Claustrophobia – Fear Of Enclosed Places: The word claustrophobia was derived from the Latin word claustrum, meaning ‘a shut in place’ and the Greek word phobos, meaning fear. Claustrophobia, the fear of getting trapped in small spaces, is categorized as an anxiety disorder. A person suffering from this phobia experiences an irrational fear of being closed-in. When triggered by certain situations or stimuli such as a crowded elevator, a room with no windows or an airplane, the fallout is often a panic attack. Some people may also feel claustrophobic when they wear tight-necked clothing.
Several factors have been attributed to the onset of this phobia. These include a decrease in amygdala’s (a small structure in the brain) size and classical conditioning. A person may also be claustrophobic because of a genetic predisposition. A study found that about 5% to 7% of the people in the world are affected by the fear of enclosed spaces. However, only a very small percentage of such people receive any kind of treatment.
Claustrophobia is a difficult disorder to live with. The claustrophobic will do anything to avoid small spaces and similar situations that can trigger panic or anxiety in them. They will always avoid the subways and prefer the stairs instead of lifts or elevators.
Claustrophobia need no longer affect your life – no one need have the fear of enclosed places anymore – there are some amazing treatment programs that really do work.
Claustrophobia is an irrational fear of enclosed places. As such it’s described as a situational phobia. In other words it’s triggered by a situation the sufferer finds themselves in rather than a specific thing. This situation could be anywhere in which the sufferer feels closed in or trapped without means of escape.
Typical, common situations include windowless rooms, small confined spaces, elevators, subways, aeroplanes etc. You’ll see the link – trapped in with no means of getting out.
That said and as mentioned earlier, there are others where restrictive and, in particularly, tight necked clothing can trigger the symptoms.
It’s a fairly common condition that’s estimated to affect up to 5% of the adult population.
Claustrophobics may suffer anxiety-like symptoms when they are in a small enclosed space. The basis of the phobia is that he/she may run out of oxygen and the fear of restriction. The symptoms exhibited by a claustrophobic when put a small space may include (amongst others):
More than the small space, it is the fear of what can happen to the claustrophobic that triggers anxiety. It has been seen that most claustrophobics remove their clothing during panic attacks thinking that it will be helpful in relieving the symptoms. However, most people who fear enclosed spaces do whatever they can avoid such situations.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If you suffer from Claustrophobia and the mere thought of being trapped in an enclosed place fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.