Claustrophobia is the fear or phobia of enclosed spaces like tunnels, elevators, trains, and airplanes.
Phobias become a health issue when the fear interferes with your ability to carry out daily activities.
Also, it can put a strain on your relationships and reduce your self-esteem.
If you have claustrophobia, you may feel anxious or overwhelmed with thoughts about being in a confined space, which may affect your sleep at night.
Claustrophobia is more common in females than males. Although anyone at any age can develop a specific phobia, but it is mostly developed in childhood and adolescence.
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Symptoms Of Claustrophobia
The symptoms of this health condition could be:
- sweating or shaking.
- Tightness in the chest or rapid heartbeat
- trouble breathing or breathing fast.
- chills or flushing (a red, hot face).
- Choking feeling.
- upset stomach or feeling “butterflies” in your stomach.
- Dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Dry mouth.
- feeling confused or disoriented.
- Numbness or tingling
- ringing in your ears.
- Crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging (symptoms of a specific phobia in children)
What Are The Causes Of Claustrophobia?
Although there is no clear cause for claustrophobia, researchers believe it could be caused by:
Traumatizing Event As A Child
Claustrophobia patients report one or more events where they were trapped or confined to a tight space while growing up.
Flashbacks From Childhood
You may have had a triggering event, such as getting stuck in an elevator or experiencing severe turbulence on an airplane.
It can be treated through therapy and exposure to the situation.
Exposure to the following could help:
- Facing your feared phobia directly in real-time
- recalling and describing your feared experience.
- Looking at pictures or using virtual reality to get close to the real, feared experience while being in a safe environment
Training your behaviour is the main treatment.
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Other coping methods include relaxation, deep breathing exercises, and joining a support group.
Your psychologist will be in a better position to prescribe treatment based on the severity of the situation.