Sometimes, people become anxious and upset when they imagine being locked in an enclosed place. When this reaction becomes intense and persistent, they may be suffering from Cleithrophobia.
Reasons For This Fear
This is an understandable phobia. As human beings, we need to feel free…not trapped. Those who fear being locked in an enclosed place fear the loss of freedom and movement that they need to be healthy. Whether it is a jail cell, a small room, or some other small place…the idea of being unable to escape is a terrifying one.
Jail Cells Can Be Triggers
For those who’ve been to prison, or fear going to jail, Cleisiophobia can be all-consuming. Prisoners report a lack of self-esteem and mental stimulation when they are locked down in a penal facility. They may have little free time each day to eat, exercise, and shower out of their cells. For certain criminals who have been convicted of offenses, punishment may includes time spent in segregation or solitary confinement. When this occurs, it can be psychologically damaging. People in solitary may lose their grip on sanity when they cannot speak to anyone else for an extended period of time. We are social creatures, who need to share our feelings and thoughts with other human beings. When this vital contact is taken away, the psyche can erode, and mental illnesses, such as depression and personality disorders may result.
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This fear can be tied into another fear – Claustrophobia. Being trapped in a small space, such as an elevator, can be a fear for many people. The idea of a confined, enclosed space that offers no way out is a devastating one for many Claustrophobic and Cleisiophobics. They will become panicky just at the idea of feeling trapped. If they do find themselves in this situation, they may be subject to full-fledged panic attacks, which include symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and racing heartbeat.
Do You Have Flashbacks?
People who’ve been forced to spend time locked in an enclosed place will often have flashbacks, cause by post-traumatic stress disorder. When faced with triggers, such as video footage of people who are trapped, or prisons, they may become lost in painful memories of their own experiences. People who have been kidnapped or held prisoner will be highly susceptible to this phobia. They will feel stark terror when faced with the idea of going through a similar experience at other times in their lives.
If you suffer from the fear of being locked in an enclosed place, you will take great pains to make sure you have enough space and freedom. Personal safety may be a priority. You will be suspicious and hyper-vigilant about your personal security. You will wish to avoid any people who might put you in this situation. If you fear being arrested, you should be certain everything that you do is law-abiding and correct, to minimize risk. Criminals who do have something to fear are often subject to bouts of this phobia, and the symptoms it causes. Taking steps to protect yourself, to avoid triggers, and to live a life where you adhere to laws is the best line of defense against Cleisiophobia.
Treating this phobia may require some help from a therapist, who can delve into the root cause of your fears. By sharing your feelings and experiences with a trained professional, you can release some anxiety, and begin to make progress. In some cases, panic treatments that offer solutions to coping with symptoms can help to improve your quality of life.
The fear of being locked in an enclosed place is also referred to as:
- fear of enclosed places
- fear of being locked up
- being locked in an enclosed place phobia