Claustrophobia is widely known as the fear of tight, confined spaces, but that need not be the case. What counts as a closed space to one person may not to another. For that reason, many may feel uncomfortable for staying inside their home for extended periods of time. This however, differs from the cabin fever almost everyone is experiencing after spending the majority of the last two years or so indoors.


  • Panic attacks in certain places that cause excessive stress to the person.
  • Hot flashes
  • Disorientation
  • Fainting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Intense fear


  • Exposure therapy can be used for desensitization of claustrophobes in order to make life easier for them. The patient is put in situations that test their limits bit by bit until they can comfortably experience the earlier stressful situation.
  • The most effective method of helping people get over phobias is Cognitive Behavourial Therapy, which aims at understanding the root of the problem and urges the patient to move towards a healthier mind-set. The patient talks with a therapist who analyses their thoughts and encourages a more realistic view.
  • Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy is another kind of psychotherapy similar to CBT, but more action-oriented.
  • Depending on the severity of the case, anti-anxiety medication might be prescribed by the patient’s therapist.
  • In the moment, a claustrophobia attack can be managed by breathing deeply, focusing on a certain point or repeatedly telling yourself that the fear is irrational while also telling yourself that the source of your anxiety will eventually pass.

When to consult a therapist?

If the abovementioned symptoms persist for over six months, and disrupt everyday normal exercises, a professional should be contacted. Some further criteria are:

  • If there is absolute surety that these symptoms are irrational, and not due to some other underlying condition.
  • If these symptoms aren’t caused due to anticipation of a specific event.
  • If you suffer serious anxiety attacks when in closed spaces.


“Claustrophobia is simply being uncomfortable in tight spaces”

Claustrophobia is in fact a serious, medically diagnosable condition that should not be undermined as it generates an actual physical response.

“Claustrophobia is lifelong”

Many resources are available for treating Claustrophobia, and as such, it is curable.

“You can simply avoid claustrophobia attacks by not going into situations that cause them”

Claustrophobia is a situational condition, and it’s very hard to just avoid places that may trigger it.  Furthermore, for some people suffering from it, even the thought of enclosed spaces is enough to cause them anxiety.