Because your mind and body sense a threat
We are underwater. We would not survive long without our scuba equipment. Experiencing emotions like anxiety and fear is perfectly normal. These emotions are our signals to detect problems. But anxiety can sometimes get out of control.
We have an instinct for survival. We fight, flee or freeze to escape danger. When a threat appears the survival system kicks in and drives our actions. Sensations, thoughts and emotions can all trigger the survival reaction. The system was not designed to work with scuba!
Scuba diver panic is common
Experience of panic and near-panic is reported by between 25 and 54 percent of divers. This means perhaps as many as one diver in every buddy pair has panicked, or almost panicked, at some stage during their diving. You are likely reading this now because it has happened to you or your buddy.
Panic is a problem in scuba diving
A panicked diver cannot think clearly. That means they are incapable of solving the problem that is freaking them out. They have probably no idea what the problem even is anymore. Their only focus is to reach safety at all costs. This leads to dangerous actions. Panic has been reported as a contributor in 68% of deaths in scuba diving. It is also likely that episodes of panic are under-reported.
You can reduce the risks!
The first step is to understand what causes scuba divers to panic. You can get a free 12-page guide when you sign up to preview the Prevent Panic in Scuba Diving course.