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Lake Phobia

No, lake phobia isn't a pond in the village square or a secluded fishing hole in the local state park. It's not a new horror flick either, although someday it might be.

Lake phobia is a real psychological disorder known as limnophobia, an irrational and persistent fear of lakes.

 

Lake phobia

 

Lake phobia is a real psychological disorder known as limnophobia, an irrational and persistent fear of lakes.

The word's prefix, limno or limn, is from the Ancient Greek word for fresh water, but a limnophobe's aversion isn't limited to just freshwater lakes. Limnophobes fear what lies below any lake's calm surface. That's why they find murky swamps, brackish marshes and cloudy ponds particularly disturbing.

What does lie beneath the surface? Dangerous underwater creatures that will attack them? Strangling aquatic vines and other plants that will drag them into the depths and drown them? And what if they became ill while on the water? What might happen then? These are among a limnophobe's most pressing fears.

Although those with limnophobia know that their worries are unfounded, severe sufferers often have difficulty allaying their aversion to calm lake waters, at least without medical treatment, which may include anti-anxiety medication as well as therapy.

Those of us who love lakes and other bodies of water (aquaphiles) and who enjoy swimming, boating, fishing and water sports both in, on and by the water, may find the unwarranted fears of limnophobes difficult to comprehend. "Who wouldn't want to take a dip in a clear blue lake?" we wonder. "Who wouldn't relish a Sunday morning spent fishing from the shore of an alpine lake?"

Unfortunately, lots of people. A fear of water isn't that unusual. Countless people suffer from lake phobia and other water-related fears, including fear of the ocean (thalassophobia); fear of running water, including river, streams, canals and waterfalls (potamophobia); and a general fear of water (hydrophobia or aquaphobia).

Comments

  • Guest
    Annie Marie Peters Wednesday, 23 April 2014

    Wow! I've never heard of lake phobia before. I love the water! I can't imagine being afraid of it. Then again, growing up in the Midwest, it was always just a natural part of our culture. I would love to take someone out for a relaxing day on the boat and help them overcome their fear!

  • Debbie
    Debbie Wednesday, 09 July 2014

    I was attracted to this post by the title as I actually took it literally at first and thought "Where is the lake that has such a strange name?!" Oh dear, I think I need more coffee today!

    I really do feel for people who have awful phobias like this, it makes living a decent life hard. I love water and would hate to be scared of it.

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Guest Monday, 22 May 2017