Claustrophobia comes from the Greek word, ‘phobos’ which means fear and Latin word ‘Claustrum’ which means, a closed-in place. If you have a fear of tight or small spaces, a fear of elevators, a fear of being trapped, the fear of being closed in, you’re dealing with claustrophobia.
It could be related to dysfunction of the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that controls how we process fear. It is an anxiety related disorder brought about through stress and anxiety. In some circumstances having claustrophobia can result in a panic attack. It is common in every day life.
Studies show that about 10% of the population will deal with claustrophobia in their lifetime. Symptoms may include an excessive fear brought on when spending time in a crowded or confined space; nausea; confusion and disorientation.
A rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, tightness in the chest and chest pain, feeling panicked, fainting and feeling dizzy, feeling lightheaded are all symptoms of feeling claustrophobic. We don’t all have the ideal childhood.
Claustrophobia is often caused by a traumatic event continually experienced in early childhood. If a child has a parent with claustrophobia, as the adult they may also get to deal with the condition. If a child is bullied or abused, they may go on to develop it, or a child who is kept in a confined space.
Claustrophobia is easily treatable. The first step is to acknowledge that you deal with the condition. Don’t feel embarrassed that you have it.