Claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces))

Claustrophobia is part of a broad spectrum of anxiety separations.

It is a mental disorder that affects the life of the sufferer totally. Most of our lives we are indoors: at work, at home, at school, at leisure and more, so a person who feels existential fear of being indoors may have a very serious problem and is unable to lead a normal and normative lifestyle. Anxiety about airplanes, flying, a small room, sitting by a window when it is closed, an office, a bathroom – all of these are under the concept of claustrophobia.

So what exactly is claustrophobia and can the disorder be treated without medication and medical equipment?

What is claustrophobia?

Claustrophobia is a mental disorder that is associated with anxiety disorders. In general, it is a fear of enclosed spaces in various forms such as: fear of flying, sitting in class, riding a train or car, shelter, tunnel, stairwell, elevator, even fear of sitting between two people and more.

The fear of being in a closed place is so diverse, because throughout our lives we almost stay in such places in everyday life. A person suffering from claustrophobia fears that he will be indoors and will not be able to get out of it and as a result he may suffocate and die. From this, one can understand the deep fear and existential apprehension of that person. This type of anxiety is a factor that limits the life of the person suffering from it to a great extent and in many cases he may feel unhappy and helpless, due to his avoidance of closed places that pose a threat to his eyes. It is important to know that the person’s presence in a closed space or thought and fear and hence, arouse the same fear that can quickly roll into an anxiety attack.

Risk Factors

  • Traumatic event.
  • A parent who has a fear of enclosed spaces.
  • A relative with claustrophobia.
  • The obligation to enter a closed place without compromise.
  • A closed place without a visible and clear way of escape.


Claustrophobia can have many causes. The most prominent of these are:

  • Heredity  –  One of the causes of the development of claustrophobia is a genetic component that is inherited, so it is likely that another person close to the family suffers from some anxiety or even claustrophobia in particular. Sometimes, children also “copy” parents’ fear and adopt behaviors that they see in their home, so that the child may have learned the trauma from his or her parents and has no real basis for the disorder.
  • Traumatic event  –  A person who has experienced an event that left a traumatic memory in the past, may develop claustrophobia, even several years after the event.
  • For no apparent reason  –  many anxiety sufferers develop it for no apparent or certain reason. In such a case, the treatment becomes more complex, as there is no particular factor that needs to be neutralized and the variety of factors is too wide and general.

Diagnosis and treatment

Claustrophobia can be characterized by 3 symptoms:

Physiological symptoms:

  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Increased sweating
  • dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Multiple urination
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Pupil dilation
  • Difficulty breathing and feeling suffocated
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • A feeling of fainting
  • confusion
  • Cognitive symptoms :  When the anxious condition develops, the person is sure that he is on the verge of death, in addition, his feelings and thoughts strengthen his feeling and he gives interpretation to both levels. It fails to incite thoughts in another direction and they exacerbate and throw it off balance.
  • Behavioral symptoms :  Most often, people who are aware of the level of anxiety they may experience prefer to avoid disaster-prone situations. They are willing to give up many things and events in their lives, so as not to feel the feelings of anxiety again.
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