Can Anxiety Trap You

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated November 17, 2021


Video Transcript

I feel like anxiety has me trapped. Can anxiety actually “trap” a person so they can’t get out?

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I (Jim Folk) certainly understand how anxiety can feel like it traps us. Many of us have felt “stuck” in a struggle with anxiety for years, so that it can seem like anxiety can trap us.

However, anxiety is not a force that can trap us. Anxiety is a physiological, psychological, and emotional state that occurs when we behave apprehensively, such as worrying something can harm us, or something bad will happen to the people or things we care about.

As such, anxiety is something we create. Anxiety is not a force itself.

And since most of us behave subconsciously (because of habituated behavior), it can feel like anxiety can trap us because we keep behaving anxiously, which keeps creating anxiety.

So, it’s not that anxiety can trap us but that we keep creating anxiety by using unhealthy, anxious behavior.

However, since we create anxiety, we can stop creating anxiety by containing and replacing anxious behavior with healthy behavior.

By learning healthy ways of coping with adversity, uncertainty, and risk, we stop using anxious behavior, which stops creating anxiety.

We can all learn healthy ways of coping with adversity, uncertainty, and risk since behaviors are learned.

If you feel “trapped” by anxiety, you can “untrap” yourself by addressing Level Two recovery – the underlying factors that motivate anxious behavior.

The most effective way to address Level Two recovery is with the help of an experienced anxiety disorder therapist.

So again, if you are feeling trapped by anxiety, there’s a lot you can do to release yourself from this trap. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way of doing that.

For more information:

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions archive. Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including this Frequently Asked Anxiety Question.