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What is claustrophobia?

Claustrophobia is the fear of being in a small or enclosed place. People who have claustrophobia may have difficulty being in elevators, small rooms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines or other compact spaces.

Claustrophobia is an irrational fear of confined spaces. It is classified by the medical establishment as an anxiety disorder.

When someone with claustrophobia is confined in a small space - such as in a crowded party or an elevator -- his or her phobia will be triggered. The anxiety that follows generates both a psychological and physical reaction to the experience. That explain why a person with claustrophobia may experience an increased heart rate and trembling, as well as a sense of doom, if they stuck in a car during rush hour.

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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.