Claustrophobia – Fear of Enclosed Spaces Claustrophobia – Fear of Enclosed Spaces
What is claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia is a type of mental disorder when a person is afraid of enclosed spaces or stay in places where there is a large number of people. In particular, people, suffering from this disease, fear to be in places such as elevators, small rooms, all kinds of booths, as well as supermarkets, cinemas, exhibition halls with a large number of visitors.
In cases when such people visit unwanted places, they fear that they will feel unwell, they will not be able to leave the room timely, then panic occurs gradually, the person tries to be closer to the exit. The use of an elevator may be one of the most striking examples of claustrophobia.
Symptoms of claustrophobia
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
Claustrophobia may go asymptomatically, the person experiences discomfort in enclosed space. In cases when claustrophobia is manifested in a more severe form, almost all symptoms can be found, including shortness of breath, increased heart rate, panic attacks, and fainting.
It is worth noting that this phobia does not manifest for a certain period of time, however, except in rare cases, after some time the disease returns. That is why, even if there are no symptoms, the treatment should be continued.
What causes claustrophobia?
Today there is no one opinion about the causes of claustrophobia, but it is known that it is a consequence of the feeling of danger and insecurity experienced in childhood. The most common cause of claustrophobia may be a terrible event that a person experienced in enclosed space. In addition, claustrophobia may show up as a symptom of other mental disorders.
Available methods of treatment
The key to effective treatment of claustrophobia, like any other disease, is a timely visit to a doctor. Treatment is rather complicated when the patient realizes that there is no reason to fear, he can do nothing with it. Who treats claustrophobia? As a rule, psychologists or psychotherapists do.
In cases when bouts of baseless fear are becoming more frequent, it is recommended as soon as possible to seek professional help. There are no special medications for the treatment of this disorder at the moment. Therefore, every doctor decides how to treat claustrophobia considering the severity of the disease. Most often, the treatment of the phobia includes psychotherapy and intake of different medications, such as psychotropic drugs and neuroleptics.
Hypnotherapy is another type of treatment for claustrophobia when hypnosis helps the patient get rid of his fear. It is necessary to note that this technique in some cases is extremely efficient, but like any other method, it does not give an absolute guarantee of recovery.
How to live with fear
In cases when the person suffering from this disorder does not seek medical care timely, the phobia becomes chronic. In a chronic form, the person tries to avoid being in narrow or crowded places by all available means. After some time, the range of interests, and, as a consequence, the circle of people are decreasing, people suffering from this disorder become detached and passive.
In order to avoid fear and panic attacks in certain situations, doctors recommend certain techniques of self-hypnosis. In some cases, they can be rather helpful. However, in cases of severe bouts of claustrophobia, it would be extremely difficult to deal with it without the use of meds.
To predict in advance how effective treatment will be is quite difficult. Thus, in some cases, psychotherapy does not help to defeat the disease completely but it helps to reduce the number and severity of panic attacks. In other cases, claustrophobia may go away without any external intervention. Also, it is known that an adult is much easier to defeat his fears than a child. In addition, the older the person, the less often he experiences the symptoms of the disease.
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By Maria Shevtsova
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist. Taking action in support groups organization and social adaptation of the people with mental disorders. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the undepress.net project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who want to get their life back or help someone dear, who got into mental trap.
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