What causes claustrophobia?

Claustrophobia is often caused by a traumatic event experienced during earlychildhood. For example, adults may develop claustrophobia if, as a child, they:

  • were trapped or kept in a confined space
  • were bullied or abused
  • had a parent with claustrophobia

Claustrophobia can also be triggered by unpleasant experiences or situations, such as turbulence when flying or being stuck in a tube tunnel between stations.

A child growing up with a parent who has claustrophobia may develop claustrophobia themselves, by associating confined spaces with their parent'sanxiety and feeling helpless to comfort the person they loved.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018