Worse, the guy who dragged his buddy to the sensory deprivation tank in the first place usually isn't all that helpful.
"I had a claustrophobic guy come in with a friend, and he took one look at the pod and said no way," Cameron remembered. "I told him that inside, as soon as the door was shut, he'd feel like he was inside a vast area. His friend said the exact wrong thing to say -- 'Hey, maybe this will cure your claustrophobia!' He finally agreed to try it, but I felt compelled to tell him that it may help him, but it's not a cure, but he said 'I know.'"
If an hour floating on your back could cure a major phobia, then he would've done it already.
"We put him in there, and less than two minutes later came the screaming. He did what you're not supposed to do, touch the sides of the pod for very long. He kept feeling around, and suddenly he wasn't in a void as promised, but in the dark in a closed pod. It's hard to get sound to come out, but when he couldn't find the handle to open the pod, he screamed. When we opened it, he got out as fast as he could, grabbed a robe, and pretty much ran outside. We refunded his money, of course. We should not have been so insistent. We have potential floaters drop out because they're afraid, but now we make sure it isn't a real phobia. We don't want another screaming pod. It was terrifying for everyone involved."