Aquaphobia (Fear Of Water): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, And More

Last Update on March 30, 2023 : Published on March 30, 2023

Aquaphobia is known as the fear of water. Aquaphobia is one of the common phobias which vary from person to person. Triggers of aquaphobia can also be different from person to person. Some people might be afraid of big water bodies, fear of swimming, fear of drowning in bathtubs, or entering the water.

Sometimes, aquaphobia for some people can be so pervasive that some people can’t even stand water spraying or splashing over them.

Their phobia is so severe that it can cause a phobic reaction to them. In this blog, I have covered what is aquaphobia along with its symptoms, causes, treatment, differences, and more. So, let’s get started.

What is Aquaphobia?

People who experience aquaphobia generally struggle with fear of water.  It is a specific phobia disorder. Someone experiencing fear of water may have extreme anxiety or fear while thinking, seeing, or experiencing the splash of water.

People with aquaphobia generally avoid going to places related to water bodies such as lakes, seashores, swimming pools, and others. People with severe aquaphobia avoid bathing, showering, or even using water to wash their face or hands.

People experiencing panic disorder, anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, or any other type of specific phobia then they are more likely to develop aquaphobia or any other kind of specific phobia disorder.

Learning the Difference: Aquaphobia Vs. Hydrophobia Vs. Thalassophobia

Some people might get confused with other terms of specific phobias such as:

The above-mentioned specific phobias related to water are different from each other. To keep it short:

Hydrophobia is a fear of water that is related to a late-stage rabies infection. Aquaphobia is an extreme fear of water which is mostly triggered by traumatic events. And, thalassophobia is related to the extreme fear of large water bodies.

To read more about specific phobias: List of Phobias

Symptoms of Aquaphobia

Symptoms of aquaphobia range from mild to extreme and vary from person to person. Below is the list of some common symptoms related to aquaphobia:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Intense sweating
  • Increased heart rate or rapid breathing
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Panic attack
  • Pale skin
  • Strong feelings of terror
  • Shaking, trembling, or tensingmuscles

Anything related to water can trigger aquaphobia in an individual. some of the common triggers related to aquaphobia are:

  • Bathtubs
  • Drinks
  • Fountains
  • Movies
  • Sinks
  • Showers
  • Swimming pools
  • TV Shows
  • Water bodies such as rivers, lakes, or oceans

Causes of Aquaphobia

Below are some of the common causes of aquaphobia:

1.Traumatic events

Someone who’s experienced traumatic events related to water in the past is at risk of developing aquaphobia. For example, if someone has seen a loved one drowning in water, they are at risk of developing aquaphobia in the future.

2. Negative stories

Someone who’d heard scary or negative stories related to water during childhood or has watched movies like Titanic is at risk of developing aquaphobia.

3.Family history

If someone has a history of aquaphobia or any other specific phobia disorder, then they are at risk of developing aquaphobia or another specific phobia. According to psychology, people with a history of specific phobias get more anxious as compared to people with no family history of specific phobias.

4. Modelling

Hearing or seeing someone sharing their experiences related to specific phobias can also trigger the same phobia within an individual.

Living Life with Aquaphobia

Water is an important part of human life. When someone starts avoiding water or water-related activities, it becomes more awkward or difficult to live. People with severe aquaphobia are not even able to stand splashing or spraying water, this situation becomes life-limiting.

In some cases, the fear is also combined with ablutophobia (fear of bathing). This specific phobia can have devastating effects on overall life quality.

It can also affect self-esteem negatively. People with aquaphobia are not able to maintain regular cleanliness and hygiene, this shows that they are at an elevated risk of physical and mental health diseases as they allow bacteria and dirt to get over their hair and skin.

Treatment of Aquaphobia

Aquaphobia is quite well treated and managed. With the help of psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, self-help techniques, and medication (according to symptoms) can help overcome aquaphobia effectively.

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy techniques like exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and hypnotherapy can help overcome the symptoms of aquaphobia. Out of all therapy methods, exposure therapy is known to be one of the main treatment methods for treating this phobia.


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2. Self-Help Techniques

Regular meditation, yoga, and other relaxing techniques can help reduce anxiety related to phobia. Meditation is one of the best ways to combat panic attacks.

I hope this blog helps you understand all you need to know about Aquaphobia. Comment down and share your views on the same. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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