What is Claustrophobia?Symptoms and Treatment

Claustrophobia is a fear of being closed or having no escape. Also it can lead panic attacks.

Stucking in an elevator, staying in small windowless room also traveling on airplane can trigger this phobia.

Some key points about claustrophobia:

Claustrophobia affects some people in small-confined spaces.
It can also trigger panic attack.
The causes may include external and genetic factors (separately).
People can overcome this fear, since there are various treatment options.

People with claustrophobia often prefer to live in large areas to avoid panic and anxiety. They may prefer not to take the subway and walk up the stairs rather than using the elevator even in a multi-storey apartment building.

Claustrophobia is seen in approximately 5% of American citizens. The findings may be more severe; however, many people avoid seeking treatment.

What is Claustrophobia? Photo Source: @authorship.me

Symptoms and Signs of Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is a type of anxiety. Symptoms usually begin to occur in childhood or adolescence. Being in a closed area or thinking about this situation may trigger fears of being unable to breathe properly more than usual.

When the level of anxiety reaches a certain level, the person may experience:

  • Sweating and shivering
  • Accelerating heartbeat and high blood pressure
  • Dizziness, fainting, loss of balance
  • Heavy dryness
  • Breathe faster or more than usual.
  • Temperature-fire flashes
  • The sensation of butterfly flying in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • Drowning sensation
  • Chest tightness, chest pain and hard breathing
  • Urinary tract strain
  • Memory confusion and disorder
  • Fear of harm or illness

What Causes Claustrophobia?

Past experiences (childhood experiences, etc.) often play a role in triggering a person’s association with small and confined spaces, a panic and a possible danger.
The experiences with this effect can be stated as follows:

Accidental or deliberate closure or confinement
Abuse and neglection in childhood
Separate from family members or friends in a crowded area
The traumas experienced during these times also affect one’s motivation to cope with possible and similar situations in the future. Body functions react accordingly or differently. This classic condition may also be inherited from the family or relatives. For example, if one of the parents has a fear of staying indoors, the child can observe and develop the same behavior.


Diagnosis of clostrophobia

A psychologist or psychiatrist looks for symptoms in the patient. A symptom of claustrophobia may occur when the patient is being discussed about a different anxiety issue.

A psychological helper;

Asks the patient to identify the problems he / she has experienced and what triggers the difficult feelings he / she has experienced.
The specialist continues to examine the signs of other anxiety disorders.
To determine some details, the doctor may use the following things:

A form of claustrophobia to help understand the cause of anxiety
as well as understanding the level of anxiety
Certain criteria are required to identify a specific type of phobia. These:

A persistent, extreme and unjustified fear under the possibility or presence of a situation.
Anxiety when exposed to stimulants; In these adults, panic attacks may present as anger attacks, tight cuddling, crying or chills.
The diagnosis of an adult patient showed that his fears could be separate from the perceived danger or threat.
The tendency to make calculations to avoid the feared object or situation or to confront these experiences in an extremely anxious situation. Also includes avoiding contact with relationships, expectations, or everyday life,
Phobia lasting 6 months or more
The findings cannot be attributed to any other mental illness, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Treatment options

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): The goal here is to internalize the patient’s knowledge by re-training the mind that the feared space is no longer a danger. This training may be in the form of exposing the patient to narrow spaces and helping them to overcome their fears and anxiety during this time. Facing fearful situations can help people get rid of their fears.

Observing Others: Interacting with others by seeing the sources of their fears also gives patients a sense of trust.

Drug Treatment: Antidepressants and tranquilizers can help in controlling symptoms; but they do not solve the underlying cause of the problem.

Relaxation and Visualization Practices: Deep breathing, meditation and muscle flexing movements can also help reducing negative thoughts and anxiety.

Alternative or Supporting Medicines: Some supplementary and natural products, such as lavender oil may help the patient to control panic and anxiety

About the Author
Total 143 posts
Sefa Ozer
Sefa Ozer
Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,. Loves helping people playing video games, music and dancing.
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