Do You Suffer From Claustrophobia
Do you have Claustrophobia
Figuring out if you are claustrophobic is a very easy task. There are only two key symptoms one must look for.
- Fear of Restriction
- Fear of suffocation
Wikipedia's definition of Claustrophobia is "an irrational fear of enclosed spaces and the fear of not being able to escape."
Claustrophobia is classified as an anxiety disorder which can often result in an anxiety or panic attack. Most people who suffer with claustrophobia go to great lengths to stay away from the unsettling symptoms, therefore, avoiding the feared enclosed area or feared situation. Here are some of the most typical settings or predicaments that claustrophobic people try to avoid.
- Rooms with no windows
- Elevators, especially packed elevators
- Getting locked in a room
- Wearing tight-necked clothing
- Small rooms
- Cars, especially getting Stuck in a traffic
- Sitting in a chair at the hair-dresser
- Rides at amusement parks that are dark, closed or tunneled
Living with Claustrophobia
A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that 2-5 % of the world population is affected by claustrophobia. The study also revealed that only a small percent of people get treatment for the disorder. Most claustrophic people learn to live with their malady by not participating in certain activities or situations.
My twin sister and I have suffered with claustrophobia for as long as we can remember. I will never forget when we were about eight years old, she asked me to scare it out of her. She wanted me to lay on her and bury her head in my arms so she could get use to it. The problem with our method of getting rid of the claustrophobia is that she felt safe with me, therefore, our experiment did not take away this debilitating disorder.
There have been many terrifying times living with claustrophobia but my sister has suffered the most. Some family and friends wonder if hers is more severe because she was the second born.
Personal Experiences with Claustrophobia
Here are a few personal examples of living with claustrophobia:
- My sister and I attempted to go to a packed house party in college. Next thing I knew, she was running down the road and pulling off layers of clothing. It was mid winter with frigid temperatures.
- I had a panic attack in an airplane and felt like I couldn't breathe (I don't fly much anymore).
- An uncle who had too much to drink, hugged my sister too tight and she ran off. It took me a while to find her hiding place.
- My sister and I went on a ride at the State Fair a couple years ago. Two sweet, elderly women said we would like this relaxing ride. It was called, "tunnel of love." We got in the boat thinking all was well until it entered a dark cave. It felt like the ride went on forever. I had to turn my cell phone light on because my sister was ready to jump off the boat.
Finding Help for Claustrophobia
If your one of many that suffers from claustrophobia, there are some therapeutic methods available that may help you. My greatest therapy was learning more about the subject and learning I was not alone in my struggle.
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© 2011 Linda Rogers
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