|Common Physical Reaction to Triggering Situations|
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- A history of anxiety or nervousness when in an enclosed room or space
- Continually avoiding situations that have brought on a previous anxiety attack; repeated avoidance may actually increase the chance of a claustrophobic attack and its severity.
- Rapid heart beat
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Light-headedness or fainting
- Feelings of dread, terror, panic
- Automatically and compulsively looking for exits when in a room or feeling fearful if doors are shut
- Avoiding elevators, riding in subways or airplanes, or cars in heavy traffic
- Standing near exits in crowded social situations
- Relaxation and visualization techniques designed to calm the fear when in a claustrophobic environment
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) —an approach that involves learning to control the thoughts that occur when confronted with the fear-inducing situation in order to change the reaction
Anxiety and Depression Association of America http://www.adaa.org
American Psychiatric Association http://www.healthyminds.org
National Alliance on Mental Illness http://www.nami.org
National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada http://www.anxietycanada.ca
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml . Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed January 31, 2013.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 9, 2012. Accessed January 31, 2013.
Treatment. Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Available at: http://www.adaa.org/finding-help/treatment . Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed January 31, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 01/31/2013 -