How to Say It: Clah-stro-fo-bee-ah
Claustrophobia is a fear of closed-in or small spaces.
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The cause is not known. It may be a mix of genes and environment.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Claustrophobia starts during the child or teen years.
Problems may be:
A person may also:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Claustrophobia may go away on its own. Others may need treatment to manage the fear. Options are:
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
American Psychiatric Association
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Canadian Mental Health Association
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Accessed November 18, 2020.
LeBeau RT, Glenn D, et al. Specific phobia: a review of DSM-IV specific phobia and preliminary recommendations for DSM-V. Depress Anxiety. 2010 Feb;27(2):148-167.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/specific-phobia. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Treatment. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Available at: https://adaa.org/finding-help/treatment. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 04/14/2021