Claustrophobia(A Comprehensive Guide)

This article is a detailed overview of claustrophobia and discusses some pertinent aspects related to this disorder.

Also, this article reveals possible symptoms, diagnostic aspects and possible treatments that offers insight into this problem.

Claustrophobia is the weird form of panic attack in which the person always feel fear to be enclosed in the chamber.

This leads to some of the serious panic attacks or having the irrational fears of being no escape. Moreover, it is counted to be the specific phobia that is specified from the Diagnostic and statistical manual 5 (DSM-5). 

Such type of attacks is usually attacking the individuals inside the elevators. Small room that have no window or in the airplane.

Moreover, it has also been reported that wearing tight clothing can also lead to the severe panic attack that is due to the Claustrophobia. 

Below are the key points of the Claustrophobia that are discussed in detail in this article. 

  • When people are in the small chamber then they have the Claustrophobia attack
  • It can enhance the feelings of panic
  • The causes primarily include the genetic and conditioning factors.
  • Several treatments and tips can cure the Claustrophobia fear

Understanding ‘Claustrophobia’

The word Claustrophobia have been originated from the word claustrum it means a closed chamber.

In Greek we all know that the Phobos means fear. Due to the fear of the Claustrophobia people usually goes to the closed lengths to avoid the smaller spaces traps.

This will ultimately make the situation of the void spaces goes vague.

Hence this is the ideal way to triggers the anxiety and panic. 

Other than that, the places like they prefer to take the stairs rather than the elevators.

Moreover, according to recent research up to 5 % of the American have suffered the issues as scattered with the claustrophobia.

Moreover, the symptoms are severe but there are a number of people who won’t take the treatments. 

Diagnostic Aspects of Claustrophobia

Usually the phycologists and the psychiatrists ask the patients before heading towards their treatments about their symptoms.

Other than that, the diagnosis of the Claustrophobia can also be diagnosis in the other anxiety related issues.

The psychologists will ask about the:

  • Asks about the symptoms descriptions and the things that triggers them
  • Establish about the facts that how severe they are 
  • Ask about the other types of anxiety disorders too

Establish some other details as well that the doctors may ask about

  • To identify the cause of the Claustrophobia the doctors may ask some queries form the Claustrophobia questionnaire 
  • A scale to establish the levels of anxiety

Certain criteria must be met to diagnoses the phobia ideally like 

  • A constant excessive and unreasonable fear that is caused by the anticipation and the reason of specific type of situation,
  • When the patients are exposed to stimulates then he may have an anxious response, which is usually in the adult in the form of panic attack. On the other hand, the children might feel the clinging, crying, tantrums and freezing. 
  • A recognition that have been received by the adult patients that their feelings usually get out of order when they perceive some sort of danger and threat. 
  • Patients take the number of measures to avert the feared situations or the feared objects. Moreover, it has the tendency to measures the fear, distress and anxiety,
  • The persons anticipation, reaction and the avoidance interfere with the everyday life chores and the reaction causes certain distress. 
  • This sort of phobia is persisted for some time and that is usually of 6 months or might be longer,
  • Such symptoms hardly attributed to the different medical condition like post traumatic disorder (PTSD) or the Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Possible Signs & Symptoms

We all know that the claustrophobia is the anxiety disorder. Moreover, the symptoms are visible since childhood and adolescence.

Trapped in or even its taught can brought to them the situation of the confined space where the person can’t breathe properly, are restricted or have the oxygen related issues.

When anxiety level goes to a level then the person may start to experience the: 

  • Chills and sweating
  • High blood pressure and accelerated heart rate 
  • Fainting, lightheadedness and fainting 
  • Dry mouth
  • Hot flashes 
  • Over breathing and hyperventilation 
  • Trembling, shaking and a sense of butterflies in the stomach
  • Headache 
  • Nausea
  • Numbness 
  • A choking sensation 
  • Difficulty breathing chest pain tightness in chest 
  • Disorientation or confusion 
  • An urge to use the bathroom 
  • Illness and fear of harm

It is not that the small spaces that feared the person, but it is the fear of being trapped in that area for long.

This is the reason why people don’t consider it right to be trapped in such a confined area.

So that they won’t run out of oxygen. Examples of the area that triggers the anxiety are:

  • Changing rooms and elevators 
  • Basements tunnels and cellars 
  • Subway train and trains 
  • Revolving doors
  • public toilets
  • Cars with central locking 
  • Cars in washing areas
  • Crowded space 
  • Automatic washers of cars 
  • Central locking 
  • Some medical facilities that included the MRI scanners 
  • Small rooms, locked rooms and he rooms that do not have windows
  • Reactions includes 
  • Staying near the exists and checking them constantly 
  • Felt anxious when the doors are closed 
  • In the crowded space stay near the door and gathering
  • Avoid traveling, driving when the passengers are congested in the traffic 
  • Despite of elevators using stairs even when it is uncomfortable or difficult

All in all, the Claustrophobia is the issue with the individuals who have been congested to one area, or the area to be awaited in the line and it may cause some people to be checkout. 

Treatment Options for Claustrophobia

It has been shared on the Pinterest cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It can be ideally used to reduce the reaction fear that triggers.

The Specialists have recommended the following treatment options. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),

Here is the aim is to retrain the mind of the patient so that they no longer can be threatened by the fear of the small spaces. 

This treatment involves the slow exposure of the patients to the congested places that may help to feel safe during the anxiety and fear. 

This assists the individual to seek the protection in the cases where people feel insecure in the scenarios where they can’t. 

Observe others: 

With the help of fear this treatment works by interacting with the affected individual to the people they are finding the reassurance. 

Drug therapy

Relaxants and anti-depressants can help you to manage the symptoms, but it can hardly solve the underlying problems

Visualization and relaxation exercises 

Mediating, taking deep breaths and doing the muscle relaxing excesses can assist the people to deal with the anxiety and the negative thoughts

Complementary and alternative medians 

Natural products and some of the supplements may help individuals to manage their anxiety and panic.

In addition to this there are some calming oils that are there to keep you calm down and they can also manage the rescue remedies. 

Treatments lasts for about 10 weeks that includes twice a week session along with that.

All in all, with the help of appropriate treatment it is possible to overcome claustrophobia. 

Coping tips 

There are some of the tips that helps the people to cope up with the claustrophobia are:

  • If you are driving, then pull the car offside and wait for the time when the attack has passed. Stay put yourself.
  • Keep reminding yourself that the frightening thoughts and feelings will soon pass.
  • Try to focus on things that are not threatening at all like the other people or time passing
  • Count on each breath and breath slow and deep 
  • Challenge yourself that the feelings are not permanents at all 
  • Visualize possible images and outcome 

All in all, there are a number of strategies that have been included on the person’s own side.

Like the regular exercise, yoga class work out on the exercise program and booking an aromatherapy massage to cope up the attacks. 

Potential Causes 

This is all initiate since the childhood of the majority of people. It is the time when the major attacks triggering the individuals hardly.

That cases the sense of immediate danger and attack. 

Such experiences that might have such affects includes:

  • By the accidents on purpose some individuals have been trapped in the areas 
  • Being bullied or abused 
  • Getting separated from parents or with the friends in a crowded area
  • Have in genes

The injury experienced around then will influence the individual’s capacity to adapt to a comparative circumstance reasonably in future.

This is known as great molding. The individual’s brain is accepted to connect the little space or kept zone with the sentiment of being in risk. 

The body at that point responds in like manner, or in a way that appears to be intelligent.

Exemplary molding can likewise be acquired from guardians or friends.

On the off chance that a parent, for instance, has a dread of being close in, the youngster may watch their conduct and build up similar apprehensions. Possible genetics or other physical factors 

There are some other theories too that includes the thing like:

  • Have the smaller amygdala: This is the part of the brain that control the fears 
  • Genetic facts: This disease might be the part of the genes, 

Helpful Resources

  1. Panic Free: The 10-Day Program to End Panic, Anxiety, and Claustrophobia
  2. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
  3. Claustrophobia
  4. Overcome Claustrophobia Hypnosis: Stay Calm in Confined Spaces, Using Hypnosis
  5. The Panic Free Steps: Panic Attacks: Chemicals in your Diet


Claustrophobia is a chronic and debilitating condition that highly undermines the everyday normal functioning of the sufferer and proves to be extremely distressing.

The individual suffering from claustrophobia may have a hard time going about their regular routine because of the profound fear of being trapped or of closed spaces.

Moreover, the underlying pathology may have comorbid anxiety or depressive issues as well.

Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional help without delaying. 


Q1. Is Claustrophobia a mental illness?

Claustrophobia is the dread of having no way out and being shut into a little space.

It is normally delegated a tension issue and customarily brings about a somewhat serious fit of anxiety.

It is additionally mistaken in some cases for Cleithrophobe (the dread of being caught).

Q2. Can Claustrophobia be cured?

Claustrophobia can be effectively treated and relieved by bit by bit being presented to the circumstance that causes your dread.

This is known as desensitization or self-introduction treatment.

You could attempt this yourself utilizing self improvement procedures, or you could do it with the assistance of an expert. 

Q3. Why do I have suddenly Claustrophobia?

Claustrophobia could be identified with brokenness of the amygdala, which is the piece of the mind that controls how we process dread.

The fear can likewise be brought about by a horrible accident, for example, being stuck in a tight or swarmed space for an all-encompassing timeframe or encountering choppiness when flying. 

Q4. Is Claustrophobia dangerous?

While these minutes may appear to be transitory, rehashed alarm assaults and sentiments of fear and nervousness can cause relentlessly raised pressure, which can be unsafe to the body.

Therapeutically, claustrophobia can be perilous because it could make you abstain from having vital X-ray tests 

Q5. What is an example of Claustrophobia?

Individuals with claustrophobia may likewise fear some little spaces however not others.

For instance, a little vehicle may have a sense of security, while a lift could initiate a fit of anxiety.

Claustrophobia is one of the most widely recognized fears and frequently co-happens with nervousness and different fears.

Q6. How do you know if you have Claustrophobia?

You feel an excessive fear in the crowd, and in the confined spaces like chills, sweating, dry mouth, numbness and headaches.