Word of the Week--"Claustrophobia"
Definition--Claustrophobia- n. an intense fear of small, confined spaces.
Discussion-- I remember a time in my life when I experienced an extreme bout of claustrophobia, and the trauma came at the merciless hands of my brothers. We were just horsing around one day when one of my brothers decided it would be a good idea to wrap me up in a sleeping bag. He and two of my other brothers proceeded to wrap me up so tightly that I was unable to move any of my limbs. I was gripped with an extreme panic and I began to scream. My brothers quickly unravelled me just before my father came rushing into the room. They didn't even get in trouble!
Feelings of claustrophobia can be quite serious. People caught in the grip of this irrational fear of confined spaces react in severe ways, including panic attacks, screaming, fainting, and other various reactions. The person believes that if they can't get into an open space that they will die.
Some places not to take a claustrophobic person: caves, sewers, elevators, crawlspaces, bobsledding, inside of a tightly wrapped sleeping bag!
Etymology--Claustrophobia- from New Latin claustrophobia, from Latin claustrum (closed place) + New Latin phobia (fear).
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