What is it?
Claustrophobia is usually defined as the irrational fear of confined spaces. It can be rational to fear being trapped when circumstances carry genuine threat. However, in claustrophobia, people experience fear even when there is no obvious or realistic danger in a particular situation.
People who experience claustrophobia generally go out of their way to avoid a long list of confined spaces, including lifts, tunnels, tube trains, revolving doors, public toilets, MRI scanners, and even don’t like to wear crash helmets. Unfortunately, avoidance may reinforce the fear.
Claustrophobia may arise from a one-off trauma at any age, developed when the person was a child (for example growing up with one or more claustrophobic parents) or emerge as someone gets older. Around 10% of the population may experience claustrophobia during their lifetime.
Claustrophobia fact sheet
DIY self diagnosis
If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by claustrophobia.
During the past 6 months, did any of the following make you feel anxious:
- Being in a confined space such as being in a tunnel, on the underground etc.?
- Being in crowded places?
- Did you avoid being in any of the above situations?
How we can help
Anxiety UK is a user-led charity with more than forty years experience in supporting those living with anxiety. By becoming a member of Anxiety UK, you will have access to a range of benefits, including:
- Access to reduced cost therapy within two weeks of submitting your therapy request
- Free access to Headspace, worth £95
- Access to our infoline, email, text and live chat services (available Monday-Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm) staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety
- Receipt of four issues of Anxious Times, our quarterly members” magazine
- Access to the members only section of our website, featuring regular support surgeries facilitated by anxiety experts
- Access to specialist helplines, including the psychiatric pharmacy helpline
And many, many other benefits that will help you manage your anxiety long term. To become a member of Anxiety UK click here or ring 08444 775 774 today.
Claustrophobia: Finding Your Way Out is a self help book written by an individual who has lived with claustrophobia. It is available to purchase in the Anxiety UK online shop, you can access it by clicking here.