Like all phobias, the cause of claustrophobia is not well known, though it can run in families. The signs of claustrophobia usually develop early in life during childhood or the teenage years. Claustrophobia can disappear in adulthood. If it does not, treatment is usually necessary to overcome the fear, particularly if symptoms have severely limited work or social activities or tasks of daily living.
The following factors are associated with an increased chance of developing claustrophobia or a claustrophobic anxiety attack.
- A history of anxiety or nervousness when in an enclosed room or space
- Continually avoiding situations that have brought on a previous anxiety attack; repeated avoidance may actually increase the chance of a claustrophobic attack and its severity.
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