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Depression, anxiety and fetal positions

What I hate most about anxiety is waking up with it. It’s like an emotional hangover – the first thing you feel before you open your eyes. I want to be able to tie my anxiety to an event or person or thing. Maybe then I could make sense of it. But I can’t. It is just there, tight and nauseous in my chest. I so badly want it to go away. It is Saturday! It is gorgeous outside!

I run down my gratitude list, hoping that will help: I have been unscathed by the recession – keeping my job and the same pay; I have a teenage daughter who is beautiful, healthy, fun, funny and has never given me any trouble; Ten years after my divorce, I get along with her father; I have a book about to be published; I have a cute little house in a trendy neighborhood; I have friends; I can ride my bike to the ocean; I have money in the bank; I am healthy and weigh the same as I did in college; I am blessed.

Still, I feel rotten and bad. I want to be alone. I want to get back into bed, curl up into the tightest fetal position I can and pray for sleep that is not filled with dreams that make me more anxious. I know everyone has days when they feel overwhelmed, flat and sad. But when those of us with depression feel this way, we don’t know if it is an ordinary, run-of-the-mill blah spell or if it is the beginning of something far more out of the ordinary. And THIS can make us more anxious.

So I am pulling out my tool box. I am going to use every tool I need today to take care of myself. I am going to take my meds, say my prayers, ride my bike to the park, go to the gym, swim and hang-out with a friend tonight.

Thou shalt not get back into bed and curl up into a fetal position.

Depression, anxiety and fetal positions

Christine Stapleton

Christine Stapleton has been a journalist for 35 years. She is now an investigative reporter for The Palm Beach Post. In 2006, began writing a blog for PsychCentral called Depression on My Mind. Her latest blog, Addiction Matters, draws on her 19 years of sobriety and her coverage of the drug treatment industry in South Florida.

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APA Reference
Stapleton, C. (2009). Depression, anxiety and fetal positions. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Aug 2009
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