I've noticed over the past few years that I'm becoming increasingly claustrophobic in crowded places. The two places I dread the most are airplanes and theaters (movies or plays). I don't fly very often, but the nice thing about it is that you can always request an aisle seat or politely ask someone to switch with you. There's still that sense of being confined, but if you have to use the restroom or get up and stretch your legs, people on airplanes are generally understanding and will let you get by. Theaters though are really starting to freak me out. If it's not so crowded or I'm by the aisle, I'm fine. But too often I get talked into going to movies with friends on an opening weekend. I drop hints that I like to sit closer to the aisles, but most of the time they just tell me to relax, shut up and watch the movie and we always have to sit in the fucking center of the theater with total strangers almost completely surrounding me. That drives me insane. I get a stomach ache. I can barely concentrate on the movie and keep feeling like I have to go to the bathroom even when I don't. One of the worst claustrophobic anxiety attacks I ever had was in March of last year when I saw Louis Black at my university's theater. I sat in the balcony which was jam-packed, in a far corner almost completely as far as you could be from the aisle with only two inches between my legs and the back of the seat in front of me. Then at the beginning of his set, he made a joke about being annoyed when people get up and leave. He was still funny and I don't regret going to see the show, but it also made me never want to visit that theater again. I know how ridiculous a lot of this sounds, but at one point during his set I had anxiety so bad I was afraid I'd throw up all over myself. I hate that I can't enjoy going to a theater unless certain criteria are met, which they seldom are. Sometimes I get anxiety going to sporting events as well though at least there you can talk to your friends and take your mind off of it. In a theater you just stare straight ahead and for me most of the time my anxiety is such that all I can think about is getting the hell out of there. I don't think that theater claustrophobia is something that most people understand. Any thoughts on what I should do? I don't want to just avoid theaters and having a good time with friends or a date, but now when people mention going to a play or movie on opening night it's almost like a crisis for me.