Deal with MRI claustrophobia panic attack

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Deal with MRI claustrophobia panic attack

9 Significant Tips on Dealing with MRI Claustrophobia & Panic Attack! 

We all know that MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Test has a drawback in its procedure & that is the possibility of suffering from Claustrophobia and panic attacks when you are inside a semi-enclosed long tube-like machine.


What we do not know is that such a drawback can be wiped out from the picture if you get hold of some suitable preventive measures while having an MRI scan!

Deal with MRI claustrophobia panic attack

Do you want to know what those preventive measures are?

Here go; some of the significant tips on dealing with MRI Claustrophobia & Panic Attacks! Stay tuned!

Deal with MRI claustrophobia panic attack

Tip 1 – Learn all about MRI before pursuing the scan

Are you aware of what an MRI test is and how the test is conducted? If not, this is high time you learn about the test and keep yourself updated! Anxiety wraps you up when you are unaware of what shall happen & you suddenly encounter things that were beyond expectation.

You need to convince yourself that nothing can go wrong and understand that an MRI works with strong magnets & radio waves to create images & no radiation or invasion lay entailed can give you relief!

Discuss with your doctor about the MRI test, surf the internet, and do all that helps you in knowledge-gathering about MRI because this is the first preventive measure with which you can topple claustrophobia & panic attacks when inside the MRI Scanner.

Read another tip  for Deal with MRI claustrophobia panic attack

Tip 2 – Get Someone with you to the Diagnostic Center

If you have claustrophobic tendencies & you know you may panic inside the suffocating space, being your first time, please get someone along with you to the diagnostic center.

Perhaps, no one is allowed inside the test lab apart from the patient. However, getting someone around can work like a mental booster. You will know that someone is there, waiting for you, outside the lab, who would do anything & everything possible to keep you alive & healthy!

Such a measure can help you get relief from stress & anxiety & reduce the possibility of panic attacks when your lie down for the scan inside the machine!

Tip 3 – Ask Questions to the Radiologist before going inside the machine

When you feel anxious before going inside the MRI machine, ask as many questions as you have to the radiologist in charge. Asking questions can help resolve doubts and give you enough clarity on what happens next.

The radiology team shall do anything within their reach to help curb claustrophobic situations during the MRI scan. Talking to them can make them aware of your condition, and they shall keep all emergency care ready for you. Isn’t that a relief in itself?

Tip 4 – Keep your eyes closed throughout the MRI test

The most significant preventive measure to undertake during an MRI scan, especially if you are a claustrophobic patient is to keep your eyes closed throughout the time! It is because, with closed eyes, you will not be able to see & experience the suffocating semi-enclosed space. And therefore, you will not be scared of being trapped therein. This is similar to the strategy we follow to get over someone from the past – Out of sight, Out of Mind!

When your eyes are closed, you can get the opportunity to think about being somewhere familiar, somewhere you feel safe & comfortable.


That is when all your anxiety & anticipation are likely to disappear from the picture!  this is completed tip 4 for Deal with MRI claustrophobia panic attack

Tip 5 – Take deep & controlled breaths when facing anxiety

Sometimes, when all the above preventive measures fail to cope with claustrophobia & panic, this measure works amazing! It is because taking deep breaths can stimulate blood circulation and ensure that your nerve stimulators are relaxed.

These are the same tactics we apply while we undergo meditation – Deeply breathing in and out for some time & subsequently calming down your brain & letting peace prevail. You have to do the same when you are inside the MRI machine!

Tip 6 – Get a Blanket to cover yourself during the MRI

A blanket over your body can give you the sensation of being at home – That comfort, That coziness! Of course, you need to ask the radiologist whether you can get a blanket because all MRI tests do not allow the same! If it stands suitable for the one you are availing, you can grab a blanket and cover yourself.

This will limit stress & anxiety by giving you a sensation of security, the one you get at home when you lay on your bed!

Tip 7 – Use Eye-mask & Earplugs to avoid the sensation of being inside a machine

You can undoubtedly use props to eliminate the possibility of claustrophobia and panic attacks. Some of the popular ones for an MRI are earplugs & eye-mask. While the former helps refrain the loud, cranky noise from reaching your ears and creating discomfort, the latter acts as a medium to avoid seeing inside the machine and anything whatsoever during the MRI test.

Which one do you think can serve you the best? Choose accordingly! You can also use both props, and there is no harm in it, I must say!

Tip 8 – Do not overthink; Instead, engage yourself with music 

Overthinking is in no way beneficial to human health at any time! Irrespective of what situation you are in, you need to stop overthinking & assuming things that do not happen! Likewise, overthinking during an MRI can only bring setbacks you do not want to witness, I believe!

Thus, the most favorable solution to avoid your fearsome thoughts & ideas during an MRI and subsequently avoid claustrophobia & panic attacks is to stop overthinking by engaging yourself in something else. Listening to music is a great call to divert your mind, especially when you are anxious cum anticipated!

Tip 9 – Consult with your doctor about taking Sedatives during your MRI


If you think nothing can relieve you from a claustrophobic situation to turn up during your MRI scan, you always have the option to consult your doctor and avail of a sedative. Sedatives are medical drugs that will calm you down during the test, and you cannot feel what is happening. They are either given in the form of oral dosage or injected into your body through IV invasion!

Would you want to take this? The choice is yours!

Bottom Line for

Dealing with MRI claustrophobia panic attack


The bottom line is every problem comes with a solution, and all you need to do is study and find out which solution works best for you! In the very same way, you have to acknowledge the fact that an MRI scan can be claustrophobic for you, and there lay a possibility of having panic attacks. Yet you have to gear up to derive ways to deal with such a circumstance!

Is there another solution to deal with claustrophobia & panic attacks during an MRI that we missed listing? Comment below & let us know!

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Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
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