Claustrophobia - Fear of enclosed places

Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed places. This anxiety may be due to any other general phobias or because the person is claustrophobic. In a Claustrophobic anxiety is developed under certain situations and hence it is a situational phobia. A person with this phobia might find it difficult to be in a car, elevator or in a closed room. In some cases even seeing a closed door can cause panic and anxiety. Person will be isolated from society and this can cause depression.


Those suffering with Claustrophobia might experience nausea, lightheadedness, hyperventilation, fainting, increased heart beat, sweating, fainting, shaking, fear of physical harm etc. while enclosed in a room or even in an elevator.


For persons with bitter childhood experience this phobia may occur. Those who were stuck in an enclosed place and had some unpleasent experience may get affected by this phobia. such experiences can even cause panic attack. Those with general tendency towards anxiety and fear, those having high strung character and those suferring from adrenal insufficiency and likely to be affected by this phobia.


Though there is no specific treatment for this phobia symptoms can be cured and thus brought under control. Psychiatrists will be of great help in this. Behaviour therapy, exposure therapy etc. are found helpful. In behaviour therapy the particular reason for anxiety is detected and by way of positive thinking and visualization feeling of danger with particular situation. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a more effective therapy in which patients preconceived view of danger is destroyed. Flooding and Counter-conditioning are exposure therapies and in Counter-conditioning behaviour therapy and relaxation techniques are used. Psychoeducation, Virtual reality exposure, Breathing exercises, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Relapse prevention, Modelling etc are als ofound effective in treating Claustrophobia. MR Imagining is another method in which midazolam spray is administered intranasal. Among medicines Anti depressents and beta blockers are used to prevent panic attacks. Tranquillisers, anti depressants and beta blockers, benzodiazepines,xanax, Valium are also given to patients. But all these medicines are likely to cause side effects. Above all support from relatives and friends is very necessary for those with phobias.

Alternative Medicines

Hypnotherapy, Homeopathy and Natural herbal medicines are also useful to treat phobias. In Hypnotherapy your subconcious programmes that causes fear is minimized and this helps to bring anxiety under control. Natural herbs like Passiflora incarnata, Scutellaria laterifolia (Scullcap) and Valerian helps tp release from fear while Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) balances the serotonin level and reduces the anxiety. Natural herbs usually promote sense of well being and soothes uneasy nerves. Most attractive part is that these medicines does not have any side effects. Meditation, Yoga, breathing techniques, muscle relaxation etc are also very effective. Energy psychology is yet another emerging method which is fast, effective, safe and long lasting. It can be called as emotional acupuncture as it concentrates on relaxing pressure points.


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