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Do you feel like screaming and clawing your way out into the fresh air when you’re trapped in what for others seems like a completely normal space? “Claustrophobic” is a word that gets tossed around a lot in conversation, but what does it really mean for people who suffer from this anxiety disorder? People with claustrophobia have a fear of being stuck in small or crowded spaces, which could include lifts, MRI machines or public toilets — but also less obvious situations such as conference rooms, public transport or heavy traffic.
Like agoraphobia — generally regarded as the ‘opposite’ of claustrophobia — the feeling of being unable to escape is a major factor. It’s also important to note that personal definitions of ‘confined spaces’ can vary widely between individuals. Someone with very severe claustrophobia may experience telltale symptoms like sweating, heart palpitations, nausea or dizziness in a space that someone else may consider quite roomy.
But at whichever point that anxiety kicks in, claustrophobia can have a real impact on your life. Fear of being trapped in a tight space could lead you to skip social events, postpone holidays, avoid medical treatment or even let professional opportunities pass by. If you’re looking into treatments, it’s likely you’re already feeling those constraints.
How can I overcome claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia can be mild or intense — and the intensity can go up and down depending on what else is going on in your life, making it difficult to isolate the triggers on your own. You may have a good idea of where your claustrophobia originated, or it may be a complete mystery. Either way, if you’re unable to master the feelings of panic, seeking professional counselling to investigate underlying causes and develop strategies to cope may be a good place to start.
The experienced therapists at Bayside Psychotherapy can work with you to master the panic and anxiety of claustrophobia using a combination of tried and tested techniques. Your treatment will be tailored to your specific circumstances — the severity of your symptoms, your preferences and your personal history. Before designing your program, your therapist will meet with you to assess your situation and set goals together.
Call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to book your confidential appointment to see how we can work with you to transform your fear into confidence. To complement — or get a jump on — your counselling, we also recommend downloading our targeted self-hypnosis recording for claustrophobia.
How long will it take to see results?
No two people have exactly the same reaction to therapy, and treatment duration is as individual as you are. While an overnight cure is an unrealistic expectation for any mental health treatment, many people feel some degree of improvement just from taking the first step to help themselves. After a few sessions, your practitioner will evaluate the success of your customised treatment to make sure it’s working as planned and make changes if necessary.
We can work with you to change your thought processes so that these situations no longer fill you with panic.
Don’t let claustrophobia limit your life
Broad training and years of counselling experience have equipped the therapists at Bayside Psychotherapy with an array of therapeutic approaches, including counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, NLP, mindfulness therapy, and Buddhist psychotherapy. We offer either online or face-to-face appointments at our Melbourne clinic to suit your circumstances.
You’ve already taken an important step by deciding you need to address your fears. Don’t let more time pass before taking concrete action. Make an appointment today by calling (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form.
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