One of the most common causes of depression or any other kind of emotional malaise is feeling trapped.

In reality: You’re rarely trapped. The more you think you are, the more depressed you will feel. But feelings are not facts. In order to feel trapped, you must be conscious. If you’re conscious, you’re capable of thinking. Instead of thinking about how trapped you are, you can think of a way out. If you can’t think of a way out, you can think of a way to better adapt to the situation you don’t like. Extreme examples point the way. Take Nien Cheng, when imprisoned by the Chinese government, as described in her book “Life and Death in Shanghai.” She was trapped in a prison for some years. She focused on a spider (to combat boredom), on finding out information about her daughter, and also about escaping. She eventually escaped and lived a happy life for many years in America. However trapped you are–or may feel–I’ll bet you’re not THAT trapped. My point here isn’t to instill guilt that someone else had it worse than you. My point is that there are ways to deal with feeling trapped. This includes recognizing that you’re not nearly as trapped as you think you are. And so long as you’re conscious enough to feel trapped, you’re capable enough to think your way out–or around it.