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Claustrophobia: the fear of enclosed spaces

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People develop phobias about many things like blood, water, spiders, social situations, darkness and many other strange and funny phobias. A phobia actually refers to a set of symptoms brought on by the feared situations or objects, and many of us may be familiar with an inexplicable fear of something.

Claustrophobia, in simple terms is a fear of enclosed spaces, like elevators for example. Claustrophobia may be described as a situational phobia because a certain environment develops it.

Claustrophobia has not spared anyone, be it a common man or a celebrity. Many famous faces suffer from this fear of enclosed spaces and they try to find ways to overcome the phobia. Interestingly two to five percent of the world’s population is affected by severe claustrophobia, but unfortunately only a small percentage of them opt for some kind of treatment for the disorder.

Claustrophobia may be classified under two main symptoms like fear of restriction and fear of suffocation. A person suffering from this fear of enclosed spaces may feel uncomfortable in small rooms, crowded areas, subway trains, caves, elevators, tunnels and locked rooms.

Fame does not come easy and since celebrities are always in the limelight, they develop different kinds of anxieties and claustrophobia is one of them. Uma Thurman, Drew Barrymore, David Boreanaz, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Matthew McConaughey are some of the celebrities who are victims to this anxiety disorder.

Sufferers tend to sweat, become nauseous or even faint when stuck in a confined area. ‘Kill Bill’ star Uma Thurman admitted her fear of enclosed spaces in an interview with Daily Mail Online. She said “Well, I am claustrophobic but you don’t really have to be claustrophobic to feel being buried alive.” She described her intense coffin scene in ‘Kill Bill: Vol.2’, as a horrifying experience nobody would want to endure.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is also claustrophobic with a particular fear of elevators. She once revealed that she is suffering from number of phobias, the worst being a fear of elevators. Andhranews quotes her as saying:  “The trouble is that many of the Hollywood meetings I have to attend take place at the top of tall buildings — and I simply cannot set foot in a lift if there are too many people in it. If there are four of five people in it, then I just about manage it.”  Fear of tunnels and revolving doors also forms a part of the fear of claustrophobia and Matthew McConaughey suffers from the same.

It is important to overcome and control this fear by undergoing various treatments including behavior therapy, exposure therapy and prescription drugs.

Celebrities who are plagued by their phobias include Justin TimberlakeChristina RicciWoody Allen and Billy Bob Thornton.

Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1161236

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