Claustrophobia: How To Overcome It

Claustrophobia is an issue that often plagues our patients as one of their biggest concerns before undergoing an MRI scan. We understand your concerns and know claustrophobia can be overwhelming and difficult to overcome.  We hope to help you understand what claustrophobia really is, what causes it, and how you can prevent it from taking over.

What is Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is an anxiety disease that creates a fear of being closed in small places or being unable to escape. This anxiety disorder can often trigger anxiety attacks that are triggered by various fears based upon the person.  Crowded areas, small spaces, airplanes, and MRI’s are often triggers for those who suffer with claustrophobia.

Symptoms include panic attacks, sweating, heightened blood pressure levels, and even a rash. This disease often develops during a person’s adolescence. Being unable to breathe and running out of oxygen is a concern amongst those who suffer with claustrophobia.

What causes Claustrophobia?

Technically speaking, claustrophobia is a symptom of anxiety but can also be experienced in those who do not have anxiety. Anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia are all disorders that seem to affect claustrophobia.  Traumatic experiences can play a role in forming this fear of small or closed in spaces. Growing up with someone who suffers from claustrophobia can also play a role in developing this anxiety disorder.

How to lessen your Claustrophobic attacks

While avoiding situations that may trigger claustrophobia is often the first response for those who suffer from this ailment, which is often the biggest mistake. Studies have shown that avoiding your fears reinforce that fear in your mind.  In other words, by overcoming your claustrophobia you can assist in preventing future attacks. Taking a deep breath and concentrating on positive thoughts during claustrophobic situations can help you overcome claustrophobia.

While claustrophobia affects up to 37% of the world’s population, simply by facing this anxiety disorder you can overcome it. If you’re concerned about battling claustrophobia while getting an MRI, don’t worry! At Kerrville Imaging, we specialize in Open MRI technology which can help with patients who struggle with claustrophobia.  If you have any concerns before or during your scan, just let someone on our team know and we can help you!