The Feeling of Being Alone and Depression
Have you ever noticed how depression can give us the feeling of being alone, even when we're surrounded by people? Sometimes it doesn't even matter if the people around us are our closest friends or family members. We may even be talking and laughing; we appear to be having fun, yet, on the inside, our depression has us feeling completely alone. How do we cope when the feeling of being alone overtakes us? Are our coping mechanisms always healthy?
Shutting Down When We Get the Feeling of Being Alone
Sometimes I shut down emotionally and mentally when depression makes me feel alone. I might still go out with friends and spend time with family, but I will sit quietly. I feel like I'm a spectator simply watching others play a game. It's as if there is fog over me or a thin veil that separates me from everyone else.
I'm just not really interested in what's happening, and I feel that everyone else is getting along fine without my interference, anyway. If anyone tries to talk to me, I'll respond with one or two-word answers only. I've found it best to just ride these seasons out. I can't force myself to stop feeling this way. The feeling comes, and then it passes. I would suggest, however, if you find yourself in an extended period of feeling shut down emotionally and mentally because of depression, that you speak with your doctor or therapist. Being alone in your thoughts too much can be detrimental to your mental health.
Oversharing When We Feel Alone
I think this is a part of depression that doesn't get discussed often: oversharing. When I'm feeling alone, and I finally go out, I will sometimes delve more deeply into the darkest parts of my depression than most people are comfortable with. This is especially true with people I've just met or people I don't know well. I will hear myself talking and think, "Stop. Stop talking now." But my mouth keeps going. I don't know why.
Maybe it's because my depression makes me feel alone, and, because of that, I want someone to hear my complete truth -- every ugly, dark thing -- and still accept me. Part of it could be that I've lost people who I'd considered good friends when I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Now I feel the need to weed people out at the beginning, but it's not a healthy practice. The truth is that I always feel awkward after I overshare, which then worsens my depression and, consequently, my feelings of being alone.
The Feeling of Being Alone and Self-Isolation
Finally, we may shut ourselves off completely by avoiding contact with other people when we have that feeling of being alone. I've done this quite a few times. Other than my immediate family, I've dropped out of other people's lives for varying periods of time. I felt alone, and I wanted to be alone. I didn't want to answer questions. I didn't want to tell people I was struggling with my depression. I didn't want to pretend like everything was fine. I didn't want to make small talk.
It was all too much effort, and it required energy that I did not have. Every bit of energy I had during these times I had to use to stay alive and take care of my family. Some days I did the bare minimum, and that was okay. Again, if you have some periods of time like this, I believe it's normal; however, if you find yourself in an extended season of feeling this way, then I strongly encourage you to speak with your doctor or therapist about how your depression is causing you to isolate yourself. Some alone time is beneficial, but you also need to interact with other people.
How does the feeling of being alone due to your depression affect you? What coping skills have you found to deal with these feelings?
Smith, J. (2019, May 22). The Feeling of Being Alone and Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2019/5/the-feeling-of-being-alone-and-depression