Mental health


truck stuck in mud
MikeMyCoach on Pixabay

I feel trapped in several areas of my life.  Trapped in a few different ways, and really not sure how to get myself out.

The most obvious is that I feel trapped in my depression.  I’m feeling at a loss as to what to do.  I’m managing ok for the most part, but I want to be able to do more than just managing.  Yet I have a reluctance to mess with the treatment regimen that’s keeping me reasonably contained a fair bit of the time, so I’m coasting along and getting knocked off the rails whenever anything mildly distressing comes up.

I feel trapped in my career.  I’ve kvetched about this before, but there are factors outside of my control that seriously limit my options (mostly related to a former bully‘s somewhat successful attempts to destroy my career).  Plus I worry that trying and failing to push back against those external factors could further destabilize my mental health.  So I look for the path of least resistance, which is typically to stay bogged down in the status quo.

Then there’s interpersonal relationships.  I shut people out of my life.  I’ve pushed my family away, yet at the same time the maintenance of this distant but still kind of there relationship doesn’t feel very good.  Yet I have no idea how to let myself open up and move in closer, because it just doesn’t feel safe.

In a sense I feel trapped in my city.  I like where I live, and I’m very comfortable in the condo where I’ve lived for the past 13 years.  But I’m so settled in that even if moving seemed like a good thing to do for my career or other purposes, the very idea is terrifying.  The thought of having to go through the process of selling my place and trying to find a new home is completely overwhelming, to the point that I don’t even think of it as a feasible option, at least for the time being.

While some of this trapped-ness is related to external factors, a large part of it is firmly rooted in my thinking.  Yet recognizing it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to move out of my rut.  When even my rut feels scary and unsafe a lot of the time, and when past experience has clearly shown that the world often is unsafe, it’s hard to contemplate what positive change could actually look like.

Are there areas of your life where you feel trapped?



book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together by Ashley L. Peterson


My new book, Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic, everything up to and including the kitchen sink look at how to put together the pieces of your unique depression puzzle. It’s available on Amazon and other online retailers, as well as the MH@H Store.



35 thoughts on “Trapped”

  1. Yes. I’m trapped by my secrets and my need to protect my family that doesn’t even love me.
    I too want to move on in my career but Im trapped by thinking that Im wsy to messed up emotionally to make a change.

  2. YES! Umm… When I’m feeling like I’m drowning in negativity over being stuck in a situation I feel I have no control over (including depression), I make myself think really general thoughts to raise my vibration to at least neutral if not positive. Sometime it needs to be as general as saying to my self “I am just spirit living out this life, one day it will end and then I will be okay/over.” And believe it or not that actually brings me some calm. Other times just takes acknowledging that this is a time of life, learning/growning experience that one day I will get to move on from. And then when feeling positive I try bringing the thoughts closer to home, like focusing on the things that inspire me and believing that one day I’ll have the chance to do it. Then through keeping my mind positive and clear of “resistence” the path to getting there seems to unfold, even if it doesn’t change the immediate circumstances…. It’s something I’ve been practicing alot since January and it took a few months to really get any good at it, but there was progress, and I haven’t slipped into a deep depression for months now. Try it. Just as General as possible to get that good feeling then slowly bring it toward your present time.

  3. I also feel trapped. I so understand all that you are saying. I feel trapped in my position at work because although I am having good days lately, I am afraid that the anxiety and depression is right around the corner and could throw me. I’ve been very busy lately…people have retired and quit. I have taken on a lot of stuff. I could so do a position that would be paying maybe $10K more (even if it was just a little more)..but am afraid. I haven’t been approached about it, but I have been doing the work. They are interviewing others. I need to let them know that maybe my job could change a little and the new person could take on some stuff that I do…. I don’t know. But I have to find the time and energy to propose the idea. Don’t have much time. I am trapped in my relationship with my boyfriend. I am not sure if he is forever. We are trying to make it work. I am trapped in my binge eating ( I think that is what I am doing). I am trapped in my exhaustion..not able to do things. Trapped in my mind. Trapped because my mom was just diagnosed with lung cancer and I don’t even want to think about losing her. Trapped in my avoidance of so much (going to the doctor, the dentist, the hair salon, the nail salon) all because of health and anxiety. I feel your pain. I guess what we need to be in the moment instead of trapped in our perceptions. We have to be happy right now. And when/if the other things come in to play (like a new job…a new home…) we will handle it. It’s tough Ashley. Sending hugs your way.

  4. sounds sad
    sadder then me and the son
    pills will not help that much
    you are whom you are
    and if you can learn to feel some comfort in your skin
    and talk to persons who will talk to you like a human being

  5. I tend to reframe the term, “trapped”. I’m not where I want to be in some areas of life but I look for ways to advance so that I can move beyond where I’m at in those areas. I suppose the willingness to make changes determines if we stay stuck or grow. Great post!

  6. Uh, there are many, too many i guess, areas of my life in which I feel trapped. But I guess all of them, or most of them, stem from that I feel trapped in my own emotional chaos. That can be really frustrating, so what I do most often is just try desperately not to thik about all these areas, which of course doesn’t help much.

  7. I can relate to the theme running through what you’ve said, of being afraid of making things worse or losing what you do have in striving for something more or better, and so staying right where you are seems the safest option.

  8. I was trapped until 4 years ago. I wanted change but was to afraid of making the wrong choices. So I stayed where I was for about 12 years getting more and more trapped. Then I met my now-husband who has a totally different mindset. And suddenly I wanted to change, to move, to change my life because I had a safety net which was him … I knew that everything would be ok because I finally wasn’t alone and making these enormous decisions by myself. I guess I was very sure of our relationship but I just ‘knew’ that he was the one. I know they say that you shouldn’t need another person to make you feel complete, but I did and I still do. My life had ground to a complete halt until I met him and now I am free from those wretched shackles of feeling trapped. So I DO understand completely how you feel. I really do because I was exactly the same for years and years. I feel angry that I wasted so much precious time, but the reality was that I just didn’t trust myself to make a decision and I needed to feel safe. Xx

  9. Societal norms.I feel they take my freedom away unconsciously.
    As for your post,it takes a lot of strength to write down something like this.Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. I share a lot if not all of your feelings but the one that gets to me the most is feeling trapped. And I don’t how to get out of this depression, it is very frustrating. There must be a solution out there. That’s what gets me going and my children of course.

  11. First, your post was strong. By that, I mean… Even though your depression has you weighed down, you are still managing to work through it. If you love your condo for its comfort, why would you think of moving? Is there another hidden reason to have thoughts of moving in the first place? If not… get rid of that burdening you. Enjoy living in your home.
    I know just from reading about your employer, I’m surprised you have held it together as well as you have. All that pressure, and yet you are able to get up every day and still face it. I give you a great deal of credit for not knocking someone’s teeth down their throats.
    I do understand completely what it’s like to feel trapped by depression. Mine has taken hold of me, and I am trying so desperately to break from its grip. I miss writing my blog. It has always been my comfort zone. Yet, I’m so exhausted from my depression, and I don’t want that damn feeling to control my life.
    Ashley, I do hope that depression doesn’t take you down. You’re too darn strong for that to happen. Don’t allow it to control you. Many hugs of support, Sweetie!

      1. Now I understand why you would think that. However, because of the frame of mind that you are currently in, I would take that as a signal as to holding off as of now.
        Wait until after your vacation to Italy, relax, unwind, just by getting away from the normal surroundings may help you clarify your thoughts. Bring your journal and write the Pros & Cons.
        We both know that these pits of depression do not last forever, (They just seem like that). If it were me, I would make a decision after your vacation, when you have stepped away from all the nonsense at work.

  12. I get what you’re saying.
    When we have such a delicate balance to maintain MH doing anything that might disrupt that is hard, no it’s more than hard, it’s impossible and feels completely stupid that you’d even contemplate it.
    Your work relationships are unsatisfying and possibly detrimental but finding a new job is scary.
    Maybe start with your family relationships, as they stand apart from everything else.

    It’s easy from the outside to make suggestions are encourage change but I know how destabilising any of this can be.

  13. This post sounds like a dairy entry from my journal. What scares me most is my fear. I feel like my fear is trapping me. Its limiting my greatness, its dimming my light in the world, because im constantly second guessing myself and not trusting my own intuition. It’s sad really….because even though I know im capable of enjoying life. My fear makes me feel numb and not alive. I think a lot of it has to do with my depression and CPTSD. My self-esteem is validating the fear.

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