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Feeling Trapped

Hi everyone (I apologize in advance for the long post)


At the moment I am really struggling with feelings of being trapped. I am a uni student and am currently on summer holidays. My parents both want me to work over the holidays to save up money (I live at home). I already have saved up a decent amount over the past year and really wanted to use these summer holidays as a break (there's a whole list of books I've been wanting to read). But every time I tell my mother this she says it's not healthy to be at home all the time and that I should keep on saving up money. The thing is I'm perfectly fine with spending time at home - I am not bothered with being alone. 


Anyways, I began working at a café for a couple of days, but I began getting super stressed out. I had trouble sleeping and felt nauseous and scared. For me, it's not the interacting with people that stresses me out, but rather the feeling of being trapped. Like I have no control whether I work or not. 


I have realized that this intense fear of being trapped has shown in other areas of my life as well: I struggle to commit to things because I feel like walls are closing in around me, and then I want to back out. This is true for my university degree (I changed degrees twice in one year) and with relationships (I don't like getting to close to people because it feels like I will be trapped in a relationship).


I think it really all comes down to control. I really, really hate feeling out of control. And when I feel like I am being trapped, I feel like I have no control over my life and that terrifies me.

I had OCD a few years back which I think was also stems from my strong desire to remain in control.


I guess the point of this post is to ask if anyone experiences the same extreme fear of being trapped (I mean like to the point where you can't sleep, can't focus on anything else, feel like vomiting)? And also if anyone knows if this is some sort of disorder I am experiencing that I don't know about?


How can I stop myself from feeling so utterly terrified?


Any help would be appreciated Heart.




Re: Feeling Trapped

Hi @Jardin,

Firstly, I wanted to say that I am sorry that you are experiencing all of this stress, fear and nausea. It must be so difficult and exhausting to feel that way each day. It sounds like this fear of being trapped is having a significant impact on your life as it is interfering with your daily activities. Have you thought of chatting to a psychologist about what has been happening? Also, do you have anyone in your life that you can chat to about all of this? I can imagine that it would be very intense and overwhelming to feel so trapped all the time Smiley Sad

Re: Feeling Trapped

Hi @Taylor-RO ,


Yes, I think a psychologist would be a good idea. I talked to my parents this afternoon about seeing possibly seeing one and they agreed. I also had a talk with my mum and my sister which helped, as well as a chat with one of my friends via FaceTime.

I am still trying hard to stay positive and not give in to some of my emotions. It's a struggle but hopefully I can stay on top of things tonight and tomorrow before my next day of work. 


Thanks so much for your suggestions Heart I will try to put them more into practice.


Re: Feeling Trapped

Hey @Jardin 

Good on you chatting to your parents about seeing a psychologist, that sounds like a really good idea. And reaching out to other people in your life is great proactive step to take in looking after your wellbeing Smiley Happy How did these conversations go?

I also understand you're trying to stay on top of things at the moment, is there anything that you've found helpful for that?

Also awesome job on finishing uni for the year AND managing to save up money this year too! Its been a bloody tough year, you should be really proud of yourself for achieving what you have.

Re: Feeling Trapped

Hi @Hannah-RO ,


Thanks! Yeah I do feel proud of finishing this year of uni and sticking to my degree.


To keep on top of things I have found that talking to other people has really helped. I think it is good to get an outside perspective on the situation, especially when you know you are not acting normally.

I went to the doctors yesterday. Unfortunately, they were very busy and the doctor I saw was new, so we ran out of time to make a mental health plan and get a referral for a psychologist. They said to make another appointment - so I shall do that soon.


Re: Feeling Trapped

I'm proud of you for pushing through and glad to hear that your proud of yourself. Seeing a psychologist could be a good way to come up with some coping skills for when you feel trapped. My advice for feeling trapped is breakdown why you feel trapped every detail and look what you can and cant do something about. This help you to adjust so that you can feel a little less trapped and also more in control. I hope that you feel better soon and keep us updated.

Re: Feeling Trapped

Hi @Jardin 




I wanted to check in with how you were doing, and hopefully, you've found some of the other replies helpful to some degree. I just want to give some extra support and let you know that firstly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to read and enjoying time by yourself. Some people get drained and tired when they socialize and are out with other people, and they feel more comfortable being alone. That is totally normal and okay. As long as you make sure you get out of the house for some air and sunlight, and that you don't shut yourself off from people, I don't think it's unhealthy to spend time alone and just get lost in reading.  


Also congratulations on your job. I know it's something that is currently giving you a lot of stress, but it's still an accomplishment. I'm not sure what exactly you may be going through, but I feel like it may help to learn to accept the situations you are in and start seeing them as commitments that can build into your future, rather than things that trap you and overwhelm you.


Do you have any strategies currently in place that help you compose yourself when you are struggling and feeling trapped and out of control?


Hope you are well friend. Robot Very Happy


Re: Feeling Trapped

Hi @Jardin, I am sorry that you’ve gone through these difficulties. And I want to check how you are feeling right now. As others suggested, seeing a psychologist might be a good option. As reading through your post, I think you are right that there might be some problems stem from the wish to make things under control and I am glad that you have such great self-awareness! So, seeing a psychologist and counsellor might help you with your potential anxieties over things. Hope you all the good.

Re: Feeling Trapped

Hey @Jardin 


I'm so proud of you for reaching out here Heart

I'm glad you have the support and are trying to get some professional help Smiley Happy

How are you feeling today? Have you talked to your parents about any of this? 


I think it's important to rest enough to keep your body and mind healthy. Self care is also so important! I'm someone who gets stuck in study mode a lot because I get anxious about what will happen if I don't do my absolute best and study. It's a bad habit and I'm working on it right now. Planning some things so that I get out of the cycle for next year Smiley Very Happy Point being that I think taking time to yourself and doing the things you love are so critical! It can actually help you feel more rested and that'll help you do better when you do need to work or study. Heart

Re: Feeling Trapped

Hi @Jardin I know that feeling very well! I often get it when I feel like what I'm doing doesn't align with what I thought I should be doing or what my aims for the future are. It often makes me feel anxious and restless. For example, I have been doing law as part of my degree and haven't really ever been enthused about that career path. I was feeling very trapped in it and freaking out feeling like I have to do something that I didn't emotionally want to do but felt like I had to. I then decided to pursue the other part of my degree then freaked out because I felt like I'd wasted years of my life doing something I didn't want to pursue Smiley Sad I had to find a way to re-evaluate my perception of things like work and study to see the value in them in the long-term as something I wouldn't regret in hindsight, even if that's just having a bit of money in your pocket or an extra thing on your resume or a little bit more resilience or awareness for what is and isn't right for you. For me seeing everything as a lesson helps to feel more in control of my life even though nothing has changed. I hope you're feeling okay at the moment!