Penrith-born Fanning has opened up about the July 19 attack and the internal struggle to control his “demons”.
“I guess when something like this happens, you’re in your own mind, and your mind can play tricks on you,” he told 60 Minutes for an exclusive story to air on Sunday night.
“Your mind can … you know, turn shadows into demons or stuff like that.
“And then and then you sort of have like different self-doubts, and, like, why did I get away with that?”
The three-time world champion said seeking professional help is “the only way to deal with” the sickening attack, which he walked away from physically unscathed.
The 34-year-old also became a worldwide hero for punching the shark in an effort to escape.
Asked what it was like to be reunited with mother Liz Osborne, Fanning said: “Yeah, it was, it was good.
“Normally I don’t do the long, extended hugs. But I was happy to take that one, for sure.”
Ms Osborne said after witnessing the attack on live television, holding her son was a special moment.
“Yeah, it was pretty long,” she said.
“He’s a really good hugger. You know, he really does, he puts his head on my shoulder and really I feel it.
“I feel like a mother, and it’s beautiful. I love his hugs. I always feel very close to him.”