Anxious at safety stop

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dismith

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Hi everybody. I am an female 1000+ dives diver aged 60 who has all of a sudden developed anxiety during safety stops.

I used to be able to hold my stop with no problems, now I rely upon the line which I absolutely hate.
I have no trouble poking around on a 5m shelf while doing the safety it’s only when a line is available. I can feel the anxiety building toward the end of a dive.

Has anybody else experienced this?

cheers
Di
 

lermontov

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Hi everybody. I am an female 1000+ dives diver aged 60 who has all of a sudden developed anxiety during safety stops.

I used to be able to hold my stop with no problems, now I rely upon the line which I absolutely hate.
I have no trouble poking around on a 5m shelf while doing the safety it’s only when a line is available. I can feel the anxiety building toward the end of a dive.

Has anybody else experienced this?

cheers
Di
has anything changed in your routine ? partner, dive profile? gear ? weighting ?
 

dismith

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has anything changed in your routine ? partner, dive profile? gear ? weighting ?
i have added extra weights to compensate but it’s really not helping. The problem is psychological but how to combat…I just don’t know

It doesn’t matter any difference - shore dive, boat dive.

it’s very frustrating and I guess the frustration adds to the anxiety. I have never had anxiety problems before and I’m very chilled and non panicked under the water, only the safety stop . 😖
 

Wibble

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Found the same thing when moving from open circuit to CCR; I kept holding on to the line as a sort of crutch. I consciously made the effort to get stable then back away from the SMB reel and work on my buoyancy. Was quickly resolved, much in the same way as riding a bicycle without stabilisers.

It's odd, but when there's a change, it's like my id (subconscious) wants to return to the comfort blanket of holding on to something. It requires a conscious effort to settle down and return to normality.

Psycology in diving, who'd have thought it!
 

Ucarkus

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i have added extra weights to compensate but it’s really not helping. The problem is psychological but how to combat…I just don’t know

It doesn’t matter any difference - shore dive, boat dive.

it’s very frustrating and I guess the frustration adds to the anxiety. I have never had anxiety problems before and I’m very chilled and non panicked under the water, only the safety stop . 😖
What is exact anxiety reason? Fear of shooting to the surface or boat traffic? Most of the divers I observe, even experienced ones, seem to be mesmerized by their computers during safety/decompression stops. This is not a good practice, it will create tunnel vision. You probably want to practice keeping your depth by using visual cues and your ears. This will make you more alert and feel in control.

Edit: off course I do not mean using the ears that you should flap your ears to keep your buoyancy, I meant to pay attention to the pressure in your middle ear, it will tell you exactly whether you are ascending up or descending.
 

edwants2dive

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What is exact anxiety reason? Fear of shooting to the surface or boat traffic? Most of the divers I observe, even experienced ones, seem to be mesmerized by their computers during safety/decompression stops. This is not a good practice, it will create tunnel vision. You probably want to practice keeping your depth by using visual cues and your ears. This will make you more alert and feel in control.

Edit: off course I do not mean using the ears that you should flap your ears to keep your buoyancy, I meant to pay attention to the pressure in your middle ear, it will tell you exactly whether you are ascending up or descending.
Guilty! I tend to watch my computer like a hawk on my safety stop. Here in South Florida I use my ears mostly to listen for boat traffic because most of them are being driven by idiots who either don't care or don't know what my dive flag floating on the surface means. I do notice those changes in pressure in my ears at the stop it is a great alert to even slight depth changes that close to the surface.

To the OP, one question out of curiosity ( others can chime in too) when you are doing a stop without a line available are you hanging vertically or horizontally? I had/have a hard time holding the stop vertically with no line so I started staying horizontal just like I would do drifting on the reef it works for me. I tend to keep an eye on the reef below to compensate for my ADD driving me nuts waiting on 3 minutes to pass. Just my $.02 since I have only 10% of the dives you do.
 

stoneshirt

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Hi everybody. I am an female 1000+ dives diver aged 60 who has all of a sudden developed anxiety during safety stops.

I used to be able to hold my stop with no problems, now I rely upon the line which I absolutely hate.
I have no trouble poking around on a 5m shelf while doing the safety it’s only when a line is available. I can feel the anxiety building toward the end of a dive.

Has anybody else experienced this?

cheers
Di
Di,respect..........I could see making/getting an Audio Tape,of gently rising Bubbles,and do Meditation/Yoga.
stoneshirt.
 

lermontov

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i have added extra weights to compensate but it’s really not helping. The problem is psychological but how to combat…I just don’t know

It doesn’t matter any difference - shore dive, boat dive.

it’s very frustrating and I guess the frustration adds to the anxiety. I have never had anxiety problems before and I’m very chilled and non panicked under the water, only the safety stop . 😖
if it was me and it was stopping me enjoying my diving id shoot an dsmb and hang on it it will help you feel a lot more secure and you might start to relax and work on your anxiety. if you r happy at 5m on or near a shelf it sounds like you are struggling with visual references -have you had any ear infections or developed tinnitus or such. What happens when you look up to the surface on the safety stop do you feel dizzy ope disorented ?
 

TMHeimer

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Though my last boat dive was 6 years ago, I did quite a lot of that previously and never experienced this. You have more dives than I and I assume more boat experience, so I would figure it is strictly mental. In fact, I always felt very secure with the line, even when doing my first boat dive pulling myself down it to about 70'. I hope you can sort this out.
 

dismith

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It’s interesting how our psychology changes for no apparent reason, though there does have to be one.

Wobble - Yes, using the line is definitely a crutch and putting myself on it and slowly backing away is something I will try.

Ucarkus - Fear of shooting to the surface is true, and I think that adds to the anxiety. Focusing on my computer might be the distraction and focus I need so I will try that. I think that might also give me comfort that I’m not getting to shallow. Though the ear flapping may be a bit difficult with the hood on, maybe a little wiggle will do. That made me laugh 😂

Edwants2dive - I usually stop vertical but have just realised that may be part of the problem as the whole dive I’m horizontal and bring vertical may be disorienting me

Stoneshirt - don’t laugh, maybe a little tune to hum along to might give me focus 🎶

My last option is to just accept it and get on with it.

Thank you all for your input, it has given me some options to try.

Di
 
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