Claustrophobia - is an irrational fear of enclosed space, which, according to approximate data affects about 10% of people. Some of them got into the enclosed space, experiencing mild anxiety, while in others, this situation can cause intense fear and even panic attacks.
Claustrophobia can cause elevators, tunnels and revolving doors, public toilets, MRI scanners, car, fitting shops, airplanes, and so on. If during the last six months, you do not just have to feel anxiety, being in a closed space, there is a high probability that you have claustrophobia.
Symptoms of claustrophobia
The most common symptom is a claustrophobic panic attack
Panic attacks - fear of nowhere
. It, in turn, causes the following symptoms that are more or less marked:
- Hot flashes or chills;
- Numbness or tingling of extremities;
- The feeling of tightness in the chest;
- Heavy breathing;
- Dry mouth;
- Ringing in the ears.
People suffering from claustrophobia, as the following may appear psychological symptoms:
- Fear of losing control;
- Fear of fainting;
- Fear of death.
The cycle of fear
When a person is faced with a trigger of their phobia - in the case of claustrophobia is a closed space - launched the so-called cycle of fear
. Seeing the trigger, he recalls the past situation, when he was already bad and scary in a confined space
. This in itself causes negative emotions and at the same time, the person imagines what might happen to him in this situation (the horrible pictures can be quite unrealistic, but man draws them to himself unconsciously, and a little worried about their credibility), from which emotions are even stronger
. The person feels bad because of their own fear, but also because of the fears that people around might notice his condition
. He is afraid of losing control, fainting and so on, negative emotions are magnified, imaginary catastrophe of this becoming worse - and the cycle is repeated many times, very fast and against the will of man
. This may result in a real panic, which does not correspond to the situation, but it is very strong, up to total loss of control over a
Causes of claustrophobia
Often claustrophobia is the result of traumatic events in early childhood. For example, a person could be locked in a cabinet peers during the game and, even if he does not remember such a seemingly insignificant event can lifelong cause him panic attacks when he is in any confined space. Children whose parents suffer from claustrophobia may themselves "infected" is a phobia, as enclosed spaces they will be associated with anxiety and feelings of helplessness of parents on what they can not help a loved one.
Help with claustrophobia
Most people who suffer from claustrophobia, fully aware of this. Many of them do not go to the doctor, and just try to avoid closed spaces. However, professional help, for example, a psychologist at the claustrophobia can be very useful.
One of the ways to treat claustrophobia - desensitization. The basic principle is that a person must regularly find themselves in situations that cause fear him: first - for a short time, and then - to the increasingly long time. You can do this yourself, or follow the recommendations of the expert.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often very helpful for people suffering from claustrophobia. With the help of a therapist man learns to effectively cope with their fears, to control their emotions
Emotions and culture: how to decipher the emotional code
Many people decide on their own to cope with claustrophobia, and the following recommendations addressed to them.
- Firstly, attempts to leave your own review or rational arguments to convince myself not to be afraid. Your fear is irrational, and none of the arguments of reason will not help.
- Second, you must believe that to cope with bouts of claustrophobia possible. Well, if you can talk with people who have already overcome this phobia or the other - then you will not believe, and know.
- Third, if you really want to deal with the claustrophobia, do not try to avoid places that cause you fear. Good or bad, but can not overcome the fear in absentia, without encountering him face to face.
Caught in a confined space, do not use the technique, which is so often and erroneously recommend - do not breathe deeply: hyperventilation only exacerbate the problem. And do not hold your breath - it will only increase the internal tension. Just try to breathe as usual, without succumbing to anxiety.
Concentrate on what some interior details - for example, the elevator button on the handle or the door. Explore these items to the smallest detail, a detailed description of himself. Do this in spite of the fear, force of will return the focus to the object of observation - your task is to escape from his own fear.
Try to blow up their own: Imagine the worst thing that can happen in your situation (for example, when you are in the dressing room or in the elevator), add more and more gruesome details, until you discover that the situation has become ridiculously terrible. Use the most impossible scenario: a terrorist attack (what is the probability that she undergo exactly are you?), The fall of the meteorite, earthquakes, tornadoes, alien invasion. You need to exaggerate your own as long as it does not explode - at the same time you will be surprised of his imagination, which is not excluded, would be the envy of Hollywood screenwriters. Suppress your own, on the other hand, is quite useless.
Mess. If you are close to the people, and you are worried that they will notice your state, joked about his own fear - it will add confidence and help relieve the tension a little.