If you suffer from claustrophobia, the idea of undergoing an MRI can be frightening. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome your fears, as there are some tried-and-true tips that can help anyone who is uneasy in closed in places calm their anxiety. Are you scared of an MRI? 5 ways to survive are listed below.
#1. Consider Medication
Talk with your doctor beforehand and let him or her know you are claustrophobic. That way, you can be prescribed medication to help alleviate some of your anxiety. Talking with your doctor is important to ensure you do not receive any medications that might interfere with your tests, and that you receive drugs far enough in advance for them to become effective.
#2. Use a Natural Remedy
If medication isn’t an option, a natural remedy for anxiety could be useful instead. Passionflower and Kava are two supplements widely used to alleviate panic disorders, while Scullcap and Valerian have been known to help the mind release fear.
#3.Practice Deep Breathing Techniques
Even after taking something for anxiety, you might nonetheless find your claustrophobic fears manifesting themselves once you get into the testing room. Practice taking slow, deep breaths, and trying to focus on other things at least temporarily. The right breathing techniques will go a long way toward helping ward off a panic attack.
#4. Listen to Soothing Music
Most MRI centers offer headsets to their patients (we do!) so they can listen to music during their test. Listening to calming music or even nature sounds can help put your mind at rest and make undergoing your MRI a little more pleasant.
#5. Ask a Friend to Accompany You
Having a friend along for moral support is something many claustrophobic patients find comforting. Many facilities accommodate friends and family members for this very reason. (Again, we do too!) When making your appointment, ask whether or not someone else may come with you, and what if any restrictions there are on escorts.
Even if you are very claustrophobic, these five tips can help you relax and become less fearful during your MRI. To find out more, contact us.