How to Say It: Clah-stro-fo-bee-ah
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Claustrophobia is a fear of closed-in or small spaces.
The cause is not known. It may be a mix of genes and environment.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Claustrophobia starts during the child or teen years.
Problems may be:
A person may also:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Claustrophobia may go away on its own. Others may need treatment to manage the fear. Options are:
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
American Psychiatric Association
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Canadian Mental Health Association
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Accessed November 18, 2020.
LeBeau RT, Glenn D, et al. Specific phobia: a review of DSM-IV specific phobia and preliminary recommendations for DSM-V. Depress Anxiety. 2010 Feb;27(2):148-167.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/specific-phobia. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Treatment. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Available at: https://adaa.org/finding-help/treatment. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 4/14/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.