If you're claustrophobic, you may experience mild anxiety in a confined space or even severe panic attacks, and the symptoms may worsen the longer you stay where you are. Charities, such as Anxiety UK and Anxiety Care UK, are useful sources of information and advice about how to effectively manage anxiety and phobias. You can refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service. Claustrophobia is one of the most common phobias and, like any other, its severity can vary greatly from person to person. No matter where claustrophobia pops up for you, you can overcome it with the right treatment. Claustrophobia is an irrational or abnormal fear of being in an enclosed space. Along with shortness of breath and sweating, you may also have chest pain and tightness. And though you might realize that the fear isn't rational, you may not be able to stop it. The most common ways in which you feel claustrophobic are anxiety attacks and the fear of losing control. It could last up to an hour, so if you're driving, you may need to pull over and park where it's safe to do so. The anxiety can range from mild nervousness to a full-blown panic attack. A child growing up with a parent who has claustrophobia may develop claustrophobia themselves by associating confined spaces with their parent's anxiety and feeling helpless to comfort the person they loved. The symptoms of a panic attack usually peak within 10 minutes, with most attacks lasting between 5 and 30 minutes. claustrophobia definition: 1. fear of being in closed spaces: 2. fear of being in closed spaces: 3. an extreme fear of being…. Researchers have found a defect in a gene called GPM6A that they suspect may cause it. Claustrophobia is different for everyone. Panic attacks are common among people with claustrophobia. A person who has claustrophobia may panic when inside an enclosed space such as a lift, aeroplane or crowded room. If your heart races in an elevator, or you break out in a cold sweat in a walk-in closet, you might have claustrophobia. But getting help from a GP and a specialist with expertise in behavioural therapy, such as a psychologist, can often be beneficial. If you're so afraid of enclosed spaces that it affects your daily routine, get help from a mental health professional. Unfortunately, avoi… If you get very nervous or upset when you're in a tight place, like … Claustrophobia can be treated in similar ways to other anxiety disorders, with a range of treatments including cognitive behavior therapy, reality therapy and the use of anti-anxiety medication. Being in or thinking about being in a confined space can trigger symtoms such as the following: Learn more. Some people, if their anxiety is severe enough, may be afraid to leave their homes. Being inside an enclosed space can trigger symptoms such as: You may also feel a sense of doom, like you're going to die or the world is going to end. Claustrophobia affects around 4 to 5% of the population. Sometimes, the fear of enclosed spaces starts after you've had a traumatic childhood event, like: Having another anxiety disorder raises your chances of having claustrophobia, too. What causes claustrophobia? Claustrophobia is one of the more common fears and it is essentially the fear of small, confined spaces. Support is key when you're trying to overcome a phobia. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often very effective for people with phobias. 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