Fear of small spaces or Claustrophobia is something that is most of the time caused by negative thoughts. Hence, it is situational and will only start when a person is trapped inside a closed room or any small space. Likewise, it can happen if the room is without any opening or window. Also, it is a common fear, but it can become worse over time. People with the serious attack will feel different signs but will disappear after getting away with the situation. Also, it may go away on its own, but some need proper treatment.
1. Possible Signs
Signs of Claustrophobia may appear suddenly right after being inside a closed area. A situation or space that can trigger your signs depends on the seriousness of your case. The following are signs to look out for are:
- Heavy sweating
- Trouble breathing
- Intense fear
- Fast heartbeat
- Chest pain
Moreover, the signs that you may feel are either mild or severe. If you have a fear of confined spaces that you may also experience:
- avoiding getting into subway, airplane, elevator and heavy traffic
- always looking for the exit
- fear of door closing and shutting
- standing close to exits inside a crowded place
2. Situations that can make it worse
Having a fear of small spaces, then some things can make your signs worse, like:
- being inside a room with no window
- riding a small car
- being inside an airplane
- standing inside a packed elevator
- doing an MRI or CT scan
- being in concert with lots of people around you
3. Other Places to Avoid
Furthermore, there are other places that you may feel afraid to get inside are:
- revolving doors
- dressing rooms
- public restrooms
- car washes
The space one needs to feel comfortable is different from one person to another. Also, it depends on how a person will react to the closeness. Therefore, some with fear of small spaces may start to feel signs if space is 4 feet away from each other. A panic attack can happen when people start to gather around you, covering your sight. Afterward, serious signs may happen like trouble breathing, nervousness, and heavy sweating.
4. Possible Causes
There are very few studies about the main causes of this type of fear. Therefore, situations and the environment play a big role. However, according to some studies, it may start during childhood. Another study found out that it may be connected to an abnormal function of the brain that controls how people process fear. Hence, it is called the amygdala. Mostly, fear of confined spaces may come from bad experiences in life, such as:
- being alone and stuck inside a small space for a long time
- bad experience while flying inside an airplane
- being locked inside a small space like a bathroom as punishment
- the bad experience inside a crowded train or any public transportation
- being locked up inside a closet by accident
5. Family History
Family background is a huge part of developing a fear. If you have a parent with this type of fear, they can pass it on to their children. Children can develop fear if they see their parents having trouble getting inside a small space.
6. Possible Complications
This type of fear can affect your daily life. Hence, it can stop you from enjoying life because of fear of being a trap. For example, people with this condition rarely travel. Hence, they find it difficult to ride an airplane and other public transportation. Traveling through a train is good, but walking along the long aisle may give you a bad feeling.
Moreover, driving and traffic can make a person feel confined. Therefore, taking a quick break from driving and doing stretches can help you feel at ease. Also, a repeated feeling of stress and anxiety is not good for overall health. Unfortunately, fear can be very dangerous to health, so it is better to find the best solution to your problem. Doctors and therapists can suggest a lot of effective treatments and ways to overcome them.