Some phobias are considered more common than others due to the number of cases that are registered worldwide. It will also take into consideration what are the particular characteristics that are presented, that is, what is the point of origin of said fear. That is why a classification of phobias that until now have been identified has been created, these are accompanied by statistics where the genders and ages of the diagnosed patients are recorded.

Claustrophobia is one of the phobias that belongs to the group of the most common. About 5 out of 10 people have symptoms that can be associated with this condition. However, a prior psychological examination must be carried out in order to confirm whether the patient actually suffers from claustrophobia.

As with other types, in any of these cases having a phobia represents dealing with a problem that affects the patient’s personal life . It is a limiting and conditioning condition that will strongly impact any activity or situation in real life. For example, these individuals cannot use the elevators, in the same way they could avoid spaces such as offices or public transport.

What is claustrophobia? 

In order to define what liberated claustrophobia is, we must carry out an etymological analysis of the same word. This term has its origin in words from the ancient Greek and Latin languages, it is exactly a neologism that is the result of the union of two different words. The Latin word “claustrum” is used to refer to closed spaces or a lock. The Greek noun “phobia” was used as a synonym for “irrational fear.”

As can be seen, this word describes as closely as possible what this condition was about. The first time that term was used in 1879, the University of Paris professor named Benjamin Ball would use it precisely to refer to people who are afraid of being locked up. 

Claustrophobia is a type of phobia that is experienced when a person is in a closed place. It has been classified as a type of anxiety disorder , because precisely this is one of the manifestations of this condition.

People express fear and aversion to environments or spaces that have small dimensions. This means that they will try not to use tunnels, elevators, cars, caves, rooms and any other place that will have difficult access or emergency exit.

Being is a phobia that is linked to the perception of danger . These people write that they feel that it is possible that an imperative event or trauma could occur in that space. In addition, the conditions given there do not guarantee the physical safety of the individual, they feel that they are prone to drowning due to lack of oxygen or simply not having help due to not having contact with the outside.

What are the characteristics of claustrophobia? 

The main characteristic of claustrophobia is the feeling of rejection and fear of staying for a long time in a closed space. This is applicable to any room that has a considerably small size, in addition, the possibility of not having windows or other access to the outside can be added. 

Generally, claustrophobic people will try to avoid staying indoors at all costs, it is only possible if they find it at will. For example, these individuals will not be able to use the public restrooms, otherwise they could not use the door if necessary .

These people describe feeling vulnerable and not free to move. They feel limitation, which means that these spaces represent a danger to their physical and emotional well-being. It begins to generate different sensations that are derived and related to anxiety. Some of them are dizziness, increased sweating, rapid heart rate, suffocation and also tremors and even nausea.

When they are in situations that do not represent danger, anxiety and all these symptoms described above disappear. The development of this condition may be due to different situations from the past, these represent an important trauma that will impact the present and future of the person.

What are your causes? 

Traumas are often mentioned when trying to identify the causes of the development of claustrophobia. The experience of previous experiences that had negative results are usually the starting point for in the future suffering some type of psychological condition.

The aforementioned takes on special relevance when describing those conditions that began to manifest themselves from childhood . If a child when playing on the playground in his school had to face a situation where he was locked in a small and dark space, eventually associated with only negative things in situations of this type.

The same happens with individuals of other ages, any situation that has occurred in remote, remote, hidden, dark or secret places ; In any of these cases it is a situation that represents a significant danger. Facing a space with these same characteristics only generates unpleasant sensations.

These individuals describe the sensation of feeling that some bar accident is about to occur. In the case of the possibility of being locked in the elevator, they believe that the possibility that no one gives them help or they die asphyxiated . In the most serious cases, being is a condition that can be generated from a situation of kidnapping or from repeated punishment in a dark room.

There are also the cases of those people who do not know how to accurately identify the origin of their phobia. They may be influenced by things they have seen on television or in movies. It is normal to use the resource of confinement in violent situations, in genre films such as horror and action. Some people are more impressionable and are more susceptible to the images they see on the screen generating a feeling of unease.

The same happens with the survival instinct . In some patients this same instinct is more developed, compared to other people they develop a protective behavior that can be described as exaggerated. They will employ any resource or tactic that enables them to ensure your personal safety.

What is your treatment? 

For people who suffer from claustrophobia, they can find a solution in different types of treatments and therapies . The background of this condition is that it has a psychological origin and therefore a treatment must be applied that identifies and modifies the mind of the patient.

Taking into account that people experience their fears in different ways , it is not possible to determine in advance whether a specific treatment will have the expected results. Projections can be made where it is estimated what are the possible positive changes that the patient will experience in the future.

The use of psychological therapy is usually the best option in most cases, especially when it comes to irrational fear due to a particular stimulus. For there are different types of psychotherapy, each of them has been designed taking into account previous research that has shown results that indicate how this condition should be treated.

There is also cognitive behavioral therapy , in this particular case the goal is to intervene mental processes such as thoughts and emotions. As a result, people’s behavior can be positively modified, in this way they will be able to adapt in a better way to different contexts and they will experience less suffering.

Another technique usually imparted to patients is that of exposure. That is to say, in this particular case this technique works because it forces the patient to face up to their fear of gradually forming. For systematic destabilization to be more effective , the patient should be gradually exposed to confinement situations.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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