Claustrophobia implies an agent. The symptom of the ailment is an adverse reaction to confinement. The sufferer finds him or herself in a small space in which they are not free to move. One of the nightmares that afflicts people suffering from claustrophobia is being stuck in an elevator or subway. If the elevator is crowded and he or she is packed in like a sardine the feeling of discomfort is heightened. It’s surprising that Hitchcock who dealt with neurological and psychological symptoms likeVertigo and voyeurism (Rear Window) never broached claustrophobia. The closet thing was probably Lifeboat starring Tallulah Bankhead and William Bendix in which a group people become stranded out at sea. But what is the etiology of the ailment? From whence does it derive? If you examine the symptoms, it appears that part of the malady may find its roots in a rebellion against authority. The claustrophobic person is being made to do something that he or she doesn’t want to do and that generally depends on having faith in some other person or force that controls things. For instance, people in elevators are generally freed by the superintendent of a building or by an emergency service that will arrive. People who liken MRIs to sarcophagi have to trust that the radiology technician will free them from their tomb. They have put themselves in someone else’s hands. Anyone who has indulged in sado-masochistic sex play in which there are blindfolds and restraints has been able to, at least momentarily, subsume their being to that of another person. Your average claustrophobic is not going to be turned on by or dominator or domintrix who gags and blindfolds them before tying them up.