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You are watching: How to help someone with claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is a type of anxiety disorder, in i beg your pardon an irrational are afraid of having actually no to escape or being closed-in can lead to a scare attack.

It is taken into consideration a certain phobia follow to the Diagnostic and Statistical hands-on 5 (DSM-5).

Triggers may incorporate being inside an elevator, a little room without any kind of windows, or also being on an airplane.

Some civilization have reported that wearing tight-necked garments can provoke feel of claustrophobia.

Share on PinterestClaustrophobia is the are afraid of a closed-in ar from i beg your pardon escape would be difficult or impossible.
The word claustrophobia comes from the Latin indigenous claustrum which method “a closed-in place,” and the Greek word, phobos meaning “fear.”

People through claustrophobia will certainly go to an excellent lengths come avoid tiny spaces and also situations that cause their panic and also anxiety.

They might avoid locations like the subway and also prefer to take it the stairs quite than an elevator, even if plenty of floors are involved.

Up come 5 percent that Americans may experience claustrophobia.

Symptoms might be severe, but many civilization do not look for treatment.


A psychologist or psychiatrist will ask the patient around their symptoms.

A diagnosis that claustrophobia might emerge throughout a consultation about another anxiety-related issue.

The psychologist will:

ask for a description of the symptoms and also what cause themtry to establish how serious the symptoms arerule the end other species of stress disorder

To establish some details, the doctor might use:

a claustrophobia questionnaire to help identify the cause of anxiety

For a particular phobia to it is in diagnosed, specific criteria have to be met.

These are:

a persistent unreasonable or excessive fear brought about by the existence or anticipation that a details situationa recognition by adult patients that their fear is the end of proportion to the perceived threat or dangeremploying procedures to stop the feared object or situation, or a propensity to challenge the experiences but with distress or anxietythe who reaction, anticipation or avoidance interferes with everyday life and relationships or causes far-ranging distressthe phobia has actually persisted for part time, usually 6 month or longer

Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder. Symptom usually show up during childhood or adolescence.

Being in or thinking around being in a confined room can create fears of no being may be to breath properly, running out of oxygen, and also distress at being restricted.

When stress and anxiety levels with a certain level, the human may start to experience:

sweating and chills dizziness, fainting, and also lightheadednesshyperventilation, or “over breathing”hot flashesshaking or trembling and also a feeling of “butterflies” in the stomachnauseanumbnessa choke sensationtightness in the chest, chest pain, and difficulty breathingan urge to usage the bathroomconfusion or disorientationfear of injury or illness

It is not necessarily the tiny spaces that create the anxiety, but the fear of what can occur to the human being if border to that area.

This is why the person fears running the end of oxygen.

Examples of small spaces that could trigger anxiety are:

Share ~ above PinterestClaustrophobia can stem native a feeling of being trapped, and what might happen if they stayed confined to that area.
elevators or changing rooms in shop tunnels, basements, or cellarstrains and also subway trainsrevolving doorsairplanespublic toiletscars, particularly those with main lockingcrowded areasautomatic car-washessmall rooms, locked rooms, or rooms through windows that do not open

Reactions include:

checking the exits and also staying close to them once entering a roomfeeling anxious once all the doors room closedstaying close to the door in a overfilled party or gatheringavoiding driving or traveling as a passenger once traffic is likely to be congestedusing the stairs instead of the elevator, even if this is complicated and uncomfortable

Claustrophobia involves a are afraid of being minimal or confined come one area, so, having to wait in line at a checkout may also cause it in some people.

Following a diagnosis, the psychologist might recommend one or much more of the adhering to treatment options.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): The target is come retrain the patient’s mind so that they no much longer feel threatened by the places they fear.

It might involve slowly exposing the patience to small spaces and also helping them deal with their fear and anxiety.

Having to challenge the instance that reasons the are afraid may deter people from seek treatment.

Observing others: see others connect with the source of are afraid may reassure the patient.

Drug therapy: Antidepressants and also relaxants can assist manage symptoms, however will not resolve the underlying problem.

Relaxation and visualization exercises: taking deep breaths, meditating and doing muscle-relaxing exercises can aid deal with an unfavorable thoughts and also anxiety.

Alternative or safety medicine: some supplements and natural commodities may help patients regulate panic and also anxiety. Part calming oils are easily accessible for purchase online, such together lavender oil or “rescue remedies”.

Treatment often lasts approximately 10 weeks, through sessions double a week. With ideal treatment, it is feasible to get over claustrophobia.

Tips because that coping

Strategies that can aid people cope with claustrophobia include:

staying placed if an strike happens. If driving, this may include pulling over to the next of the road and also waiting it rotates symptoms have passed.reminding yourself that the horrible thoughts and feelings will certainly passtrying to focus on something that is not threatening, for example, the moment passing or other peoplebreathing slowly and also deeply, counting to three on every breathchallenging the are afraid by recall yourself the it is not realvisualizing optimistic outcomes and also images

Longer-term techniques may include joining a yoga class, working out an practice program, or booking one aromatherapy massage, to help cope through stress.

Information video

In this video, Stella Lourency, Assistant Professor that Psychology at Emory University, explains that world with higher levels that claustrophobic fear tend to underestimate distances.

Past or childhood experience is frequently the trigger that reasons a person to associate tiny spaces through a feeling of scare or unavoidable danger.

Experiences that can have this effect may include:

being trapped or kept in a border place, by accident or ~ above purposebeing abused or bullied together a childgetting be separated from parents or friends when in a crowded areahaving a parent through claustrophobia

The trauma competent at the time will influence the person’s ability to cope with a similar situation rationally in future. This is known as classic conditioning.

The who mind is thought to link the little space or limit area with the emotion of gift in danger. The body climate reacts accordingly, or in a method that seems logical.

Classic conditioning can additionally be inherited from parental or peers. If a parent, because that example, has actually a are afraid of gift close in, the child might observe their behavior and develop the very same fears.

Possible genetic or physical factors

Other theories that may define claustrophobia include:

Having a smaller amygdala: This is the component of the mind that controls just how the body procedures fear.

Genetic factors: A dormant evolutionary survival mechanism reasons reactions that room no much longer needed in today’s world.

See more: How To Remove Bees From Wall S, Honey Bees In Walls

Mouse studies have actually indicated the a single gene may reason some individuals to have a greater level of “resident-intruder stress.”

One team of researchers has argued that world who suffer claustrophobia perceive things as being nearer 보다 they are, and also that this triggers a defense mechanism.