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How does claustrophobia develop?

Some people believe claustrophobia is a genetic condition, but others believe it is transferred through conditioning.

If a child of a claustrophobe parent witnesses an anxious reaction to a particular place, that child may learn that behavior, some experts say. Another theory is that claustrophobia is caused by a childhood trauma, such as being trapped in a closet.

Some psychologists think claustrophobia is rooted in our birthing process, which requires us to pass through the cramped, confined space of the uterus.

After going through the uterus, the newborn is forced out of the women by muscular contractions, an event referred to as birth trauma.

Birth trauma theorists suggest all of us have some degree of claustrophobia, since we were all born, but under this theory, children born in more difficult births would have pronounced cases of claustrophobia later on in life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.