Are Escape Rooms Ok for Claustrophobic?
It’s understandable to be wary of escape rooms when you have claustrophobia, after all, they are called escape rooms… But no one needs to be frightened, it’s just a bit of fun!
Escape rooms are actually ok for people with claustrophobia and anxiety – and can even be beneficial. If you have claustrophobia and want to do an escape room, you can talk to the staff before you make your booking to know the ins and outs of the process so you can rest assured that you can leave whenever you need to.
What’s more, the escape room staff will be monitoring you and your team’s progress so if anyone begins to panic, feel unwell or simply needs the bathroom, you will be quickly let out of the escape room and assisted to make sure you feel better.
What is Claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia is a fear of small or enclosed spaces, so it’s natural to think that escape rooms are going to be a terrifying experience, but we can’t stress enough that it’s simply not the case. Some people with claustrophobia panic in very tight spaces, and others feel uncomfortable when they feel trapped, such as inside locked rooms or moving vehicles, however, there are many different triggers for people with claustrophobia, each person is different.
Whichever type of claustrophobia you may have, you can have your escape room experience tailored to your needs to ensure you have fun while flexing your critical thinking muscles.
How Escape Rooms Work
Escape rooms, at their core, are fun puzzle-solving centres for small groups of people; they’re designed to be challenging, but not to induce fear in those taking part (unless you go in a horror-themed escape room!). However, enclosed spaces can be difficult for people with claustrophobia, anxiety or who have regular panic attacks, so if you have any such condition, you should speak with the escape room staff before making your booking.
The escape rooms themselves are the size of ordinary rooms or larger, so being inside shouldn’t provoke any feelings of being stuck in a small space. At Escape Now! we allow groups of up to 6 people in each of our rooms, so the rooms are large enough for people to move freely, however, you can also have a smaller group if you think you’d be more comfortable with more space.
While you’re inside the room, a games master will be watching and listening to you in the room, and you’ll be able to communicate via a walkie-talkie if you need a tip to help you solve the puzzle, or if you would like to leave the room. They don’t let you win, but they’re on hand if you’re stuck.
Do Escape Rooms Lock the Door?
Part of the fun of escape rooms is believing that you can’t get out until you’ve solved the puzzles, but for people with claustrophobia, that might not sound like too much fun. So, with fear of shattering the illusion… you should know that escape rooms don’t actually lock you in!
The door will be closed behind you and you’ll be let out after 60 minutes if you haven’t completed the room, however, if you need to leave before then, your games master will allow it. Just tell the games master over the walkie-talkie that you need to leave and they’ll open the door, escort you out and help you get medical attention if necessary.
So, Are Escape Rooms Ok for Claustrophobic People?
Escape rooms are perfectly ok for claustrophobic people and people with anxiety, as long as you inform staff beforehand so they can be ready to help if you begin to panic. But, contrary to what you might think, most people don’t panic in escape rooms! They’re a fun mystery you can get stuck into with your family or friends, so it’s more likely you’ll be so distracted by the puzzles and clues hidden within the themed rooms that you won’t even have the chance to panic!
In some cases, people with claustrophobia even feel better after taking part in an escape room as it shows them that they can be in enclosed spaces without feeling fear if they’re distracted enough or having fun! Often people with claustrophobia will avoid small spaces, however, this reinforces the fear rather than tackling it, so if you have claustrophobia, then maybe an escape room is exactly what you need!
But if you do ever feel unwell in an escape room, you have your family and friends there to support you as well as the games master to help if you need assistance.
If your claustrophobia is very severe but you don’t want to miss out on all the fun of escape rooms, you can even ask for the door to be kept open so you can put your problem-solving hat on with no worries at all.
Can You Leave an Escape Room?
The aim of an escape room is to find the clues and solve the puzzles in order to escape before your time is up, but even if you don’t complete the room, you will be allowed out at the end. While there are few rules in escape rooms, there’s also no fun in cheating, so it’s best not to let people in and out of the rooms regularly, however, in desperate situations, you will of course be permitted out of the room.
Reasons to leave can include, but are not limited to:
- Needing to use the toilet
- Feeling unwell
You’ll be asked before you go in the escape room to use the toilet, as there are no toilets in the escape rooms themselves, but sometimes we can’t help suddenly having the urge to go, especially once we know we can’t. So if you need the toilet once you’re inside an escape room, don’t worry, you will be allowed out.
Similarly, the very essence of panic means we can’t control it when we feel it, so if you start panicking and can’t calm yourself down, you will be allowed to leave the escape room.
Who Can Do Escape Rooms?
If you’re wondering who can do escape rooms, we have great news for you: anyone can do escape rooms! You don’t have to be a genius or have an astounding IQ to solve puzzles; it’s simply a fun group activity, where the more diverse thought processes you have amongst you, the better! In fact, less than a third of escape room participants complete the escape room, yet they’re still tons of fun because it’s about challenging yourself to use your problem-solving abilities and have a laugh with the rest of your group.
Some medical conditions may make completing escape rooms more difficult, so if you have any of the following conditions, it’s imperative you inform your games master before entering the room so they can pay extra attention and prepare appropriately:
- Anxiety disorders
- Mobility disorders
- Heart conditions
You can still take part in escape rooms with these conditions, however, it’s important to be transparent with staff about any pre-existing conditions for your own safety. For example, some escape rooms may contain flashing lights, so if you have epilepsy, you will be advised to take part in a different escape room.
Escape rooms are great team-building events for employees and employers as much as they are family fun, so they make for excellent work outings and can bring your teams closer together, using their problem-solving skills and improving their communication skills to boot.
If you do wish to participate as a family or group of friends, you should be aware that under 16s will need to be accompanied by an adult within the escape room, not just to the escape room.
Escape Now! – Birmingham’s Best Escape Room
Escape Now! has four themed escape rooms on site in Birmingham for people to have fun stepping into the shoes of Holmes and Watson, or have an exhilarating experience in the horror room. Our experiences are affordable fun for the whole family.
Check out our escape rooms and book your experience today!