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Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Have Claustrophobia--How do you Treat it?

Dear A.B. Curtiss,

I have been crawling the Internet for information on Claustrophobia and its various causes and cures when I can across your article.

I suffer from Claustrophobia myself but am at a loss on how to treat it, or even who to talk to about it. I identify with the emotions you described in your article and hope to have the strength to face my fears like you did. I was hoping you could help me or guide me in any way.

I live in Kolkata, India and have tried talking to a few doctors who have labeled my fears just that - fears. I am afraid of traveling in elevators, specifically small cramped ones. I can usually make the trip if someone is with me but if I have to go somewhere alone I usually avoid the situation by taking the stairs. I am known to have taken stairs even 10 flights up.

I have acquired this Claustrophbia only in the past 2-3 years. It started with a couple of trips in cramped elevators, and escalated when I got stuck once in a power cut. It is not so much the trip that scares me than the eventuality of what would happen if I were to get stuck in one. This also translates into a fear of small rooms and cramped public washrooms.

I hope you can help me in some way, or at least point me in the right direction

Regards, P___________

Dear P_________

I met a man at one of my book signings in New York who asked me if I could tell him how to get rid of his irrational fear of vomiting that he has had for 6 years. My response to him was to consider that he wasn't really afraid of vomiting. That, instead, he had a lot of repressed fear that he was projecting onto that one thing so that he could focus on the situation of vomiting, and avoid feeling the excruciating pain of all his repressed fear.

The way a human being avoids feeling the pain of their repressed fear is to blame. This way he could focus on blaming the "object" of his fear instead of feeling the pain of his repressed fear.

Claustrophobia, any phobia, is the same. The answer for you is to start getting in touch with your repressed fear. What might help you is Chapter 10 in my book Depression is a Choice on amazon.com. Tell me if you have trouble getting the book. And I think chapter 10 is somewhere on my blog http://MobyJane.blogspot.com/. Reading it will give you a basis for understanding your general problem of how to rid yourself of repressed fear. Also my book Brainswitch out of Depression will give you a good idea of how your brain works and how to get from one thought to another, especially fearful thoughts. I will be glad to answer any questions you have. A. B. Curtiss

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