Originally Posted by Marsdude
The only time I had to fight claustrophobia is when I had to crawl under a house to thread a gas line through the floor. The house was built on 2x12s that were six inches off of the ground and were on 2 ft. centers. I essentially had to inch my way back about 25 ft. in a 2' x 1.5' tunnel. I had a friend tie a rope on my ankle to help pull me out if I got stuck.
About half way in I started to really feel claustrophobic. I did what many have already suggested. I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing and calmed myself. I was then fine.
If you read the National Geographic article on spelunking the spelunker wears a loop of plastic around their ankle that is called the "chicken loop." It is used to pull the spelunker out if they get stuck. You were being smart.