Understanding Claustrophobia, Phobia of Confined Spaces

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Understanding Claustrophobia, Phobia of Confined Spaces
Understanding Claustrophobia, Phobia of Confined Spaces

Claustrophobia is an excessive fear of confined or closed spaces, such as elevators or rooms without windows. Claustrophobia is one of the most common types of phobias

Claustrophobia is generally characterized by panic, anxiety, fear, or nervousness that occurs when someone is in a narrow, closed, or crowded room.

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Until now, the cause of the phobia of cramped spaces is not known for certain, but this condition is often associated with childhood trauma, such as having been confined to a tight space or being bullied.

In addition, claustrophobia can also be caused by unpleasant experiences, such as having experienced turbulence while flying an airplane and being trapped in a narrow tunnel or cave.

Claustrophobia Trigger

Claustrophobia can be triggered by many things and everyone can have different triggers, because the definition of 'narrow space' can also vary from person to person. Here are some examples of places that can trigger claustrophobia:

  • Public toilet
  • Changeroom
  • Cave
  • Tunnel
  • Airplane
  • Small car
  • Automatic car wash

Besides some of the places above, there are also some examples of situations that can trigger claustrophobia, namely:

  • Being in a small room with no windows
  • Being in a crowded elevator
  • Understanding an MRI or CT scan
  • Being in a crowd, such as a party or concert

Claustrophobia Symptoms

In addition to fear, panic, and anxiety, there are also several other symptoms that may appear when people with claustrophobia are in tight spaces, including:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Dizzy
  • Nausea
  • chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Ears buzzing
  • Shivering or feeling hot
  • Feeling like the walls around him would crush him
  • Uncontrollable urge to urinate

Claustrophobia Treatment

To diagnose claustrophobia, a psychologist or psychiatrist will first review your symptoms and perform a physical examination. After that, some psychotherapy and medication may be done to help you recover from this condition, such as:

1. desensitization therapy

Desensitization therapy or self-exposure therapy is a treatment that puts you in a situation that scares you. This is done to help you fight the fear.

This therapy is of course done in stages. For example, at first you will only be shown photos or images that show narrow places. If you get used to it and you are confident, then the level of exposure will be increased so that you can be in a narrow room without excessive fear.

2. Cognitive behavioral therapy

This is a type of talk therapy that is carried out between you and a therapist, either a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to learn about your fears and how to overcome them.

This therapy is done by exploring your daily thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You will also learn to control and change negative thoughts that arise in situations that trigger claustrophobia. That way, you are expected to be calmer in dealing with situations in a narrow room.

3. Drugs

In addition to therapy, a psychiatrist may also prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs to help reduce the panic and anxiety symptoms you experience when you are in a confined space.

Although it looks simple, the practice of dealing with claustrophobia is not as easy as imagined. Often the trial of therapy in a closed room failed, so the patient had to repeat it many times. Therefore, it takes patience to live it.

If you experience the symptoms of claustrophobia as above, you should immediately consult a psychologist or psychiatrist, so that this condition can be treated and treated as early as possible.This is because the symptoms of claustrophobia that are left unchecked have the potential to interfere with your daily activities.

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