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…