the panic. The reason is that vigilance will try to detect an external cause that could explain the discomfort felt. Still, it is sometimes difficult to find a real threat (especially if the monitor has established an impeccable safety). In this case, introspection will no longer take place on the outside but inside the person, “if there is nothing outside that can make me anxious, there must be something who does not ring with me running.
Obviously in diving it is on breathing that will bring the threat “I’m choking, I’m going to drown.” These reactions, distressing, however, are normal and should not worsen. It therefore becomes important to then take control with some simple techniques that we will develop further.
So there you have it, a basic run through of some of the symptoms to look out for when diving.
It can be a little bit scary to think that we may not even notice some of these issues when immersed in a dive, but with the proper preparation and training, we can easily overcome any of these problems.