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about a strange type of claustrophobia

By Anonymous September 15, 2011 - 4:14pm
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well, this is very strange but a month ago i became actually and felt very claustrophobic under my own head of hair! now I have had hair all my life and never have had it bother me like this before, can you give me your opinion on this very odd thing? I am a female and it the claustrophobic feeling under my hair got so bad i had to shave my head. what do you suggest i do?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hey, I go through something similar. I used to have long hair too. I'd always keep my hair up and in buns, because when it was down I would be filled with an extreme overwhelmed feeling. It would get bad to the point where it would trigger panic attacks if I couldn't find hair ties. You're not alone with this. My hair makes me feel extremely Claustrophobic, and I'm glad I'm not alone with this.

July 20, 2018 - 1:48pm

Hi Dana,
This is more of a phobia, which is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. A psychosis is a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.
To my knowledge, a problem with your eyes will not cause a phobia.
However, your question intrigued me so much, that I had to do more research. I found that your phobia is called chaetophobia, a fear of hair.Those with the most severe fears of hair will be likely avoid those whom they believe to have too much hair and may react with phobic symptoms when in the vicinity of hairy people or animals. They will be likely to attempt to leave the area. There are even those who fear their own body hair and may try to remove it. Treatment options include hypnotherapy techniques, psychotherapy to find out the root cause of the development of the fear, cognitive therapy to learn to understand the phobia and develop strategies to manage the symptoms.
Talk with your internist and ask for a referral to see a psychologist to help you with this condition.


September 19, 2011 - 4:55pm
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Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

hi, its not that im really actually afraid of the hair , its just that it started to feel hot and smothering and claustrophobic on my head like as if i were getting smothered underneath a blanket and had to get out from underneath it, by shaving the hair off was the only way to stop the claustrophobia. I know it sounds really strange , my family also
wanted to know why i did it but i felt too ashamed to tell them the real reason for thinking they would really think in crazy, so i told them the hair got too hot and thats why i did it. Im slowly trying to let the hair grow back its still very short but Im hoping when it gets longer the claustrophobia of it doesn't come back? i really miss my long hair that ive had all my life and just wish this type of claustrophobia would end for me.

September 20, 2011 - 11:42am

Hi Dana,
This is indeed a very strange phobia. Has anything traumatic happened in your life to suddenly bring on this feeling? You would benefit from being evaluated and treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist who is trained and specializes in dealing with various phobias.


September 15, 2011 - 5:42pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

well, no nothing tramatic has happened to me but i have been having medical problems with my eyes as of late and am going to see an eye doctor soon, can an eye diseases cause a phychosis like this ? i have heard of physical illnesses that can cause a phsychosis.

September 18, 2011 - 2:46pm
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