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I Feel Like This Room Is Becoming A Prison.


Cyberpunk

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I'm already living in a prison in my mind, but for the past few months, my physical surroundings have sort of become a prison as well. The more I sit by myself in this room, the more trapped I feel. It's gotten to the point where I feel like I might as well be put into solitary confinement for the rest of my life because then at least I'll be forced into taking care of routine tasks such as showering and eating and such, and I wouldn't have to worry about bills or anything. Of course, I would have to commit a crime to do that, which is far too outside of my character. (I worry about even getting a speeding ticket.)

I have physical freedom, but in my mind, I have no freedom at all, about as much as any prisoner does, if that makes sense. For instance, I just can't enjoy the things that free people enjoy. I am missing out on life here because I am too anxious to take any risks. Taking a risk to me is basically driving to the store, because so many scenarios could happen. My car could break down, I could get into an accident, I could get pulled over and assaulted by a cop (because that stuff happens on the news all the time). I especially am anxious about driving at night. I panic all the time thinking about it. I am terrified of the dark.

I'm not sure what to do, really.

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When I am feeling super anxious, it is just horrible. I try to force myself to do something, just anything. Personally, I come up with hobbies - just easy ones. It helps keep my mind from going too far out there, and I accomplish something.

I know this is not much help. Just a thought. Hope things get better for you, jmg

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This might seem stupid, but have you ever considered writing? Sometimes when my anxiety is really getting to me, I'll sit down and write a story and come up with a whole different scenario/world inside my head. It helps to take your mind off of things for a while.

Or what about just going for a short walk, instead of driving somewhere? I get anxious when driving too, though mine is for a different reason. (I've been in 3 different accidents as a passenger so I really don't trust other people on the road.)

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Funny you should say that, jmsx. I'm actually an MFA Graduate Student in Creative Writing. It's something that's always helped me. Part of my recent breakdown is that I am currently unable to write. I've lost my confidence in it. It's what I miss the most and want back, which is the main reason I started getting treatment.

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I remember living abroad this last year and going literally out of my mind because I was living in a dormitory and I was secluded in my room all the time, living by myself. Caging yourself is not a good thing for your mind. I do realize it's very difficult, to go out and face all the things you could come across, but try and take little steps at a time. Taking a brief stroll, just going out and take a breath. Throwing away the garbage, I don't know. Anxiety is a beast but it can be beaten, it's not permanent.

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Yeah, I can relate to that. I'm always worrying about worst-case scenerios, and how I can make sure nothing bad happens when I do try to get out of the house. I don't want to get up in the morning, and then I don't want to shower or get ready for work. I'm late to work every day, but so is my boss, so what can she say? I guess she is depressed herself. I wish I didn't have to worry about money so I could do something worthwhile with my life. Wow, this isn't helping you at all. Sorry! :verysad3:

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That is absolutely no surprise. The main function of depression is to conserve as much energy as possible to self-preserve, so it likes to shrink your world into something that is as small and manageable as possible. The more familiar and simple something is, the less energy you have to expend... and the less creative you are because creativity does not thrive when you're looping on the same neurological pathways over and over. As such, when you give depression free reign, your entire life will shrink and keep on shrinking into this boring, dull thing until you take a stand. Of course, making any kind of change or introducing any new challenge that requires you to step out of your comfort zone will most definitely cause you some measure of distress because stepping out of your simple, depression-certified comfort zone is diametrically opposite to what depression wants you to do.

Unfortunately, learning to tolerate mild to moderate discomfort long enough to be able to step beyond your comfort zone is the only way to keep depression from shoving you in an even smaller box and taking an even bigger hold of your life.

It's a good thing that you're aware that this is happening and that you're uncomfortable with it. Use that as motivation to take baby steps toward making some changes. The quickest and most efficient way is to alter your routine in a small way that you know will pay big dividends. I would suggest you team up with a trusted friend or a family member to help you get out of your comfort zone. Even something innocuous as going to the movies or going to the gym together will help as long as there is there is commitment involved. If you don't have a friend to rely on, sign up for a class or volunteer your time or whatever obligation will work for you that is OUTSIDE of your room. Then, once that becomes the norm, add yet another regularly scheduled activity. And then another. Work your way up until you spend as little time in your room as possible as that may actually be your environmental trigger for that "prison-in-mind" feeling.

Sometimes, to get a jump start, it helps to rearrange the furniture and decor in your room. Or switch rooms in the house. Or entire apartments/houses if you can. It sounds silly, but the different physical space also gives you a different mind space. The more drastic the change the better. It really unsticks your depressed brain from processing in its familiar loops and opens you up to the present moment and new opportunities.

Give it a try.

Good luck!

P.S: As an experiment, try writing in a place different from your usual haunts. A stairwell in the library. The lobby of a hotel room. Or do another experiment. Write badly on purpose. Write the WORST thing you could ever write. Write like a coke-addict would write... or a jock or a librarian or Batman. Type with your non-dominant hand. Listen to music that you don't normally listen to when you write. Whatever gets you to switch from your usual mind-set. Shock your mind out of its labyrinth. Do this approach with some gusto, and I betcha you might surprise yourself.... :)

Edited by commasplice09
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I second the writing idea :) Even if you look back on what you write and conclude that it's mindless drivel, it will take your mind off of other things. In fact, doing things creatively like writing despite your lack of confidence might help you to see that trying at something and failing isn't the end of the world. And who knows, you might even succeed!

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Thanks everyone. Your replies really helped.

Yeah,I'm on Effexor right now, but not in therapy. I didn't think it was working. I have a difficult time talking about myself or my feelings.

Can u send your therapist emails during the week? Sometimes is easier write than talk about things.

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Thanks everyone. Your replies really helped.

Yeah,I'm on Effexor right now, but not in therapy. I didn't think it was working. I have a difficult time talking about myself or my feelings.

Can u send your therapist emails during the week? Sometimes is easier write than talk about things.

That could actually be a good idea! :thumbs-up:

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