Claustrophobes may suffer from panic attacks in situations such as being in elevators, trains or aircraft. Conversely, people who are prone to having panic attacks will often develop claustrophobia. If a panic attack occurs while they are in a confined space then they will be unable to escape the situation. Claustrophobes may also fear being in crowds.
Claustrophobia can be treated in similar ways to other anxiety disorders, with a range of treatments including cognitive behavior therapy and the use of antidepressant medication.
Popularly, claustrophobia is considered to be the opposite of agoraphobia, or a “fear of open spaces”. This is an oversimplification, however: agoraphobia can also be characterized as a “fear of public spaces”, and so a crowded city square might trigger claustrophobics and agoraphobics alike.