Claustrophobia: Fear Of Small Spaces


ClaustrophobiaWhat is Claustrophobia?

Anxiety disorder (situational phobia) in which the suffer having an irrational fear of being closed in with no escape.

Results in panic attacks and can be trigger by certain stimuli or situations like crowded elevator, small room with no window, being in an airplane or tight necked clothing trapped inside the tunnel, caves, mines etc.

Symptoms:

Physical symptoms:

  1. Unable to breathe or as if choked
  2. Hyperventilation or over breathing
  3. Accelerated heart beats
  4. Sweating
  5. Fainting
  6. Shaking or trembling
  7. Nauseated feeling
  8. Feeling seek
  9. Dry mouth
  10. Increased blood pressure
  11. Hot flashes
  12. Tightness in chest
  13. Urge to go to toilet
  14. Numbness
  15. Headache

Psychological symptoms:

  1. Thoughts of death
  2. Feeling running away
  3. Inability to distinguish between what is real and unreal.
  4. Thoughts images of being buried alive or trapped.
  5. Confusion and disorientation

Classical conditioning:

  • It is the result as the mind comes to contact confinement with danger.
  • May comes as consequences of traumatic childhood experiences.
  • The onset at any point in an individual’s life.
  • Such experience can occur multiple times, or only once, to make a permanent   impression on the mind.
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Conditioning experiences:

Few examples like:

  • A child gets shut into a box, locked in a closet or fall into a deep pool and can not swim, or stuck into the car.
  • A child crawls into a hole and gets stuck, or can not find their way back
  • A child put into the basement with no windows as a mean of punishment.

Causes:

Exact cause is not known but suppose to be due to:

  • People with an exaggerated sense of their personal space (spatial distortion) may prone to Claustrophobia.
  • People with a higher tendency towards Anxiety are likely to develop it.
  • Those who were having a history of panic disorders are prone to have fear of small spaces.
  • Traumatic past experience has a greater role in the development of Claustrophobia.

Treatment:

1. Flooding therapy:

The patient is gradually introduced to his fear e.g enclosed spaces until he realizes that no harm has come despite encountering object of dread.

2. Self-help techniques:

The patient can follow few help routines to overcome the fear of small spaces.e.g instead of rushing to get off the elevator, one can stay in them and go up/down several times to habituate oneself to the feelings of anxiety.gradually, one can also work up tp greater/severe fears and learn to control one’s anxiety until it goes away completely. Deep breathing, visualization,meditation, and yoga are also known to help control panic attacks.

3. Modeling techniques:

Patient a are encouraged to watch people confront their objects of fear with confidence and made to replicate or imitate the behavior.

4. Cognitive behavior therapy:

This therapy helps the individual to confront his fearful thoughts and change his attitude towards his object of fear.

5. Drugs:

Certain tranquilizers or antidepressants may be given based on the severity of the claustrophobia.long-term use of these medicines should be avoided as many are known to have withdrawal symptoms.

6. Relaxation exercises:

Taking deep breaths, meditating, and doing muscle relaxing exercises are effective at dealing with negative thoughts and anxiety.

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Homeopathic approach:

Claustrophobia is not an illness and we can help an individual to control the condition with the help of homeopathic remedies and counseling. Homeopathic medicines help to reduce the intensity and frequency of the anxiety that leads to symptoms and also cut down the duration of the symptoms gradually. The subsequent episodes also reduced in number along with the treatment. The patient can live his/her life comfortably in such situations with Homoeopathy.

Dr. Rajesh Shah’s Research based medicines at Life Force will help you to get rid of the symptoms and to control the disease further. To know more about how you can be helped with homeopathic treatment for Claustrophobia leave us your contact details below. Alternately you can give us a call on +91-22-66888888 or write into us at info@lifeforce.in

– Written by Dr. Dhanashree Bhosale associate doctor to Dr. Shah and team Life Force

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