Claustrophobia is the fear of being enclosed in a small space or room and having no escape.

Causes of Claustrophobia

Several factors seen to cause claustrophobia in people are

Traumatic events

Claustrophobia is very likely to occur if the person has faced harmful and life-threatening situations in confined spaces previously. It can be events like getting trapped in a closet or bathroom, getting stuck in an elevator, accidents associated with train or airplanes or getting drowned in a pool.

Evolutionary survival mechanism

It has seen that the fear can be a resultant of the dormant evolutionary feature of human beings. The fear and anxiety of being in confined spaces is an in-built genetic feature of human being since early civilizations. Such dormant fear was used for defense against any danger during early civilizations, but now not necessary. It can take a form of phobia when confronted with resembling situations at present time.


A person is very much vulnerable to claustrophobia if he/she has some sort of other depressive disorders like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social phobia or panic disorder. Such disorder may aggravate the feeling of need to escape from any space with people in them, and may make them claustrophobic.

Symptoms of Claustrophobia

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 attack can also cause physical symptoms, such as: sweating, trembling, hot flushes or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, a choking sensation, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest, a sensation of butterflies in the stomach, nausea, headaches and dizziness, feeling faint, numbness or pins and needles, dry mouth, a need to go to the toilet, ringing in your ears, feeling confused or disorientated.

If you have severe claustrophobia, you may also experience psychological symptoms such as: fear of losing control, fear of fainting, feelings of dread, fear of dying.