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First dive of the day initial anxiety

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by becky9, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    I seem to have this to varying degrees, usually only lasts a few minutes usually on the descent and mostly consists of a few thoughts along the lines of 'what the hell am I doing here' and then it passes, quickly forgotten about and I really enjoy the dives. Last week at dozzi was a first for me in that I didn't have any at all. Yesterday first dive dropping down on the stanegarth it was quite severe, had a fairly slow descent waiting for the rest of the group who have the odd issue with equalising - but my anxiety lasted down to last few metres above the stern - then quickly forgotten -to the point where I only remembered it today. At the time however the only I can compare with was when I nearly quit on my first pool dive and it has never been quite like it since. I just can't put my finger on why?

    Is this unusual?
     
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  2. Andy Stevenson

    Andy Stevenson Administrator

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    Wednesday night at Stoney last week. I felt awful on the first decent; couldn't equalise, mask leaked, panic was just a fraction off setting in. Second dive was much better, but yes, still had a "what on earth are you doing" moment to begin with. Figured it was beginners wobbles.
     
  3. Jenkins

    Jenkins Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

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    TBH I still sometimes get that moment of "oh *** I'm underwater, can I breathe?". For me it's usually once I have comfortable, so started to relax but not (yet) had my attention grabbed by what I am seeing underwater.

    Also FWIW my other half STILL (with 300+ dives under his weightbelt) has to regularly dissapear for a nervous visit to the loo before a dive :poop:
     
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  4. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    This is what I thought until yesterday Andy, I didn't have any problems with any of my kit (that came later lol!) and I normally enjoy just hanging around in that I really do like descents.

    I wonder if its just thinking about stuff other than diving - just thinking too much, not having had my attention grabbed as it were.

    Its relief to know that its not just me though, although yesterday was a bit bizarre even for me.

    Lol Thank goodness I'm fine before we get in!
     
  5. Jenkins

    Jenkins Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

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    We have evolved to live above water and breathe air, it is inbuilt into us from the moment we are born.

    I think sometimes I just forget (for a moment) that I have a reg in my gob and go "oh shit, I'm under water, I can't breathe"! Not a panic moment, but just a twinge of fear before I remember that I have all this expensive gear that is performing flawlessly (I've done it 100's of times before) and there really is nothing to worry about.
     
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  6. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Thanks J, I guess its some kind of non-oceanic mamalian response perhaps lol :D

    EDIT: Having said that maybe even aquatic mammals would freak a little if they could breath underwater.
     
  7. Roy

    Roy Active Member

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    If you are not at least a little bit nervous when you jump in, thats when complacency sets in and things start to pear shape.
     
  8. Andy Stevenson

    Andy Stevenson Administrator

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    Excellent Roy! I like the theory. The more terrified I am of drowning, the less likelihood there is of it actually happening. Result!
     
  9. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Back at stoney today to complete deep spec, no anxiety or jitters at all today. Really enjoyed it, weather a bit miserable but thoroughly enjoyed the dives. All very peculiar lol :D
     
  10. Nick Ward

    Nick Ward Active Member

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    I've never dived - so perhaps a bit odd to comment, but.. I regularly climb, and used to jump out of perfectly good aeroplanes for fun - and that momentary flutter in the stomach happens everytime still... its good for you. I enjoy doing the stuff that many would consider dangerous, but I take the proper precautions to make myself as safe as I can bandt have always promised myself, the moment I stop being a little bit scared, is the time I stop doing it.

    Others have said it above - that fear keeps you mind sharp, and you body alive.. :)

    Plus, its fun to be a little bit scared now and again.. ;)
     
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  11. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Hi Nick - I can relate to the jumping aeroplanes bit even though I haven't done it so I don't see that it would be odd to comment! (doing my AFF is on my list lol!)

    As I said I've had the jitters initially on most of my dives - but usually its been very short lived, the reason that I was concerned that it was quite severe that I was on the brink of turning tail and surfacing. The thing that made me hang in was the knowledge that previous experience told me that it would pass relatively quickly and that I had the nagging thought that I was being quite ridiculous.

    Welcome aboard btw :D
     
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  12. Nick Ward

    Nick Ward Active Member

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    Thanks for the welcome... :)

    I think thats the the point... the initial fear is there to remind you that what you're doing is pretty risky, and to fine tune your thoughts to make sure you're not going to hurt yourself.

    That the "fear" is short lived is testesment to your skill and knowledge.

    The key is listening to that fear, and knowing when your in control, and when things arent quite right.

    Over the years, I've learnt to listen to that instictual fear... Its saved my life more than once....
     
  13. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Thanks nick, wish it were true but I'm just a confused noob. Probably can't even see a good thing when it stares me in the face - a work definitely in progress though, at least I hope so! :D
     
  14. Nick Ward

    Nick Ward Active Member

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    Its not something that happens over night - it can take years of experience for it all to balance out...

    As I said above, I've not been scuba diving yet - it was snorkelling last weekend thats brought me here, and has inspired me to get myself into scuba diving - but whilst it was an incredible experience, and I loved every second of it - I spent more time feling a little more scared than i wanted - and it was purely because I have no experience of what is safe and what isnt - myself and my friend just decided to do it - so we could have been perfectly safe, or in extrreme danger and really wouldnt have had a clue.

    Over time though - that "anxiety" becomes your safety net.

    A few years back, I was climbing in Scotland - doing a winter ascent I've wanted to do for a long time. Conditions looked perfect, we were fit, and more than ready. We did the long walk in that took a good couple of hours, and I arrived at the gully we were going to climb first - it looked amazing, and I was so excited - but then, I had that little flutter in my stomach, the tingle down my spine as if a little voice was saying "not today" I didnt question it - just turned right around and started the walk back - and when I reached my climbing partner just said "its not right".

    I couldnt explain why, conditions really did look perfect and if I'd questioned it at the time, I'd have been able to justify the climb - but as we walked away, there was an almighty crack, and the cornice at the top of the gully collapsed, causing a massive avalanche down the gully we would have been climbing - there's no way at all we'd have survived it.

    I think over the millions of years humans have evolved, we've lost that"second sense" of danger - that voice that tells "not today" beacuse as a species, we've not needed it. Now, as we choose to put ourselves into dangerous places for fun, we dont always recognise that "voice" and it can be disconcertating...

    Dont worry about it - you'll learn to listen to it :)
     
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  15. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    I sometimes find myself coughing on descents - I think it's a nervous reaction, but it's subconscious, it doesn't always happen or on dives where I'm aware of any concern beforehand.

    I recall on my try dive having two lairy moments where I was literally in two minds - I was mentally screaming "You can't breathe underwater, get to the surface!!!", whilst my rational mind was calmly saying "You've been here 10/15 minutes already, of course you're ok". It was most disconcerting, but I've never (touch wood) encountered it since, I can see why some people bolt for the surface despite all the training against it, although my rational side won out.

    A little nervousness is nature's way of focusing the mind, as long as it doesn't dominate and become panic.

    M
     
  16. Stu @ M Developments

    Stu @ M Developments Active Member

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    Definately a standard survival instinct - I used to get it a lot, especially if I was last in the water and had to jump in and then descend very quickly. Its also a proven involuntary responce to cold water on the face - it can lead to hyperventilating, and is one of the things that can cause drowning when people fall in cold water.

    I found that the best way to overcome it for me was to get in the water and then just float face down and adjust to the water temperature and take in the underwater surroundings so that when I descend, it all feels more "normal"
     
  17. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Strangely I'm now worrying about the reverse of the problem. My last jitters (the one in the op) was 15 dives ago. Ok perhaps I have no major stress, bar the odd leaky mask and a fair few things I've not done before and being pretty much a quarry diver lol. I've been so relaxed from 1st dive to last I'm now wondering if its just overconfidence prior to the fall!
     
  18. Stu @ M Developments

    Stu @ M Developments Active Member

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    I suspect that the 15 dives in 2 weeks is the answer...
    Thats a lot of diving so being submerged in fluid is becoming more normal to your body now and as a result your less stressed by it both physically and mentally.

    Good going - well done. :)
     
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  19. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    I'd not thought of it like that Stu, probably makes a lot of sense though. :D

    edit: It does seem longer than a few weeks, how time flies when you're having fun!
     
  20. aquanaut

    aquanaut Well-Known Member

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    Honestly just do not let yourself be concerned by it, keep your mind on the task(s) at hand , you know your in control of your diving most of the time hey:thumbup: , your breathing(kinda important) so if those two are in place why you worrying . There are things that need your attention, if your busy worrying about why the hell your down there , you may miss something happening that you really should have noticed. So quit worrying and enjoy it all from start to finish :) .
     
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