A phobia is a form of anxiety disorder that leads to an irrational fear of a certain situation or object. An individual may be claustrophobic or the claustrophobia may be a part of a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). A prolonged or intense anxiety can lead to a phobia. Claustrophobia is a situational phobia, because it is triggered by a certain situation. It is an anxiety disorder that involves the fear of enclosed or confined spaces.
Claustrophobics may suffer from panic attacks, or a fear of having a panic attack, in situations such as being in elevators, trains, or aircraft. Conversely, people who are prone to having panic attacks will often develop claustrophobia. If a panic attack occurs while they are in a confined space, then the claustrophobe fears not being able to escape the situation. Those suffering from claustrophobia might find it difficult to breathe in enclosed spaces. Like many other disorders, claustrophobia can sometimes develop due to a traumatic incident in childhood. Claustrophobia can be treated in similar ways to other anxiety disorders and can be treated very successfully with hypnosis. There are cases where a well-crafted suggestion can rid the person of claustrophobia permanently.
Causes of Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia can develop from either a traumatic childhood experience (such as being trapped in a small space during a childhood game), or from another unpleasant experience later on in life involving confined spaces (such as being stuck in an elevator). When an individual experiences such an event, it can often trigger a panic attack; this response then becomes programmed in the brain, establishing an association between being in a tight space and feeling anxious or out-of-control. As a result, the person often develops claustrophobia.
One lady I treated with age regression. She had a fear of lifts (elevators). In hypnosis her subconscious took her to the event where it started. She was in her cot (yes, it is quite common to go back so far for a phobia or trauma - if that is where it started) and she went to a memory that she felt that she couldn’t breath. She was gasping and it was due to her mother putting a liberty bodice on too tight. A liberty bodice is a garment that babies used to have under their cloths to keep them warm. It is quite strong material and if it is buttoned up too tight it would be very uncomfortable for the child and they would find it difficult to breathe. When she went into a lift later on in life she triggered the same sensation and so it went on throughout her life until she had hypnosis to remove the fear.