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Depression Can Feel Like Being Trapped and Unable to Move

Updated: Aug 13, 2023



When you have depression, some days you just don't want to get out of bed. You dread everything that is going to happen when you do. You may not have to do anything 'difficult' but every action feels like an insurmountable task.


I know that when I get really depressed, it feels like everything I have to do is too hard. Even if it is just getting up and taking my daughter to school. Every small piece of my morning routine feels like a drudgery. I have to consider each small step one at a time, and force myself to do it.


Turn on the oven. Make breakfast. Get dressed. Get my daughter dressed. Get her in the car. Drive to school. Drop her off. Drive home.


All those small steps feel like impossibly difficult tasks to complete. Yet they are so simple.


Once they are done I can finally melt into the couch, turn on the TV, and turn into the zombie that I feel like in every moment.


Depression turns you into a zombie, your limbs feel heavy, your mind feels foggy, every thought or action feels like you are wading through molasses just to get it done. You have to push yourself to do just the simplest things.


Other people in your life don't understand how difficult just the simplest actions are, and how much willpower it takes to get them done. They don't understand the tiredness. They don't realize how many spoons it takes just to go through my morning routine. Explaining feels impossible.


The weight of my depression feels like a thousand-pound rock that I have to pull around behind me everywhere that I go. I don't want to carry it, but I don't know how to put it down.


Symptoms of depression


There are many physical and mental symptoms of depression that contribute to feeling like every task is impossible. At times it feels like your mind is your enemy, and your body is immovable.


According to The Mayo Clinic, symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain

  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Symptoms may be severe enough to impact your daily functioning, and can make it feel impossible to do almost anything. Depression can effect you at home, work, school, and in your relationships.


If depression symptoms last longer than two weeks, it is considered to be a depressive episode, and it is important to seek professional treatment.


Finding help for depression


When you are looking for help with your depression, it is very beneficial to get help from a trained mental health professional. You can start by reaching out to your family doctor, who can provide you with a referral. They may also be able to prescribe you some anti-depressants which can help to improve your mood as well.


If you feel like you are in crisis and need help immediately, you can call a local crisis hotline, or walk in to a crisis center or emergency room to be seen right away. When you do this, you can then receive immediate help, as well as referrals to community mental health services.


Once you get into treatment, it is usually a combination of talk therapy and medications provided by a psychiatrist. This combination can quickly help you get out of the funk that you are feeling in. You can also learn coping skills to use at home when you are having a depressive episode.


In addition to meeting with a therapist, you can also see a life coach, or go to group therapy. Having other people in your corner creates a support system that you can talk to about your feelings, and helps you to feel less alone in your struggles.


Taking care of yourself at home


In addition to getting professional help, there are things you can do at home that can help you with your depression. It is important to remember to be kind and gentle with yourself, instead of beating yourself up that you are not getting things done the way that you usually would. By learning to love and accept yourself unconditionally, it can go a long way towards easing your depression symptoms.


Some things you can do at home to cope with depression include:

  • Practicing Self-care

  • Calling a friend or family member

  • Mindfulness, meditation and yoga

  • Journaling

  • Practicing Gratitude

  • Saying affirmations

  • Spending time outdoors

  • Listening to uplifting music

  • Watching a motivational video

  • Listening to a podcast

  • Watching a favorite show

  • Reading a good book

All of these are good for your mental health, and can get you started on feeling a little bit better about yourself and your situation. Learning to take care of yourself at home can make you a stronger person, and more capable of handling depression when it comes your way.


Even if you just do something simple like taking a shower and putting on clean clothes, that can be a big step in the right direction on days when you don't feel like getting out of bed. Every simple task you do to take care of yourself is a win.


Coping with depression on a daily basis can be extremely difficult, and the more effort you put into yourself and your mental health, the more benefits you will experience in the long-term. As you learn coping skills and go to therapy, you will begin to feel better, and your depression episodes will be fewer, and farther apart.


Healing from depression can be a lifetime journey, but learning the tools to get through it, and finding a support system can make a huge difference.




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