Hey there! Looking to go for an escape room adventure with your family and friends, but scared that you’ll start panicking inside?

Want to know if anxious folks can do escape rooms or not?

Searching for some tips and tricks on how to deal with panic in an escape game?

Don’t worry – we got you!

Allow us to reveal to you why there’s really nothing to be worried about in an escape room!

Sneak peek of the blog post

We’ll walk you through how an escape room works and popular game themes. Then we’ll move to taking a look at why players may panic during the game.

We’ll follow up on that with how you can overcome panic in an escape room, beginning with what to do prior to the game and going up to post-adventure reflection.

Understanding the nature of the escape room experience

Family Escaped Lunar Lockdown

You enter a room and you escape from that room?…Err, it’s a little more complicated than that!

Escape rooms are live-action, immersive games where players are “locked” (no, not really, hence the inverted commas) in a themed room and must work together to solve puzzles, riddles, and challenges to “escape” within a set time limit, usually 60 minutes.

Think of it like your favorite movie or video game, only instead of watching it on a screen, you’re in the thick of the action!

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How it works

Escape rooms work by:

  • Presenting players with a series of themed puzzles and challenges.
  • Encouraging teamwork and communication.
  • Testing observation, problem-solving, critical thinking and other skills.

Common adventure themes

Some of the most common escape room game themes are:

Why may people panic in escape rooms?

Here are a few reasons why panic can set in:

  • Time pressure.
  • High-stakes atmosphere.
  • Unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Fear of failure.

Why you shouldn’t panic in an escape room

Here’s the deal: It’s just a game. Nothing of what happens inside is real.

Yes, escape rooms are immersive experiences, which means the experience will be designed through room decor, props, special effects, and so on to make you believe you’re actually in the game environment.


It’s all make-believe.

Moreover, as we shall see, you can always ask the game master to stop the game and catch a breath if you feel uncomfortable.

You can even ask to leave the room if you want to. And remember, there’s no shame in asking to pause the experience or leave the room.

Pro tip from Escape2Win: Have your closest family members and friends – with whom you won’t feel shy about asking for help – on your team.

Busting the intelligence myth – Do you require a high IQ to solve escape rooms?

How to overcome panic in escape rooms

Family with Kids Escaped Ghostly Encounter

You’ll be all smiles once you escape the room – just like them!

From panic management techniques to master to what to do before, during and after the game – here’s everything you need to know about overcoming escape game panic and anxiety.

Strategies for managing panic

Breathing exercises are effective in calming the mind and body. 

There are visualization techniques (picturing yourself in a calm and safe environment) and grounding techniques (focusing on the present moment) that you can check out. 

But one of the easiest and most effective ways of managing panic is to simply give yourself a pep talk (positive self-talk)!

Preparing for your game

Familiarize yourself with the theme and style of the experience.

Ensure you can talk with and open up to your teammates about anything you need to.

You can also develop a plan of action – how you’ll go about solving your way through the room.

During the game

Stay calm and focused on solving puzzles, spotting clues and finding the way forward.

If you know the things that make you nervous, watch out for them – and either avoid them or confront them.

Use the techniques we discussed above, like giving yourself a pep talk and visualizing yourself in a space and cheerful space.

Finally, ask the game master for help if you need to!

Post-game reflection

The point of post-game reflection is to celebrate your wins and learn from your missteps to prepare yourself for future adventures. 

And a bit of self-compassion – being kind to oneself and recognizing that mistakes and missteps are normal – also helps.

Addressing common panic triggers

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Escape rooms can trigger fears, such as claustrophobia, fear of failure, and fear of embarrassment.

We are going to round up this blog post by looking at how to address these.


Claustrophobia – the fear of confined spaces – can be triggered in some escape rooms. 

Coping mechanisms for individuals with claustrophobia include communicating with teammates and the game master about the fear, practicing relaxation techniques and knowing that they can leave the room at any time during the game.

Fear of failure

The best way to deal with this is to recognize that it’s just a game and view missteps as learning opportunities.

Just redefine failure as a stepping stone to success, and you have gone a long way to overcoming the fear of failure.

Tip from Escape2Win: Having understanding teammates also helps.

Fear of embarrassment

This is similar to the fear of failure. And the way to deal with it is also the same – normalize missteps and have a frank conversation about it with your teammates.

If you are trying out horror escape rooms, check out our guide to avoid fear and anxiety.

Frequently asked questions on why you shouldn’t panic in an escape room

Q&A Answers

From whether escape rooms are, in fact, good for folks with anxiety or claustrophobia to how people can overcome any fear they have of escape rooms and even what the fear of escape rooms is called – find all the commonly made queries about panicking in escape rooms answered here!

How do you stay calm and manage panic in an escape room?

Staying calm and managing panic in an escape room can be achieved by:

  • Practicing deep breathing.
  • Utilizing visualization techniques (that’s a fancy word for imagining yourself winning the escape game).
  • Giving yourself a pep talk.
  • Opening up to your teammates.
  • Asking the game master for help and encouragement.
  • Try to identify what makes you panic, so you can sort of “pre-empt” the triggers.

What is the fear of escape rooms called?

Ah, you’re looking for a word ending with “phobia” which specifically means “fear of escape rooms”.

Well, there’s claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) and there’s agoraphobia (fear of situations where escape is difficult)

But there’s no word that refers specifically to the “fear of escape rooms”. 

Disappointed? Don’t be – it means that people aren’t generally terrified of escape rooms, if enough people were, there would be a word for it!

We’re a “glass is half full” type of crowd here at Escape2Win escape rooms in Virginia Beach 🙂.

Are escape rooms suitable for people with anxiety or claustrophobia?


Escape rooms can be a great experience for people with anxiety or claustrophobia, as long as they:

  • Choose an escape room theme that feels comfortable.
  • Are open with their teammates about their anxiety.
  • Talk to the escape room – preferably before their booked date – about their issue. Most escape rooms will take extra care to ensure the player has a smooth experience.

Escape2Win Adds: It can also depend on the escape room theme (remember we discussed popular themes above?). Intense themes can pile on the pressure to perform, while cheerful themes can help you relax.

Can escape rooms trigger claustrophobia or anxiety?

It’s difficult to say as it varies from person to person.

What we can say is that most escape rooms are designed to be enjoyable and challenging, not distressing.

You should go through their FAQ page and contact them about it before booking.

Pro tip from Escape2Win: Make it a point to ask the escape room how you can exit the room midway through the game. Does the door remain unlocked throughout? Knowing this beforehand will help you suppress anxiety.

How can I overcome my fear of escape rooms?

To overcome your fear of escape rooms, you can:

  • Remember that it’s just a game – an event you want to enjoy with your closest family members and friends.
  • Go for cheerful themes that don’t intimidate you. Also make sure the game isn’t too difficult.
  • Bring along supportive friends or family members.
  • Practice relaxation techniques before and during the game.
  • Keep doing escape rooms – you’ll find your fear going away as you start enjoying the experience!

What happens if you have a panic attack in an escape room?

If you have a panic attack in an escape room, don’t worry! The staff at escape room facilities are trained to handle such situations. 

You can:

  • Try to calm yourself down with the relaxation techniques we discussed above (like deep breathing, visualization, and so on).
  • Ask your teammates for help.
  • Ask the game master for help.
  • Leave the room if necessary.

Are escape rooms stressful?

Here’s the deal – Escape rooms are designed to be challenging but enjoyably so. They’re not meant to be stressful. 

So, take a deep breath, and let the adventure begin!

And if you feel panic settling in, you know what to do – relaxation techniques, and ask your teammates and the game master for help!

Final thoughts on whether you need to panic in an escape room

No, you really don’t.

Remember, an escape room is an experience that you’re looking forward to sharing with your loved ones.

Neither is it real – a ghost won’t really jump out at you, for example – nor is it a test that you must pass.

If you still feel panic setting in, practice relaxation techniques, open up to your teammates and also get in touch with the escape room about it – they’ll know what to do!

Do you need to watch an escape room movie before visiting an escape room?

Time to put all of this to the test!

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to put those fears aside and experience the exhilarating world of escape rooms! 

Gather your friends, family, or colleagues and book your next adventure at Escape2Win Escape Rooms Virginia Beach. 

Trust us, you’ll be hooked in no time!

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