Hypnotherapy to Help with Claustrophobia: by Dublin based hypnotherapist Ailish McGrath




Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. It is estimated to affect about 10% of the population.

Some people with claustrophobia only react with mild anxiety when in a confined space, while others experience severe anxiety or have a panic attack.

The most common experience of claustrophobia is a feeling of being out of control or fear of losing control, a feeling of being trapped with no means of escape and an overwhelming dread and panic clouding our ability to think rationally.

Many different situations, thoughts or feelings can trigger claustrophobia. Thinking about or rembering certain situations without actually being in the situation can be a trigger. Some examples of common triggers include:

  • lifts
  • tunnels
  • trains / trams
  • revolving doors
  • public toilets
  • cars with central locking
  • car washes
  • changing rooms
  • hotel rooms with sealed windows
  • planes

    If you have felt anxious about being in a confined space or crowded place, or if you have avoided confined spaces and crowded places for this reason, it is likely that you are affected by claustrophobia.

    Physical 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:

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hot flushes or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat
  • 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

    Those with severe claustrophobia may also experience psychological symptoms such as:


  • fear of losing control
  • fear of fainting
  • feelings of dread
  • fear of dying

    Getting help for claustrophobia


    Many people live with claustrophobia without having it formally diagnosed and take great care to avoid confined spaces. If however the avoidance is impacting your capacity to enjoy your life and function on a daily basis it’s worth seeking help to resolve the fear.
    Hypnosis, NLP (Neuro linguistic programming), EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessng) and coherence therapy have all been shown to be effective at treating claustrophobia.