Hypnosis for claustrophobia is an effective treatment if utilized properly. Claustrophobia is the fear of being in an enclosed space, and it’s quite common among both men and women of all ages.
Claustrophobia is very common in elevators, airplanes and trains, but also many other situations. Some people will literally begin to panic when they’re locked away.
Common symptoms apart from the obvious fear are sweating, trembling, nausea, chest pain, faintness, vertigo, distressing tingling (paresthiesias), irregular heart beats, having trouble to breathe or loosing the sense of identity.
My First Claustrophobia Experience
My own mother used to be claustrophobic – when I was I child I once locked her on our balcony where we had a big glass door. She instantly got so furious and bewildered that I was afraid to open the door again, which of course just worsened things for her and she changed from being angry and upset to panicking and crying.
I was a very small boy and was probably just as shocked as she was – I can clearly remember this episode of my life in much detail. When I saw her crying I immediately opened the door and cried too, saying how sorry I was.
But this left a deep and lasting impression on my. She later explained to me that I should never do such a thing again, and that always panics when she feels like she can’t get out of somewhere. Needless to say, I never did it again, and I got a very visceral understanding of what claustrophobia can be like.
MRI & Claustrophobia
Nowadays, one of the most challenging situations for many people is when they need to do a MRI. They need to get into this really huge machine, but where they live it’s just a small tube. Most people don’t feel particularly comfortable in this thing, so it isn’t surprising that MRI claustrophobia is quite common nowadays. (For more on MRI Anxiety see infobox below)
Hypnosis for Claustrophobia
Hypnosis works really well for claustrophobia because it can help you to keep your cool. Even if the just thought alone of being in an enclosed space gives you goosebumps and makes your heart beat faster, by listening to a hypnosis MP3 repeatedly you can overcome your fear of confined spaces and learn to be relaxed and at ease. Even in such a hardcore situation like an MRI.
You do not need to panic anymore, you do not need to feel that urgent need to get out quickly everytime you’re in a small space.
Some claustrophobics also feel uncomfortable taking public transportation – if that is you, hypnosis can help too.
Essentially, you don’t need to be afraid when there is no danger.
Some people think that exposure therapy is a good way to overcome claustrophobia. And in fact – it works. Exposure therapy basically means that you expose yourself to the experience you are afraid of again and again until you’re not afraid of it anymore. And you do so in a gradual manner, so that it never becomes totally overwhelming. Essentially it is about pushing your limit always one step further.
As I said – this approach works. It’s just a question of how much time and effort it takes. And in most cases, it takes a lot of time and effort and willpower and it is a really tiring process.
Hypnosis is a way of smooth-lining the whole process. Curing claustrophobia doesn’t have to be a difficult, painful experience – listening to a relaxing hypnosis download daily before you go to bed for less than half an hour is a much more elegant solution.
MRIs are becoming more and more common all throughout the world. With it we see a clear rise in MRI anxiety – that means people experience intense emotional distress, fear, anxiety and can trigger even full-blown panic attacks in some people when they are in one of these machines. In fact, an MRI can really be scary: a patient has to lay in there for quiet a long amount of time, there are loud noises, it’s a tiny tube there are in, they aren’t allowed to move, it’s dark, and the inner portion of the scanner can be right in front of their face, even the temperature and humity. Plus, it’s the perfect breeding ground for severe anxiety because it creates a kind of sensory deprivation.
Questionnaires have shown that 65% of all patients who undergo an MRI experience moderate distress. This is not common for a medical procedure. Of course in many cases when a person undergoes a medical diagnosis, there often is mild distress because people might worry about their health. But moderate distress is much more intense than that.
For about 20% of the people who attempt to do an MRI ((although this number varies also depending upon the clinic where it is done and the preparatory work of the medical staff)) , they can’t it because of MRI anxiety – the emotional distress is too intense for them.
Even for those people who successfully take part in an MRI despite their fears, the anxiety might alter the MRI results and thus make the diagnosis less accurate. If a person is in a state of anxiety, there are a lot of things happening inside of them that usually don’t happen inside of them, but will be shown on the MRI images.
If you have to undergo an MRI it can help to have a close relative or friend who is allowed to be with you in the same room during the MRI scan – ask your doctor if this is possible. Many people also find that the experience is less scary when they close their eyes.
Relaxation exercises can also help (for example breathing exercises), with soothing music playing (there are certain kinds of MR-compatible stereo systems for this) and maybe even an aroma oil scent in the air to help you relax. And if you’re willing to do so, then using hypnosis to prepare your mind in advance for the experience is probably one of the most effective ways to remain calm and relaxed in an MRI.