What is Claustrophobia?
The dictionary definition of claustrophobia is “an abnormal fear of being closed in or of being in a confined space”. Claustrophobia is a form of anxiety. Most people think that it’s a fear of enclosed spaces, but it can also be a fear of crowds, a fear of being trapped or restricted, not being able to escape or not being in control. Many people’s flying phobia is really a more general phobia about feeling trapped. Other forms of transport can also bring on the symptoms of panic – claustrophobia causes you to feel actual physical symptoms, and can often cause panic attacks. For people with social anxiety, the fear of panicking in front of others can cause further anxiety, embarrassment and self-consciousness.
When can Claustrophobia occur?
- When flying
- In Crowds
- MRI scanners
- at the dentist
- Rooms with no windows
- Cinemas and theatres
- Supermarkets and shops
Claustrophobia frequently occurs in large spaces where it’s difficult to find your way out, such as shopping centres, or in a supermarket queue. It can happen when you are having to wait, when you are stuck in traffic, or when you can’t find a toilet. You may also feel claustrophobic in crowds, such as in a concert, club or restaurant. Some people panic when wearing a crash helmet, or restrictive clothing – even socks that are too tight.
Causes of Claustrophobia
There is no one cause of claustrophobia. It can be caused by having a traumatic event in your past or in childhood – such as becoming locked in a toilet, or separated from your parents in a crowd, or stuck in a queue of traffic when you felt sick or needed the loo. But not every phobia is caused by one specific event in the past. Some phobias are caused because you’ve learnt to feel fear in a specific situation; for example when you travelled in a car, perhaps your mum or dad got panicky and anxious when you were stopped, so you learnt that having to wait in traffic was something to fear. You brain remembers that you’ve felt panic and anxiety before, and so you panic when you are next in that situation.
For some, there is no specific incident which triggered the phobia – but if you are generally someone who tends to feel anxiety, stress and worry, then you may attach these feelings of anxiety to specific situations. Anxiety makes us to want to control our environment and when you feel that we can’t – because you feel as if you’re trapped, or can’t get out – then you learn to feel anxious in those situations.
How does Claustrophobia affect us?
If you have claustrophobia you’ll find it hard to relax or feel comfortable when you are in situations where you feel trapped or restricted. How much this effects you can range from mild inconvenience – always having to walk up the stairs because you won’t take the lift; having to sit at the end of the row at the cinema; turning down the offer of a lift in someone’s car – to complete inability to do the things you want to do – refusing to drive because you may be stopped at traffic lights; refusing to do the weekly shop because you might have to queue at the till; refusing to travel long distances or go on the motorway because there is nowhere to stop; feeling unable to pick the children up from school because you may have to wait for them. Or perhaps you suffer from claustrophobia at the idea of the confined space of anMRI scan and so avoid having important tests so that you don’t have to feel the panic you associate with this.
Claustrophobia sufferers may also suffer from other phobias, such as phobia of lifts, phobia of feeling sick or vomiting (emetophobia), phobia of germs, fear of strangers, phobia of flying and other forms of transport . If you have claustrophobia you probably feel generally anxious. Claustrophobia can also lead to insomnia and social embarassment.
Symptoms of Claustrophobia
These can include
- Panic Attacks
- Palpitations or a racing heart
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling, or being, sick
- Stomach “flipping over”
- Diahhroea or upset stomach
- Needing the loo
- Clenching or grinding your teeth or jaw
- Restlessness and/or twitching
- Muscular tension
- Aching muscles, particular the neck, shoulders and back
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
Claustrophobia Treatment in Stockport
At Stockport Hypnotherapy we are specialists in all areas of anxiety. We work extensively with phobiassuch as claustrophobia. If you’d like to conquer your phobia, then hypnotherapy is an effective, safe claustrophobia cure.
Pam Newbury and her team of hypnotherapists are highly regarded, experienced hypnotherapists based in Didsbury, south Manchster. All all fully qualified, registered and insured. They are expert in treating fear of flying, anxiety, panic, and insomnia using hypnosis, hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques and teaching self hypnosis.
If you are looking for claustrophobia treatment in the Stockport area, or if you are looking for hypnotherapy in Bramhall, Hazel Grove, Droylsden, Denton, Marple, Hale, Didsbury, Chorlton, Altrincham or Bowdon to help stress and anxiety, emotional problems such as insecurity, tinnitus or to build confidence, then you can check any of the websites (all are independent and individually verify each review) which list and give reviews of hypnotherapists (for example www.freeindex.co.uk – Google also has its own reviews) and you will see the excellent results which the Stockport Hypnotherapy team have achieved. If you would like further information about hypnosis in Stockport, for insomnia and other sleeping difficulties, confidence and self esteem, forphobia treatment (we specialise in phobias such as fear of needles), depression, for help with weight loss, to break bad habits, or for any other problem, please call 07779 575 816 for a free, completely confidential discussion.
Stockport Hypnotherapy – Hypnosis and counselling in Didsbury, within easy reach of Chorlton, Hale, Altrincham, Bowdon, Cheadle, Northenden, Gatley and the Heatons, and all areas of south and central Manchester.