When you have mental health issues, it’s the natural course to feel isolated and alone. When you have anxiety and/or depression, or any other similar issues like OCD, you can end up avoiding social situations that make you uncomfortable. You might also push people away, because you feel like they don’t understand, and you have different things going on than they do.
All of this can lead to you feeling lonely, isolated, and separate from everyone else. It can be an awful way to live your life. Everyone needs friendship, family, and care in their lives. It’s how humans are supposed to live. We aren’t built to live alone.
If this is how you feel, and I know it’s how I feel a lot of the time, then there are things that you can do to make things better.
It can be challenging, and stressful, because these are the kinds of things that you tend to avoid and that make you uncomfortable. But if you want to start making a change, and have that loneliness start to dissipate, then you have to feel a little uncomfortable in the process. But it will be worth it, believe me!
There a couple of things that you can do, and it’s up to you entirely what you try out. It might be better to give one thing a try at a time, so as not to overwhelm yourself. I know that for me, I find socialising difficult because people make me anxious. I have control issues, and when I can’t control things around me, I tend to get worried, which leads to panic, and panic attacks etc. It’s a spiral that quickly gets out of my control! I’m working on it – I’m starting with a new counsellor soon, and it’s definitely something that I will be addressing with her.
So, without further ado, here are my ways to feel less isolated and alone when you suffer from anxiety/depression:
This is a great way to talk to like-minded people, and makes it easier because they struggle with things too. You can find all different groups if you simply search for ‘anxiety groups’, ‘depression groups’, or whatever you would prefer to be involved with. Make an effort to talk to people. It can be easier to just comment on the odd post to begin with, and start that way. Once you are feeling more confident, you can post your own threads, and start your own discussions!
Forums are a great source of support, as they are similar to Facebook groups. You’ll be connected with like-minded people who struggle in the same ways you do. Start slow, and start to make yourself known as gradually as you are comfortable with.
It doesn’t even have to be a friend, it could just be someone who you feel comfortable with. You can broach the subject really carefully, and you might well be surprised at how caring and supportive they are when they know what you are going through. You might even make a friend by opening up to them, which is really great! 🙂
The library is usually a really quiet and calm place, and it can make you feel at ease being there. It’s also a good way to be around people, but without necessarily talking to them. It can start you off feeling more comfortable around other people, especially if you’ve been isolated for some time. It’s also a free way to get some information and knowledge – use it to read about whatever interests you!
Talking to a friend who you already know can be easier than anything. But sometimes, you might feel like they don’t get you, and so you avoid the situation. By sending a text, you are reaching out. This can be really difficult to do, but try to keep the conversation going, and maybe arrange to meet up for a coffee. Something short and easy to do is the best way to start actually meeting up with people and socialising in real life 🙂
It might feel like you’re alone, but you never truly are. There are always people out there in the world that care about you, and would support you if they knew you needed it.
Reaching out is one of the hardest things to do – it can make you feel very vulnerable. You won’t regret it once you get started! We all need people, and they need you too.
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