Reviewed by Rashonda Douthit, LCSW
Many who feel depressed want to be alone. Some feel the isolation is a form of protection, while others get comfort because no one can judge them or make them feel worse. Some depressed individuals may experience social withdrawal and sadness, they not only prefer to be left alone, but their loneliness is a habit. Although it is common for people with depression to feel lonely or be alone, it is not recommended.
Even if you live with family or have friends, it may not be easy to reach out to someone when you need to talk. It is essential to understand the significance of connecting with others and how isolation and depression impact your health.
How To Cope With Depression
Understanding how to cope with depression includes knowing symptoms, treatment options, triggers, and having a support system. If you have not been diagnosed with depression but experience loneliness, both have similar symptoms. Some people notice aches, pains, brain fog, irritability, restlessness, sleep changes, and appetite. Depression is a mental health condition with persistent sadness and low mood. If you think you have depression, help is available. If you have depression and notice your symptoms are returning or worsening, contact a licensed mental health professional.
Coping with depression includes working with a support network. Your support network may include your therapist, medical doctor, family, friends, and anyone you want to be a part of your recovery journey. Revising your treatment plan is crucial to managing depression symptoms. Even when you don't want to be bothered by others due to feeling alone, you need social support to ensure you get the attention your wellbeing deserves.
Make a plan to effectively address your depression. Consider self-help techniques for depression such as exercise, meditation, yoga, reading, journal writing, and peer support groups. You can learn more about dealing with depression from the inside out by working with a therapist. Be consistent with your actions, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
HOW TO COPE WITH ISOLATION
Coping with isolation includes giving yourself a push to do things to engage with others. It may involve getting out more and meeting new people, but you can do so when ready. In the meantime, there are things to consider to help you fight feelings of loneliness. One aspect includes considering a possible cause behind your isolation. Are you experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety? Here are some points to help you create a plan to help you cope.
Assess Your Social Circles
Who are people you have relationships with you consider a friend? Even if you have family and friends who care about you, it is common for people to still feel alone. Sometimes you feel like you can't connect with someone like you used to, and things seem different now. Consider reconnecting with people you haven't spoken to in a while. Reach out via text or email if you don't want to call. Lend a helping hand to someone and practice being kind to others. Do something nice for someone; it may cheer them up and help you feel good too.
Get Into The Activities You Enjoy
Engaging in activities you don't enjoy leads to feeling bored and unhappy. Engaging in activities you like helps bring satisfaction to your life. It may not seem like something related to isolation, but it is an element that affects how you socialize and use your time with other people.
Enjoying yourself by doing things you like, such as hobbies, is a form of self-care. It may lead to wanting to do other activities that include meaningful connections. You can be satisfied doing what you like, but gradually feel the same way doing things with others.
Be Kind And Compassionate To Yourself
Accept you are not perfect, and you've made mistakes. We have all made mistakes or did something were not happy about, but you don't have to dwell on it or let that overshadow the good quality you possess. Many people are bothered by mistakes from their past or imperfections they see as flaws. But remember, even people that seem like they have it together feel the same.
Think about saying things to yourself you may tell a friend to help cheer them up if they feel bad about themselves. Learn to be kind to yourself by practicing positive self-talk. Think about things you like about yourself and what you consider as personal strengths. You build self-worth with words and thoughts with meaning.
Learn How To Manage Your Feelings
People may experience negative thoughts from time to time about themselves. But it is essential to learn how to confront those feelings when you feel depressed and alone. It can create a negative cycle challenging to break. People fall into a pattern of suppressing their thoughts because they don't want to address them, but it can make you feel worse.
Talk to someone to get rid of those emotions from inside. If you can't talk to someone, engage in an activity to distract your mind, and boost your mood. Practice mindfulness to help yourself focus and let go of negative thoughts.
Strategies To Help You Fight Loneliness And Depression
When dealing with depression and isolation, there are many options to consider. It is crucial to spend time doing activities to keep your thoughts and emotions in a positive place. Even if you choose to be alone, there are things you can do to help keep your mood up. There are many strategies to help cope with depression and isolation, including the following:
Plan AheadThink about actions you can do when you feel depressed and lonely. It may include visiting with someone you trust to talk about your feelings. If you have theinterest to help others, consider volunteering at a shelter. Besides attempting to be social, when you don't want to talk, think about activities, you can do to keep your spirits up. Think about the activities you used to do and people you haven't contacted in a while. Whatever you intend to do, be consistent, so it is easier to do moving forward.
Get Up And Do SomethingWhen you don't want to do anything or feel bored, think about the activities you have yet to do. Think about activities that always cheer you up. You can do something productive and help feelings of isolation subside. You can take steps to do something. Just to take the first step with good intentions is a great start in the right direction.
Assess Your Values And StandardsFor some people, low self-esteem may contribute to isolation. The people you have relationships with likely share similar values. Such people make things exciting and comfortable when you come together. Sometimes your values help you connect with new people and new friends. What you believe in reflects how you become active in your community. Your values help you relax, and you fit in with others who can relate.
Think About Others Besides YourselfWhen you feel lonely, it is likely because you're getting caught up in your feelings. You may think everything is about you, but others are a part of your social circle that has needs. Perhaps a friend canceled dinner at the last minute. Family members seem too busy to talk. If you want to speak to someone about your feelings and you're not able to at this time, it is okay. If they have other priorities, let them finish. Just try to catch up with them another time.
Make a Phone CallUsing social media is a trendy way to reach out to friends and family. But studies show people benefit more from phone conversations and meeting in-person. The next time a buddy sends you a text or an email, try calling them back. Just to chat for a few moments may help boost your mood.
Make time to spend with people in your lifeDoing so helps build your relationships and provides social growth. Making time to spend with family and friends show you appreciate them being in your life. You don't have to spend a lot of time with them, but being around people you care about can help you feel better.
Get Insight From Someone You TrustTalking with a trusted family member or good friend may help with getting unwanted feelings off your chest. Even if you don't feel much like talking, sometimes those you reach out to may have plenty to chat about and want your company.
When To Seek Professional Help
If you think your depression symptoms are getting worse or you want to reach out to someone other than a family member, you have options. Counseling and therapy are great options for people who want to explore their thoughts and feelings further. Learn how your symptoms affect you and learn approaches to dealing with isolation.
Feeling isolated is a reminder that it is never too late to reach out. While spending time alone to reflect on personal thoughts is helpful, spending time being productive and reaching out to others may help you be happy and hopeful about the future. To find out if you may be suffering from depression, take our quick online test.