KNOW YOUR PHOBIAS – A SOLUTION TO CLAUSTROPHOBIA
A phobia is defined as ‘an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. A phobia starts when a person begins organising their lives around avoiding the object of their fear. A phobia is much more serious than a simple fear. Sufferers have an overpowering need to steer clear of anything which triggers their anxieties, often leaning towards an irrational extreme response. Most often, phobias surface in adulthood unlike fears which mostly surface in childhood.
THE CONSTRAINED SPACE
Claustrophobia: It’s generally thought of being fearful of small spaces, but it’s not necessarily small – its rooms/closed spaces that don’t have a clear and easy exit (like an elevator). It’s a complex phobia encompassing a generalised anxiety disorder, panic attack or some social phobia. The sufferer often is extremely fearful of closed spaces like lifts, flights, hotel rooms, cinema halls, etc. and can get extremely anxious if lands in one of these. He/she may go to huge lengths to avoid being in such situations.
The book, “Phobias: A Handbook of Theory, Research and Solution “ suggests that approximately 15% – 37% of people in the world suffer from claustrophobia. Though very few seek professional help for it and rather choose to live with it.
Claustrophobia is a distressing condition and one that doesn’t always have a clear known cause that the sufferer is aware of. Recognizing the cause and the related thought processes is important if you want to help yourself with the claustrophobia and the anxiety accompanied by it
AN OPTION YOU MAY NOT HAVE TRIED
The development of claustrophobia itself is incredibly complex and deep rooted. Traumatic experiences appear to play a role in leading to claustrophobia. Childhood experiences do as well – children left in a room by accident or punished by being placed in a closet seem more at risk. These need healing at the psychological level. Hypnotherapy can help people access their subconscious mind and uncover the source cause of their claustrophobia, which is usually hidden in the deep corners of the mind. Once the causal event/memory is identified, healing becomes faster and impactful.
EMBRACE THE FEAR WITHOUT PILLS
I have worked on a few cases of claustrophobia using holistic approach and without any medication. One of my clients, a 38 year old woman, came seeking help for claustrophobia which has troubled her for 20 years. Simple tasks like taking a flight, going to movies or staying in hotels made her break into a sweat and bouts of anxiety. Under therapy, she went to a time when she was a few months old baby lying alone in a room which caught fire. She was saved last minute by her mother. After this therapy session, the client said that her fear and anxiety response to closed spaces has gotten better yet she feels some of it is still there. So, I regressed her again and this time the client went to a past life memory where she died in a train accident in a tunnel and lied under a heap of bodies for many days. After, this therapy session the client felt free of the phobia. Couples of weeks later, she flew to London and called me from there explaining how flying in a 24 hour flight without any jitters and nervousness was a life changing and liberating experience for her.
I would like to mention another case of claustrophobia which was very specific. In this case the client got scared in closed spaces and her fear was doubled when such a place was full of people. On regressing to the cause, she went to a past life memory in Egypt where she was mummified alive as punishment, in a room full of people. During the therapy session, she said that seeing too many people in one place triggered the anxiety and fear in her. Using the technique of re-framing and desensitisation, I facilitated the client to release the anxiety and panic. She is now completely free from her claustrophobia.
CONQUER YOUR PHOBIA WITH SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES
When it comes to dealing with Claustrophobia, Regression and Desensitisation are two holistic techniques which are very useful. Simply put, Regression is accessing the memories from one’s past (current life and/or past lives) which are causing a problem/challenge in the present. Most of the time, the person is not aware of these memories at the conscious level. Once identified, the therapist’s role is to facilitate the client to vent out all the emotions and anxieties associated from that memory and the people in that. Then the client can make peace with what happened, form a new perspective and be free to live in the present. In my years of experience as a therapist, I have seen that most often claustrophobia has its roots in past life memories.
Desensitisation is another important tool which is used along with Regression. Desensitisation helps break the old neuropathways that trigger a set behaviour, in case of claustrophobia – the anxiety, panic and need to fled the triggering scene. Using this tool, I facilitate clients to create new neuropathways which leads to a desired new behaviour of the client in the presence of the triggering stimuli for his/her claustrophobia.
If you have been suffering through claustrophobia or any other fears/phobia, there is no need for you to live with it. Holistic healing approach can help you be free from it complete. So, seek help of a trained expert and live your life remaining calm, peaceful and happy.
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