"Natural claustrophobia self treatment to provide relief from stress and anxiety. Aids in claustrophobic episodes (elevators, MRIs, commuting, airline travel, trains, crowds and other situations which cause a feeling of being closed in) providing a discrete natural remedy to overcome feelings of fear and anxiety."

How do we cope?

Posted: May 18th, 2011 | Author: Shawn_Bee | Filed under: Claustrophobia | No Comments »

Everyone has heard of a coping mechanism. It is how we adopt to a situation, whether it is an activity we do not want to do or one with a bad experience associated with it. Per Wikipedia, the definition of coping is: the process of managing taxing circumstances, expending effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking “to master, minimize, reduce or tolerate stress” or conflict. Some people try to do a routine before such a situation which alleviates the “angst”, “fear” or “discomfort” associated with the situation. In medical terms, we often try to “desensitize” a patient to a discomforting situation through methods which introduce the offensive stimulus in a small manner and increasing such exposure until a patient can “cope” and face such situations with reduced negative emotional response.

Some people use a pre-event routine as well to enhance a situation. Athletes prepare for their sport with a ritual. Even recently, we learned of two tennis players independently suggesting certain non-tennis, physical activity enhanced their tennis performance with heightened hormones/adrenaline. I will let you look into Andy Murray and Francesca Schiavone to learn about this activity. Even Ryan Reynolds discussed his “coping” for the movie Buried by having telephone access to a reassuring friend while filming the scenes in a coffin.

So, why do I bring this topic up today? Those who do not suffer from claustrophobia most likely have routine and successful coping mechanisms. However, for many claustrophobics, their fear is based in an ‘irrational’ response to a situation. This irrational component to the definition of claustrophobia makes coping difficult. Medications do not handle the ‘irrational” and desensitizing is only mildly successful. With the use of calmspace™, a person has control (a basis for rationale behavior) and the neurologic stimulus is believed to signal relief to the situation.
Please let me know some of your unique coping mechanisms or even attempts to find a routine which minimizes the discomfort associated with your claustrophobia or other situational anxiety. I will share the best responses I receive.

Until next time…

Dr. B.

Perception of fear & claustrophobia

Posted: May 9th, 2011 | Author: Shawn_Bee | Filed under: Claustrophobia | No Comments »

What happens when you drive past a police car? Often, you slow down, check your speed limit and gauge whether you were “within acceptable limits.” For me, and as I guess for many of you, this behavior is rooted in the past experience of getting a speeding ticket and/or the fear of receiving one currently. This fear is not rationale, if I am driving within the law, and oftentimes, unfounded as the police officer does not begin his/her pursuit of me. But, for those of you who are street racers, perhaps this fear is well triggered.

So how do we fear? Do we ‘fear” alike? No, but we can derive some commonality between how I fear and you fear, etc. According to Jamie Molphy, who wrote “Overcome Fear- How Do We Control Fear?” Fear is a natural response to life’s trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, many of us overestimate the size of the perceived threat which has caused this fear and set about stressing our mind and body to its limits, without actually considering the probability that this fearful event will neither come to pass, or be as apocalyptic as we had thought.

As stated above, fear is actually a natural response to a perceived danger or risk which may occur in the future. As such it is impossible to totally alleviate. However, it is possible to overcome fear and reduce the amount of stress caused by the realization of such a threat by immediately analyzing the threat and formulate some solutions or options in advance.

However, claustrophobics do not have the ability to apply this rationality to their inciting fear and oftentimes become consumed by the situation. Medical intervention works with anxiety and claustrophobia patients by desensitizing them to the situation or circumstance which creates the fear. Many practitioners will try methods of confrontation or medication to numb the response. On occasion, this method works. However, many claustrophobic individuals and those who suffer from anxiety shy away from medical intervention. Additionally, there is no proof of a successful solution. Avoidance both of doctors and the fear inducing situation becomes the approach.

We all struggle with convincing ourselves that the threat is only perceived. Those who suffer from claustrophobia often cannot overcome this perception. We believe that the use of calmspace signals to the claustrophobic that the situation is not so dire or threatening. Let me know your experience.
Until next time,
Dr. B.