The fear of sharks is known as selachophobia or galeophobia. When a person fears sharks, they will shun waters where sharks swim, and they will be terrified by media reports of shark attacks. People with this phobia will avoid documentaries and films that feature the shark.
A shark is all instinct. It seems to kill with eyes that are cold and devoid of emotion. This primitive element of cold-blooded hunting behavior is one of the primary reasons why people develop galeophobia.
In the person who fears sharks, panic is an involuntary response. The sight of a shark, even on television or in a theater, will evoke great consternation and terror. People with this phobia will suffer from racing heartbeat, nervousness, mental anguish, and even dizziness as they struggle with their fears.
They will take pains to stay away from any locales where sharks are present, including some beaches, and even aquariums where sharks are displayed.
Avoidance is one method of treating this phobia. It’s fairly easy to avoid images of sharks in film and television, and beaches were sharks congregate can be researched so the phobic person knows what to stay away from. But this will not cure the phobia itself.
Only psychotherapy and hypnotherapy will really ease the galeophobia some people experience. There must be cognitive therapy that gets at the heart of a person’s responses and the real reasons why sharks trigger terror in their psyche.