Everyone in his life was scared or intuitively felt a fear of something without being aware of the particular reason. Some people know well the cause, they realize that they have no need to fear, yet they avoid the situations giving rise to their fears. In some people, the trauma that has unlocked the fear is very painful, provoked either as early as in childhood or the present, and it is difficult to overcome it.
Fears of narrow and dark spaces are called claustrophobia. In its light phases, one experiences uneasiness, anxiety, or embarrassment when being in a confined space. In the severe forms, there is a panic attack accompanied by all the symptoms associated with the disease – waves of panic , rapid heartbeat, seizures.
Claustrophobia is recognized when you are seized by a sense of helplessness, discomfort, anxiety and overwhelming panic when you are:
- on the train, in the underground, on an airplane
- in a small room
- in an elevator
- in a basement
- in a crowded room or when you are surrounded by crowds of people/at a concert/rally
- wearing tight clothes
- under a shower
- in a cave or tunnel
- in a solarium.
Physiological signs of claustrophobia are expressed in:
- fast breathing – shortness of breath
- a headache – dizziness, lightning
- tightness in the chest
- nausea, vomiting
- numbness of the limbs
- examination of fear, sense of overwhelming threat, anxiety
- acceleration of pulse – palpitations /tachycardia
- fear of fainting.
People who suffer from claustrophobia:
- Try to stay closer to the exit of the room. They feel relaxed when the door is unlocked and open, but they feel restless if the door is locked.
- Are seized by anxiety in a confined space is manifested by uncontrolled movements or walking around the room.
- Stay close to the doors.
- Feel relaxed when the doors and windows are open.
- Avoid queuing.
- Use the stairs, rather/не използват/ than the elevator, to climb upstairs.
- Do not go to concerts, rallies, and other crowded events.
- Avoid driving.
Psychological symptoms experienced by a person suffering from claustrophobia when in a confined space.
- Fear of death
- Fear of madness
- Fear of a new panic attack
- Fear of choking
- Expecting a danger to occur
- A sense of suffocation.
Methods for claustrophobia treatment
Similar to other diseases, a timely call for help is a pledge for an effective treatment of claustrophobia. The treatment of claustrophobia is complicated when the patients realize that their fear is unreasonable but they cannot cope with it. Therefore, it is necessary to apply for a professional assistance by a psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on the severity of the anxiety experienced in closed premises.
If claustrophobia is part of your life
To avoid any fears or panics in certain cases, doctors and psychologists recommend certain techniques of auto-suggestion, behavioral actions, and Gnostic analysis of situations.
- For example, talking on the phone when you are in a confined space.
- To interact with more people rather than isolate yourself.
- Start with small steps to overcome your fear. For example, you enter the elevator and close the door, gradually increasing the time. Then you close the door and climb the first floor while talking on the phone until you gradually overcome your fear.
- Creating a circuit for dealing with symptoms in a confined space – to focus on a subject on the eye level that creates stability – a picture, a clock or anything else.
Sometimes claustrophobia might disappear, and in some cases, the intensity of the attacks can be reduced. There are also cases when it goes away with no professional help provided. It is known that an adult recovers more quickly compared to children. Medication treatment also helps sufferers reduce the seizures occurring with claustrophobia.
When people suffering from claustrophobia do not ask for medical help in due course, their phobia becomes chronic. Then they use all the means and strive to avoid going or staying in tight spaces, crowded rooms and all the places that cause them anxiety and worries.