Are you feeling trapped in small spaces?
Claustrophobia can limit what you are able to do in your daily life. You do not have to live with claustrophobia, many people recover after receiving effective treatment.
Life with claustrophobia
Often people with claustrophobia, do not fully appreciate the extent to which their life has been affected.
There is an awful lot of headspace taken up with planning, automatic reactions and on the spot decisions. The following example will help to explain what I mean.
- Being in a car and automatically opening the door when it has stopped, even if you are to remain in the car and wait for the driver.
- Sitting nearest the exit in cinemas, restaurants etc.
- Not locking or closing doors behind you.
- Your exit route as you enter a building or room.
- How to get from A to B without using certain transportation, that may cause you fear.
On the spot reactions and decisions
- Leaving where you are as you need to use the bathroom and are not comfortable with the public facilities.
- Feeling anxiety or experiencing a panic attack when there is no lift, only stairs. This may result in you not being able to get to your destination.
- Not being able to have certain medical tests such as MRI’s and CT scans due to the enclosed casing of the machines.
If you are claustrophobic, you may feel anxiety or have a panic attack, at even the thought of
- MRI scans/CT scans
- locking a door (or closing the door) when you enter a room
- being in a room with no windows
- public transport
- car washes
- small enclosed spaces
What causes claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia comes under the umbrella term of anxiety disorders. For some people they may have experienced a traumatic event as a child, which created fear of small or enclosed spaces.
For others, the feeling of being trapped may develop as part of an underlying anxiety disorder. For example, if you have Panic Disorder and experienced a panic attack or anxiety symptoms in a particular place, such as a car or plane, you may start to avoid planes or cars in the future as you believe this caused your panic attack.
If you are to travel in a car or plane, the fear of another attack will cause you to experience anxiety, and you are more likely to have an anxiety attack the next time you are in a car or plane. A vicious circle begins.