An old couple who are my friends, are so lonely that the walls are closing in/on them.

Is my phrase correct to say that they start to behave oddly?

  • 3
    They "feel the walls closing in" (or "feel like the walls are closing in"). But this does not directly imply "odd" behavior, merely a state of mind of being "trapped", or perhaps "suffocating".
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 22, 2016 at 2:09
  • If they feel the walls closing in, they are, or they soon will, behave oddly. They need help.
    – ab2
    Jan 22, 2016 at 3:08
  • @ab2 - Actually, they may be trapped in a trash compactor.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 22, 2016 at 3:10
  • Have you thought about asking on our sister site English Language Learners?
    – AAM111
    Jan 22, 2016 at 3:28
  • 1
    @Old Bunny They need SE. They will get addicded to one of he sites, and never notice the walls.
    – ab2
    Jan 22, 2016 at 3:55

2 Answers 2


You might want to use the phrase Stir Crazy. This generally refers to someone who's going a bit nutty due to prolonged loneliness or incarceration.


I do believe that the term "feeling the walls closing in" is anxiety. I has having an episode when I had a major presentation, a paper, a test, another paper, 4 classes (everything to this point was due the next day), an exam the next day, paper #3, and a dying grandmother. I'm in college BTW, but the feeling described above is apart of an anxiety attack.

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