This year has been tough on the nation and our mental health. For the past few months many of us have been isolated in our homes, not being able to see family or friends, limited to communication over the telephone or internet.
While this has allowed many of us to become more adept at connecting with people using new forms of communication, the situation has been detrimental to many peoples’ mental health.
One of the groups affected by lockdown are those in our community that are living with claustrophobia. For many the idea of being stuck inside their own home for long periods of time is exhausting. For some though this has been much harder than others.
Claustrophobia is usually defined as a fear of confined spaces. However it is worth noting that social claustrophobia can also include busy public spaces and crowded areas. People who deal with claustrophobia can experience fear when there’s no obvious danger in a situation and may go out of their way to avoid confined spaces such as lifts, tunnels and train carriages.
These days many of us will find ourselves living in smaller flats or apartments with no access to a garden space of our own. This can be difficult and create a sense of entrapment. These past few months living in our smaller spaces trying to go about our daily routines and create a sense of normality has been tough, juggling the usual pressures of life alongside the limitations that came with lockdown has affected everyone differently.
If you have been struggling with staying indoors due to claustrophobia it’s important to remember there is support out there.
For some, taking some time outside, away from large crowded spaces, can help ease any feelings of entrapment that come with being indoors. Even something as minor as sitting by your window and watching the world pass by outside can help ease this. It’s important to remember that no matter how it feels you are not trapped and you are able to leave at any time to take some exercise, nip to the local shop or even see some friends while maintaining social distancing.
Anxiety UK can also offer support during these times. If you find yourself dealing with claustrophobia we have a range of support products and services that can assist you. Our free fact sheet is available to download on our website and has a wide range of evidence based information and self-help tips for dealing with claustrophobia. Alternatively we also have a brilliant book in our shop written by therapist and consultant Andrea Perry who speaks about her own and others experiences with claustrophobia and similar anxiety conditions and how to overcome it.
Finally our therapy service is available for those who feel they need some long term assisted support dealing with claustrophobia. Anxiety UK offers talking therapy via our 400 Anxiety UK Approved Therapists across the country who are available for either telephone or webcam based therapy sessions currently. You can find out more on our website