Mr James Hendrik is a successful businessman who travels often. Unfortunately,
he spends too much time traveling from one place to another when he could save
time and money by just taking the right form of transportation. Mr James Hendrik
is one of those few who suffers from claustrophobia and would simply refuse to
enter an airplane to fly to different parts of the world. Luckily for him, he
lives in an era where one does not have to be physically at a location to be
able to do business with others.
Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder in
which someone has an intense and irrational fear of confined or enclosed spaces.
This means that a person who suffers from it finds being in an airplane, for
example, a really frightening experience.
Symptoms of claustrophobia may include excessive sweating, accelerated heart
rate, hyperventilation, and nausea. Sometimes, sufferers might also feel faint,
shake uncontrollably, and suffer a genuine fear of actual harm or illness even
though in reality, there is none.
How do you know if you are a sufferer? Do you always look for emergency exits
when you enter unfamiliar places? Do you stay near doors ready to escape? Or do
you find closed-up spaces like a room
without a window or having all doors shuts, particularly disturbing? Maybe, just
maybe, you are suffering from claustrophobia.
What can cause claustrophobia? This irrational fear of enclosed spaces can
develop from either a traumatic childhood experience, like being trapped in a
small space during a childhood game, or from other
unpleasant experiences later on in life involving confined spaces, such as being
stuck in an elevator.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for claustrophobia. However, a sufferer can
take charge of his life by undergoing treatment that can help them control their
fear. Treatment for claustrophobia can include behavior therapy, exposure
therapy, drugs, or a combination of several treatments.
When one applies behavior therapy, one must point and recognize one's
reactions to the things that trigger the anxiety in the first place. Then,
through visualization and positive thinking, one must learn to disassociate the
feelings of danger with the confined space.
Another type of treatment is to flood the individual with the situation over
and over again until the anxiety attack passes. The sufferer is taught to
visualize and relax even before he is introduced to the trigger situation. This
is in the hope that the sufferer would eventually be immune to it.
Doctors can also prescribe medications to help treat claustrophobia. This
includes anti-depressants and beta-blockers, which help to relieve the heart
pounding often associated with anxiety attacks.
Sometimes, a claustrophobic may be exposed to regression hypnotherapy. It is
a kind of therapy that encourages the individual to remember the traumatic event
once again and then, instead of getting frightened by it, he is taught to see
the event in a 'mature' way. This may help to decrease the sense of panic in the
With all the treatments listed, it is still hard to be free from this learnt
response. If a sufferer believes that he is going to be forever plagued with the
fear, then it is already a battle lost. No doctors can help him.
It is important to decide that if one is going to get better, one has to deal
with this condition in an energetic and systematic manner. However long it
takes, whatever it takes in terms of effort and determination,
one is sure to be able to break free!
Remember, claustrophobia is a learnt condition and anything that has been
learnt, can always be unlearnt.