I just came back to the Philippines, after a lovely trip back to Austria. I enjoyed my time there, but something was clearly missing … it’s not hard to guess: I didn’t do a single dive in about a month. Omfn (oh my fucking Neptune)! I had a case of Scuba Withdrawal Syndrome (SWS).
How dangerous Scuba Withdrawal Syndrome can be is frequently under-appreciated. A nervous twitch of the lip could be the first sign. To live without the playful weightlessness experienced during a dive can cause overt seriousness and some grumpiness. The lack of hyperbaric nitrogen can lead to sleep disorders. Those afflicted by SWS might try to compensate by over-eating sweets, alcohol abuse or reckless driving of their motor vehicles.
The SWS survivor might forget what this planet is all about: biodiversity, nature, and out-door activity with friends. He or she might fall under the impression that the world consists of streets, cars, money, offices and office-meetings. Even worse, the gossip and petty-politics on tee vee or on the social media of the internets might be mistaken for reality. Those afflicted by SWS mostly live in a man-made, symbolic world, and their brains juggle only those words and the social hierarchies these words construct. They forget to appreciate the beauty of the here and now right in front of their (preferably scuba-mask clad) eyes.
Be careful out there that you don’t catch SWS!