Lately, there’s been a steady rise in mental disorder issues. We are in a world dealing with many complexities that derive from political, economic, and social stressors. Claustrophobia is just one form of anxiety, which is triggered by being, or feeling, closed-in uncontrollably. Claustrophobia can be experienced through physical events, or even through visual stimulation.
This anxiety disorder can be brought up in several ways. Claustrophobia responds to being in small spaces, areas with no windows, no air flow, and being in completely dark areas. Claustrophobia can also come about from other people, or inanimate sources like clothing. The most popular image that comes to mind, when people think about claustrophobia, is being trapped in a box, or some narrow hole.
Statistics reported by Health Research Funding, state that up to 5% of people in the U.S. have anxieties rooted in claustrophobia, and that the UK has double the rates of sufferers. Mental disorders like claustrophobia cost the U.S. over $43 billion a year. Many people function without even having full knowledge of the disorder, and go about their daily lives dealing with this fear.
It’s been researched that only a small percent of people actually want to seek effective treatment. Researchers have also found that claustrophobia is deeply rooted within past traumatic experiences. Other scientific claims state that those who have an above average level of intelligence, are more than likely to develop claustrophobia. Listed below for your viewing pleasure are 15 Pics That Will Make You Feel Claustrophobic.
15. Let’s Go Find Dead People
Nothing says happy hour like exploring a cave full of dead people. The expression on this guy’s face, seems like he’s having the time of his life investigating some ancient catacombs. Catacombs were typically used to house the dead, or diseased, underneath the ground. The top two most famous catacombs are located in Rome, Italy and in Paris, France. If you look closely behind the guy, you can make out the tiny opening he probably had to crawl through to take this photo. The other person, who took this shot, probably had to crawl over the bones the same way. Catacombs are known to be deep, and extremely hazardous. They’re incredibly old, and can be quite unstable. Some stretch deep beneath the city grounds, which makes them almost impossible for people to explore and map out. People can get lost quickly, and easily. Also, catacombs can go from zero to a hundred real quick on the creep factor.
14. Stuck Amateur Cave Explorer
How fun it is to go exploring in dark, and unknown territories. Let’s face it, Earth has got to be one of the coolest things we know. People know enough about this rock of a planet that we call home, but Earth still holds a lot of secrets. Caves are just one of the many hobbies and interests, that fascinate a lot of people, especially amateur land adventurers. Check out this photo above. The photo shows a pair of boots sticking out from a crevice in the cave. The boots are the only visual parts of the person. This pioneering cave enthusiast seems to be literally stuck between a rock, and a hard place. It’s not known for sure whether this guy knows what he’s doing. Most likely this person is fine, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. Still, if he or she is indeed stuck at this moment, that’s a really bad way to go.
13. Under The Sea In A Submarine
Let’s take a step back from the underground world, and step into another world many don’t consider constrained. The ocean is vast, and stretches miles and miles deep. It is the total opposite of anything but closed-in. Yet, the waters of our planet, are just as mysterious as the caves people explore. So of course people have made strides in developing ways to explore the depths of our planet, including the ocean. One way in exploring the sea, is by submarine. Submarines are typically horizontal long vessels, and geared with state of the art sonar technology. What some people fail to realize, especially if you haven’t been in a submarine before, is the actual narrowness of the vessel. Furthermore, people have to consider that there’s tons of sea pressure waiting just outside the submarine’s metal walls. They’re completely cramped, and just as difficult to navigate through as any cave, or catacomb.
12. Rise From Your Grave
The fear of being buried alive is a very popular fear amongst claustrophobics. Not only are you away from any source of light, but your air supply is very limited as well. The other influential factor, is that the victim can’t move. Being buried alive hits all of the major fear factor points, but it also has a very eerie history. People have been used as burial sacrifices throughout the ancient years, and some traditions may still practice this in secret. Reasons for burial sacrifices are complex and mysterious. Some speculate it’s to warn off bad energy, and spirits. Some of the most shocking stories of people being buried alive are by honest mistake. Some people aren’t exactly dead, but in fact, are in deep comas. When they wake, they find themselves six-feet-under. If you’re claustrophobic, don’t ever put yourself in a position where this could happen to you.
11. An Unfortunate And Ugly History
If there’s going to be any mention of claustrophobic sea vessels, there has to be one image that conjures up a lot of negativity, and fear. Let’s not forget the slaves that were brought over to the United States during the slave trade. If most of us know our U.S. history, we can all recall the textbook picture of slaves being forced to pile on top of each other. They were changed side-by-side, one under-the-other, and one above-the-other. No space, or inch, was wasted in filling up the ship’s cargo hold. Many of these voyages were long, and conditions were absolutely deplorable. The slaves couldn’t move. The slaves were stuck where they were, until they reached whatever horrid destination they would arrive at. Being constrained in one dark place to sleep, and excrete, is cruel. It’s understandable how someone can look at this, and shudder at the possibility of being in this condition for months.
10. Living In Cramped Style
Tiny living has been trending for some time. It seems like some people are making the transition to move away from grandiose living, to living more simply, and in smaller units. Still, I doubt the above image represents any of the positives of living in small spaces. The photo above was published about a year ago, in a collection of photographs taken to showcase the illegal Hong Kong housing units. These are mostly divided “cubicle spaces” permitting residents to reside by themselves, or with families. Hong Kong authorities have been trying to crack down on this housing issue, and to break up all illegal housing activity. This then creates another problem for the tenants, by making them homeless. Nothing says home-sweet-home like a cold and wet street. Looking at this photo, it seems impossible to think that, that this is the way someone can live, sleep, eat, and bathe month-to-month.
9. “Houston, We Have A Problem”
Space is literally the human race’s last frontier of exploration. Just like the ocean – and probably more so – outer space is never ending. Yet, it’s also frightfully lonely. The International Space Station, which literally floats amongst a sea of darkness, might not make the obvious list of images that would put fear into the hearts of claustrophobics, but in reality, it absolutely should. The ISS is the only satellite to house, and sustain life, but the fact that you might be the only living person – or thing for miles around, is scary. The first few days up there might seem relatively great, and cool no doubt, but that can slowly start to change in the coming days. When the realization that your food supply may dwindle, and the fact that there’s absolutely no potential for an easy exit, a claustrophobic might want to think twice about an outer space vacation.
8. The Tiny Crapper
If you’re an acrophobic, flying should not be something you should do often. If you happen to be fearful of both heights, and small spaces, you should completely avoid flying, period. It’s bad enough airlines are pretty much closed-in from the moment you buckle-in to your seat, but there’s one particular place on the plane that’s absolute hell for a claustrophobic. Airplane bathrooms can barely fit any individual, unless you’re below the height of five-feet. When mother nature calls, it’s bad enough to walk down the slim aisle of the plane, but then you get to that janitor-sized storage unit the cabin calls a bathroom, and all you want to do is bail. The worst is when turbulence decides to join your little bathroom party during mid-release of waste. That’s always fun. At least everything is conveniently located. You don’t have to practice your yoga pose in order to reach for the toilet paper.
7. Don’t Forget Your Luggage
If there’s one thing claustrophobics won’t ever do anytime soon, it’s going to be squeezing themselves inside their luggage bags. This photo above was clearly taken to be humorous, but there have been stories of those who have snuck on planes in crates, and yes, even luggage bags. Even if the flight was short, it would be absolutely unbearable to be contorted to fit in a duffle bag, or a stiff luggage case. The human body can’t withstand such a position without feeling some sort of numbness, discomfort, or pain. Above all, this is the ultimate lock-in. You won’t be able to escape at all, unless an outsider unzips the luggage for you. You would definitely need another person if the luggage zippers were locked with a TSA lock. It does seem ridiculous that anyone could fit into a luggage bag, but it has happened. Luckily for them, they weren’t claustrophobics.
6. A Cubby Fit For A King
When you arrive to your destination, you expect some long awaited R&R. Instead, you arrive to a human cubby-hole. The above photo is a very popular way for guests to spend the night in Japan. These sleeping pods are not only cheap, and convenient, but an interesting experience for travelers. These capsules have been around for a while. They were mostly used for last minute overnight crashes, by local Japanese businessmen, but their popularity soon caught on with foreign tourists. The flight to Japan will cost you some money, but at least you can save a little bit while you recover from your jet lag. Just don’t expect claustrophobics to bother with these futuristic rest capsules. There’s room for nothing else, except your whole body, and nothing but your whole body. It also doesn’t help with the fact that the rooms themselves resemble morgue-like spaces for corpses. People who suffer from necrophobia should also be wary.
5. As I Lay My Soul To Sleep
The morgue is ranked highest as one of the top creepiest places to be if you suffer from necrophobia, and especially claustrophobia. There’s certainly a guarantee that people suffering from both these anxieties will not step foot here. As it’s normal, no one wants to step inside a morgue. It’s not only because the place is a morgue, where they handle the dead, but it’s because the morgue has all the things claustrophobics don’t like: tight, dark, suffocating spaces. Morgues are also often places where corpses can sometimes be forgotten. In the case of Gaylon Roe, who donated his body to science, his body was forgotten in a hospital morgue eight days after his initial death from a heart attack. Roe’s wife was shocked, and called out the hospital for mistreatment. Roe’s body was supposed to be delivered to a university for research, but instead, his body lay all alone.
4. As I Lay Down And Hear MRI Beeps
This next photo seems pretty strange, and might not fit the typical claustrophobic ideal image either, but MRI machines actually are notorious for causing anxieties, and fears for most people. The fact that a doctor is telling you to be scanned by this huge machine, because you might have a serious medical problem, is bad enough. Being fearful of narrow spaces, on top of being scanned for an illness, can make anyone panic with fear. Also, let’s not mention the awful sounds this radio-wave image-making device can blurt out. If there’s one thing worse than the sound of your own panicked breathing, and the thumping of your own heart, it’s the sound of an MRI machine. MRI machines can go from light chirping noises, to heavy aggressive alarm beeps, or can blast a noise as loud as a fog horn.
3. Trapped In The Locker
Being shoved in a locker is no fun, and it’s definitely not cool. To be locked in a locker for a long period is every claustrophobic’s hell. The narrow space – that can hardly fit a normal ten-year-old sized child – let alone a full-sized grown person, is not the most ideal place to be for a long period of time. It’s cramped, dark, and your breathing can also be affected. Clearly lockers are for one purpose, and one purpose only: to place your sweaty gym attire, and half-read cement-like textbooks. A person, who suffers from claustrophobic symptoms, would not be able to handle being shoved in a locker at all. There have been horror stories about those who have been bullied, and as punishment, locked in lockers. Allegedly, some cases have even reported about those who have been left in the lockers, were eventually found dead, due to neglect, dehydration and starvation.
2. Total Lock Down
The second spot on this list of claustrophobic nightmares, goes out to every image of a prison cell. Some can be spacious, and decorated with a few pleasures like Al Capone’s cell at the Philadelphia State Penitentiary, but for the most part, they’re cramped and cold. Prison, or being locked up in jail, is certainly not a happy place to be. It actually shouldn’t be the happiest place on Earth. That title has been already taken by Disney. Jail can be lengthy, but when it comes to a state prison, it’s a whole other story of loneliness and dread. Being in prison, depending on the crime and other social factors, can go from months to years, or even eternity. If you are a claustrophobic, a prison cell is not worth the crime. Most cells in the U.S. average around six-by-eight feet. Minus the space taken up by the bed, and toilet.
1. Prison Break
The number one spot for claustrophobic images, has to go to any picture depicting a prison break. Obviously prisoners just can’t walk out the main front casually, as if it doesn’t matter. Prison breaks are calculated, and go through months of planning, or even years depending on how long a prisoner has. In this memorable scene from The Shawshank Redemption, the protagonist meticulously plans his escape through multiple scenarios, building towards the final climax where he has to crawl through multiple holes. The final tunnel that’ll lead him to his freedom, is literally crawling through an extremely tight sewer system. The sewer is pretty simple, all Andy (or any prisoner) has to do is crawl straight through. What makes this agonizing, is the fact that crawling through this tunnel isn’t easy when there’s limited space for movement, but also the fact you’re crawling through tons of fecal residue. Prison break is simply easier said then done, but if it’s done just right, there’s always going to be some light at the end.
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