zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Types of Claustrophobia

by
author image Marie Cheour
Marie Cheour had her first article published in 1995, and she has since published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed publications such as "Nature" and "Nature Neuroscience." She has worked as a college professor in Europe and in the United States. Cheour has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Helsinki.
Types of Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia can be very frightening. Photo Credit champja/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational fear of enclosed or small spaces, says the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders. A claustrophobic patient does not fear being in closed spaces, but the negative consequences of being in that place. Some of these feared consequences might include restriction, entrapment and suffocation. A claustrophobic patient may have a panic attack when forced to be in a small, enclosed space.

Fear of Small Places

Most closed spaces entail a degree of entrapment. Some claustrophobic patients are afraid of all tight or small places while others only fear one particular kind of place. The most typical ones include cars, trains, airplanes, elevators, small rooms, cellars, caves, crowded areas, and tunnels. Claustrophobic patients also often refuse to go through such medical imaging tests as MRI that forces them to remain in a tight place for a relatively long period of time. The fear of restriction can cause some claustrophobics to be fearful of certain everyday situations like the barber’s chairs or waiting in lines because they see the situation as confining.

Fear of Restricted Movements

Many claustrophobics are afraid of situations in which their movements are restricted. This may be true even in a situation where there is lots of space around the person. A claustrophobic patient might be afraid of rollercoaster rides because he cannot move in the seat. In the same manner, a claustrophobic might be afraid of crowds because the people there prevent him from running or moving fast. This condition may be so severe that a patient refuses to wear a cast after they broke a bone.

Fear of Suffocation

Many people who are afraid of being restricted to small places also fear suffocation. These patients may believe that there isn’t enough oxygen in the room in which they are confined to. Many claustrophobics remove items of clothing during panic attacks since they believe that this would make it easier for them to breathe. Some claustrophobic are not able to dive because they are afraid of suffocation and may remove diving masks even if they are under the water.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.