I am claustrophobic.
Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has an irrational fear of having no escape or being closed-in. It frequently results in a panic attack and can be triggered by a lot of things.
It is not necessarily the small spaces that trigger the anxiety but the fear of what can happen to the person if confined to that area. Some things that trigger anxiety issues with me are:
Elevators, tunnels, basements or underground rooms and spaces, movie theatres, subway trains, hotel rooms with windows that do not open, public toilets and in some cases medical devices like MRI scanners etc.
It is not being in a small space that bothers me – it is being effectively trapped in that space that leaves me feeling breathless. I hate elevators. That terrifying moment between the elevator stopping and the doors opening feels like forever to me. I feel like I can't breathe when I am in an enclosed area. The fear of being enclosed or stuck up in any place with no easy escape triggers a panic attack in me. If I am in a room and there are too many people, I start to feel the beginnings of it. Crowded stores are one of the worst for me. I often have to step outside. Feeling held down or contained in any way triggers it instantly.
It is difficult for people without this affliction to even begin to understand this condition. There have been so many instances where I have been ridiculed when I take the stairs instead of the elevator or when I check the hotel room that I am to stay in for windows that open out to a balcony.
We all have a phobia or two in life. Some fear the water, others heights etc. but I feel we should be more tolerant towards those people.
What is your fear ?