What causes claustrophobia?

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What causes claustrophobia?

 is often caused by a traumatic event experienced during early childhood. For example, adults may develop claustrophobia if, as a child, they: were trapped or kept in a confined space. were bullied or abused.


Phobia is a form of fear disorder, which manifests as an irrational fear of certain things or situations that do not pose a real danger, or that the danger is very low. The person is aware that their reaction is irrational.

One of the most common phobias is claustrophobia. It is very common among people, and is a specific phobia. Many research findings show that the lifetime prevalence of claustrophobia is 4%. A person with this phobia feels very afraid when he is in an elevator, an airplane, etc.

Differential diagnosis: Phobic symptoms may accompany many psychological disorders , such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress.


Symptoms of phobias include sweating, a high pulse rate, excessive breathing, trembling, nausea and a feeling of fainting. Behaviorally, the person with claustrophobia, when he is in a closed room, will check all openings and exits, he will try to stand close to them, and he will feel very afraid as long as the doors remain closed, he will prefer climbing the stairs, for example, instead of going up the elevator.

Causes and risk factors for claustrophobia

According to the psychodynamic theory, as in all neurotic patients, the source is the fear-causing instinct of prevention. Fear and its arousing instincts generally (unconsciously) copy a state in which the symbolic significance of phobia is sometimes hidden, and this state can be avoided. Learning theory is also of great importance in understanding phobias. Learning theory held the principle that fear-reducing behavior tends to persist, as long as it is effective. Another endowment, Conditional reflex theory, is panic that results from a stimulus that causes fear when a neutral stimulus is present with it. The neutral stimulus then receives the status of a fear product, and becomes a conditioned stimulus.

claustrophobia treatment

1. Behavioral therapy – the methods used are desensitization and desensitization, in addition to methods of calming and relaxing muscles.

2. Cognitive processing.

3. Dynamic psychotherapy .

4. Psychopharmacology, mainly by means of anti-depressants.

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