Calm yourself; it’s just an elevator. No need to panic. Remember what your therapist told you ⎯ when the anxiety becomes too much to handle, just close your eyes, step out of your body, and focus on your breathing.
Relax. Concentrate. And Breathe.
Remember, this is a huge job opportunity. Your family needs this. Don’t screw it up. Don’t think about the fact that the interview is on the 42nd floor, or the fact that you might be walled-in with 20 other corporate snobs. Their breaths reeking of coffee and tobacco. The aroma so pungent that it bypasses your nasal passages, sailing straight for your throat, tugging mercilessly at your gag reflexes.
As you stand in the middle of the compressed compartment, shoulder-to-shoulder with dozens of heavy mouth breathers, your heart begins to race. Accelerating by the second.
You try desperately to remain positive ⎯ but you fail. Your ailment is like a snake slithering through your every thought, engulfing any and all positive images that may be trying to surface.
The trickle of sweat on your forehead has now morphed into a heavy rain flow, cascading endlessly onto your freshly pressed shirt that you purchased specifically for the interview.
As if that even mattered, because the shirt is now glazed in five layers of fear, shame, and sweat. People around you keep a watchful eye as if they can detect your turmoil. Or maybe they suspect that your feverish –like symptoms are those related to the infamous Ebola Virus, and any moment you will project a cumbersome amount of blood into the air, infecting them all.
But who can blame them? This condition is ridiculous. But you have to fight it. For your family. For your friends. But most importantly, for yourself. You need to return to the man that you once were: Afraid of nothing.
But that’s the future, and this is the present. You just need to focus on stepping into that elevator, riding it to the 42nd floor, nailing the interview, and landing the job.
The wait is over, and the unpredictable, compressed silver monster has arrived.
Time to begin your new life.
A life without fear. Without regret. Without anxiety.
Just joy and positivity.
So, open your eyes, step into the elevator, and destroy the insanity.
Ready? Let’s go.
One. Two. Three.
Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has an irrational fear of having no escape, or being closed-in.
According to WebMD, it frequently results in a panic attack, and can be triggered by certain situations, such as being in a crowded elevator, a small room without windows, or being in an airplane.
A psychologist or psychiatrist first diagnoses claustrophobia by asking the patient for a description of the symptoms and what triggers them. This helps determine the severity of the patient’s phobia.
After diagnosis, the psychologist may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): The goal is to retrain the patient’s mind to no longer feel threatened by the places they fear. This may involve slowly exposing the patient to small spaces and helping them deal with their fear and anxiety.
- Relaxation Exercises: Taking deep breaths, meditating, and doing muscle-relaxing exercises can help with warding off negative thoughts and anxiety.
According to MayoClinic, the cause of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, is thought to be a combination of genetic vulnerability and life experience. With appropriate treatment, it is usually possible to overcome claustrophobia or any other anxiety disorders.