The fear of claustrophobia and looking for exit


April 27, 2016

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In college days, travelling in the bus was the only viable option to travel as auto was rarest and only in urgent situations. I used to change 2 buses to reach home. One bus from college to Nehru place and then from Nehru Place, 764 to Najafgarh. It was good for me as the bus used to start from the terminal and I used to get a seat till my home. I was managing well in bus, with sometimes in auto, sometimes lifts from friends, until one day. I took the seat in one of the middle rows and got to sleep almost instantly. As I woke up, I was about 4 stops away from my stop and saw amusingly overcrowded bus with no way to get to the front of the bus to get down. I stood up from my seat and walked towards the gate with my bus stop just 2 stops away. It was too difficult to find way as the crowd crushing me, giving no space and then I shouted “jane do mujhe” as I crossed my bus stop panicking and finding space to breathe. Few people got scared of my reaction and gave me way, as I really looked sick. I got off the bus 2 stops ahead of my stop, and just rushed home in mere 10 minutes (original time of 20 minutes) Yes it was a panic attack, I was breathing hard as if I have fought my way from a war… and the onset of the feeling of claustrophobia.. fear of closed spaces, cramped spaces, crowded places, where the mind keeps working on how to get out or to exit in case of trouble. Traveling in that crowded bus do saved me money but gave a feeling of fear for life…. I keep working on it, now I see all the situations from 360 degree angle, think of positivity and negativities both and prepare for the worst. I became very conscious of my mind, my thoughts. Live the worst fears and know how to deal with them. I sit in front seats in the bus, planes, avoid window seats, I would rather climb up the stairs than take unreliable lift, wear lose clothes, and breathe a lot…

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