claustrophobia Condition in Vazdimet | World Anvil

claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is a fear of tight or enclosed spaces. The phobia is typically caused by trauma or extensive use of Necromancy.

Causes

The onset of standard claustrophobia occurs most often after the affected individual experiences trauma while within a confined space. After the inciting incident, later exposures to enclosed spaces frequently result in panic and anxiety, reinforcing the subconscious belief these spaces are dangerous. Children are particularly susceptible.   While claustrophobia can affect anyone, necromancers also experience the condition in numbers sufficient enough to earn its own name: necromantic claustrophobia.   This is due to the necromancer's repeated exposure to the vast expanse of the higher planes of the Afterlife. When one is accustomed to the vastness of The Void within their mind, anything less feels confining.

Symptoms

The most common manifestation of claustrophobia is a strong fight or flight response when returning to smaller, enclosed spaces. While the phobia itself is a mental condition these responses are very physical, often involving a heightened awareness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, headaches or dizziness, elevated heart rate and/or blood pressure, and even panic attacks.

Treatment

Treatment for claustrophobia, on the other hand, must focus on the mental aspects of the fear.   Desensitization therapy is the most common and accepted treatment, involving gradual but repeating exposure to the situations which trigger the parent's fears, accompanied with traditional therapies to work through the source of the phobia. Care must be taken not to rush too quickly, as careless exposure to triggering spaces may serve instead to reinforce the phobia.   Psychomorphation is a less preferred alternate, if desensitization attempts have been causing the opposite effects. Because this method involves adjusting the patient's emotional responses, it will also have an effect on the patient's personality, leaving this option as a last resort in cases where the the has proven debilitating.

Prevention

There is no true way to ensure one does not contract the fear. Strict avoidance of enclosed spaces would mimic the effects of the phobia, and actually increase the odds of developing it in the first place. It is therefore recommended people simply live their lives, and treat claustrophobia if it develops rather than taking steps to avoid it.   Necromantic claustrophobia, on the other hand, can be avoided if the proper care is taken, although the steps required will also reduce the necromancer's potential capabilities. Those seeking to prevent the phobia must ensure they spend at least half their wakeful hours without a connection to the Afterlife or The Void.   This limits the ability to practice, and therefore slows the necromancer's efficiency training, as well. Because Necromancy itself can also be used to counter the sensation of enclosure, most choose to lean into their magic instead, although this route is often accompanied by debilitating side effects if they are somehow cut off from accessing the higher dimensions beyond The Veil.   To most necromancers, the greater magical capabilities are well worth the occasionally-debilitating inconvenience.
Type
Mental
Origin
Magical
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Common

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