How to overcome the phobia of confined spaces?

Confined space phobia, also known as claustrophobia, is a psychopathology capable of limiting people’s autonomy and impairing their quality of life in virtually all areas of their daily lives. And it is that those who develop this anxiety disorder do not limit themselves to “having a bad time” being in relatively small rooms or cramped interior patios; in situations like this, he feels like he is losing control and his anxiety and stress levels skyrocket within seconds.

fortunately, the phobia of confined spaces can be overcome if you have the right help, realize that in a few months it stops interfering with daily life. In this article, therefore, you will find a summary of guidelines and key ideas to keep in mind to deal with this psychopathology, in case it affects you or someone in your immediate environment.

What is claustrophobia?

As its number indicates, claustrophobia is included in the concept of phobias, a category which in turn is included in the concept of anxiety disorders. Thereby, this psychological alteration takes the form of anxiety-like symptoms: tremors, agitated breathing, muscle tension, catastrophic thoughts about what is going to happen, dizziness, irritability, increased blood pressure, cold sweats and the need to flee as soon as possible.

Moreover, in most cases, phobias share the same symptoms, which appear when the person is exposed to the phobic stimulus or imagines it more or less vividly; what changes is what triggers them (with exceptions such as blood phobia, in which the reaction usually has certain characteristics).

As you can see, the symptoms related to phobias mix physiological phenomena (that is, they affect automatic and involuntary biological processes such as sweating, the rhythm of the heart and breathing, controlled by the autonomic nervous system) and also cognitive and emotional alterations, such as irrational beliefs about the supposed dangerousness of a situation.

Thus, in the phobia of closed spaces, part of the person who suffers knows that there are no objective reasons to worry, but cannot avoid clinging to irrational beliefs about bad things that could happen to him in places like this. There is an ambivalence that is difficult to manage and which wears down the individual psychologically, making him doubt everything.

Tips for Overcoming Confined Space Phobia

These general tips will help you fight claustrophobia and make the disorder go away.

1. Go to therapy and don’t skip sessions

Psychotherapeutic assistance is needed to receive personalized training in anxiety management. Going to the doctor can also help, but the use of psychotropic drugs will not get to the root of the problem, since their usefulness is centered on the alleviation of symptoms in the medium term.

Thus, the rest of the advice you will find here should be taken as an additional reinforcement to what the psychotherapist recommends, and when the two things are incompatible, you should prioritize the indications given by the professional who treats your case in an appropriate way. to your needs

2. Get out of your comfort zone

Suppose that to overcome the phobia of confined spaces, you have to deal with psychologically uncomfortable situations, because it is not possible to overcome a phobia if we do not face what scares us. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to relive anxiety-provoking situations (for example, forcing you to spend all your free time in small rooms) or that you shouldn’t take into account the level of difficulty of each from these challenges You have to know how to give yourself a break and not set very ambitious goals from the first day, because it could damage your mental health, frustrate you and make you give up quickly.

3. Talk to your loved ones about what is happening to you

Don’t treat it like a taboo subject: express what is happening to you, how it makes you feel, and say that you have decided to overcome your phobia of confined spaces. Today there is a greater awareness of mental health issues and it is worth giving them the opportunity to offer you their support. In addition, you will thus transform your friends and your family into elements that will motivate you to continue to fight against the phobia.

4. Use relaxation techniques before going to bed

It is very important to be able to sleep the necessary hours, which is difficult if we suffer from an anxiety disorder. To make it more bearable, you can incorporate short relaxation techniques into your routine during the last minutes of the day before going to bed, such as Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation. In this way, you will be less vulnerable to stress and you will have a greater capacity for resilience in the face of the uncomfortable aspects of everyday life.

5. Don’t try to keep anxiety out of your mind

If you try to prevent anxiety from entering your consciousness, you will become more vulnerable to it. It is much better to accept its presence as something temporary and redirect your attention to other stimuli.

Would you like to benefit from professional psychological help?

If you would like to undergo psychotherapy and receive professional support to overcome a phobia or any other type of anxiety disorder, contact us.

In Advanced Psychologists we offer you more than 20 years of experience in the field of mental health, and we work with people of all ages. You can opt for face-to-face sessions or online video call therapy.

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