Understanding Cleithrophobia: Symptoms, Causes and Cure

Understanding Cleithrophobia (Fear of Being Trapped): Symptoms, Causes, and Cure

Are you one of them, who after entering a room, face the fear of being trapped or locked in it and worry that they won’t be able to come out at their free will? There isn’t a need to worry as you are not the only one to experience persistent fear. Neither is it too late to get it cured. But it’s high time that you recognize your fear, its symptoms, and causes.

Among the many phobias, the one that suits the above-stated symptoms is the fear of being trapped (Cleithrophobia). It is the fear of being locked in enclosed places. People with such phobias avoid using elevators, going to the toilet or a place that they feel may ‘entrap’ them.

Normally, when we hear about people suffering from these symptoms, we joke about them and put them in a situational-fearful position. This can cause adverse effects and worsen both emotional and psychological behavior of a person suffering from this phobia.

If you’re wondering how the fear took control over you

Then, you should go back in the past and find out if there was any occurrence of a larger event, specifically of a traumatic one that led to this fear.  The other possible reasons could be that it is genetic or a deficiency of some vital chemicals in the brain.

There are many such cases when people fear to go alone to the toilet. One case was reported on www.boards.ie with the person’s name undisclosed. He mentioned that once, he was locked in a small place in a building and he couldn’t come out. He panicked and suffered serious injuries when making an attempt to come out of that place. The person is still suffering from serious trauma and has not forgotten the event yet.

He advises people with a similar phobia to carry their cell phones along with them even when going to the toilet.

Another case picked from the same site is that of an anonymous person, who said that before entering the toilet or any room, he makes sure to check the lock. If the lock is dodgy, then he wouldn’t enter it.

How can one determine for the symptoms of the fear of being trapped?

People often confuse Cleithrophobia with Claustrophobia, when the latter is the fear of small enclosed places.

There is another anonymous person who shares his experience on www.experienceproject.com. This person knows the difference between the two and he is sure that he is suffering from the fear of being trapped (Cleithrophobia). He supports his reasoning by stating that he is extremely comfortable in closed spaces but the fear builds up when he is stuck in the place or unable to come out of it. This freaks him out. He said that even if aT-shirt gets stuck in his head while wearing, he immediately starts panicking.

Most people suffering from this fear often behave crazy and cause trouble, mostly to themselves. In the state of phobia, they often breathe heavily as they run short of breath, start sweating, heartbeat increases; feelings of nausea, nervousness, and dread arise.

Consult a Specialized Therapist

You should ask for expert treatment in case of the fear of being trapped.
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If you feel you have a persistent phobia and it just does not stop from occurring often, then you will have to visit a therapist for the treatment. This will help the experts to diagnose the type of fear and then begin with a specialized treatment suitable to your needs.

Doctors often begin the treatment with drugs. However, avoid taking it, as the prescribed drugs can only cure your symptoms but not help you psychologically. And if you stop your medicines abruptly, it may also result in side effects, like the withdrawal symptoms.

Although the therapy can last for a week or a month, it is effective. It may also require for you to repeatedly get exposed to the fear which sounds scary, but it’s the best way to treat.

There are many treatments that you can help you:

Exposure therapy

In this therapy, you are repeatedly put into stressful situations which are specifically relative to your fear and later on, the fear factor is increased to the degree of requirement.

This treatment has worked successfully among many suffering from the fear of being trapped (Cleithrophobia). But it is always necessary to find a professional specialist who could understand the root cause of your fear.

Behavioral therapy

This is a one-on-one session where the experts expose you to various relaxation techniques, thereby helping you to slowly get rid of the fear.

The process is slow and requires a person to see a few photographs of enclosed places or to imagine yourself in a fearful situation. This will allow the experts to work on your thoughts, as well as to help you realize that the symptoms occurring in such cases are just mere thoughts and they will subside.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

This therapy is all about exercising your brain to kick-away all the unwanted negative thoughts and behavior that result from the fear.

According to the study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, it states that if you follow the treatment plan honestly, then you are sure to notice the improvement in 10 to 20 weeks and a tremendously surprising effect after a year.


This is the best treatment that you can adapt to see the resultant drastic changes in yourself.  Observe your symptoms and expose yourself to get rid of the fear.

Fear is nothing but a cluster of negative thoughts that keeps playing in your mind and thus shows up in the form of behavior. The only way to get rid of this baggage of thoughts is to control what you to think about and the language you use in your head.

This is nothing but self-evaluation.

Following the technique of Self-Evaluation can help you see improvements faster:

No one can understand their fear better than the person itself who have planted the whole trouble in his/her head. Demystify the cause of your fear and see yourself hanging out without any worries with your friends.

You will suddenly notice a positive change in your lifestyle. You will no longer walk with your head down and depressed. Instead, you will be high on energy, breathing normally and talking about what pleases you around.

So jump up from being an afraid-lazy bag and list out the plan for a quick and faster approach to cure your fear.

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Debby Clarke

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