Claustrophobia is a very common phobia amongst other situational phobias. It causes anxiety and panic attacks when a person is in small and confined places. Often people who suffer from claustrophobia can’t use elevators, travel by subways or airplanes, shop in crowded malls, drive a car, or get a MRI test done, etc.
In severe cases even a thought about all the situations mentioned above could cause anxiety and the feeling of being trapped.
Some of the physiological symptoms include:
- Hyperventilation & Tachycardia
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Fainting & lightheadedness
- Feeling of being trapped & Urge to flee
Claustrophobia makes life very uncomfortable and awkward. It affects both, personal and professional life equally. The person suffering from it experiences constant anxiety – the anxiety about the anxiety – and keeps avoiding the situations that can trigger it.
Often, people suffering from it might not be aware that they have such an issue until an incident occurs that causes great panic and anxiety. Later this incident becomes a trigger for anxiety to repeat itself in the similar situation and the person begins to avoid such situations completely. Day by day life gets restricted in many ways. One begins to avoid travelling, starts climbing stairs instead of using elevator, and becomes too conscious about the space around them. It can get triggered in trains, tunnels, changing rooms, revolving doors, public restrooms, small cars, traffic jams, CT scans and MRI.
If you suffer from claustrophobia, consciously you understand there is no danger in entering an elevator, but this intense feeling takes over your mind and body, and you are not able to deal with it consciously. It’s a tug of war between conscious and subconscious minds.
Since subconscious is much bigger and more powerful it always wins.
What causes claustrophobia?
Often the incident that had caused claustrophobia lies in childhood. If someone goes through a fearful experience of being locked in a dark room by accident or as a way of punishment in childhood – the fear of those moments can later manifest itself as claustrophobia.
Experiencing turbulence in flight can also be a cause.
A traumatic birth is often one of the main reasons for it.
Ironically sometimes it’s a learned phobia. If child observes a parent being fearful of such situations, the child might develop the same response. Sometimes it’s the repressed emotions that cause the feeling of being trapped.
How can Hypnotherapy help?
I’ve worked with many clients and I find that hypnotherapy is very effective in treating claustrophobia. It is a non-invasive, safe form of therapy; without any side-effects.
Root cause of any phobia lies in the subconscious mind and an experienced hypnotherapist will be able to identify it.
Subconscious mind is a library of memories. All the visual memories with emotional charge are stored in there.
With the help of various therapeutic techniques one can excess these files and desensitize them from the emotions of anxiety and fear. This provides the relief and a new response to the situation is learned.
A few sessions of hypnotherapy can lead to freedom from claustrophobia.