Claustrophobia is the irrational fear of confined spaces.
It's normal to fear being trapped when there's a genuine threat, but people with claustrophobia become fearful in situations where there's no obvious or realistic danger.
They'll go out of their way to avoid confined spaces, such as lifts, tunnels, tube trains andpublic toilets (see below for a full list). However, avoiding these places often reinforces the fear.
Some people with claustrophobia experience mild Generalised anxiety disorder when in a confined space, while others have severe anxiety or a panic attack . The most common experience is a feeling or fear of losing control.
It's estimated that around 10% of the UK population are affected by claustrophobia during their lifetime.
This topic covers:
Triggers of claustrophobia
Symptoms of claustrophobia
What causes claustrophobia?
Coping with a panic attack
Help and support
Read about claustrophobia, including common triggers, physical and psychological symptoms, causes, treatment, plus help and support.
Many different situations or feelings can trigger claustrophobia. Even thinking about certain situations without exposure to them could be a trigger. Common triggers of claustrophobia include: lift
Panic attacks are common among people with claustrophobia. They can be very frightening and distressing and symptoms often occur without warning. As well as overwhelming feelings of anxiety, a panic
Claustrophobia is often caused by a traumatic event experienced during earlychildhood. For example, adults may develop claustrophobia if, as a child, they: were trapped or kept in a confined space
Most people with a phobia are fully aware that they have one. Many people live with claustrophobia without having it formally diagnosed and take great care to avoid confined spaces. However, getting