Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. and people often find it difficult to cope with their symptoms. In many cases depression can lead people to become isolated from family and friends which can ultimately worsen their feelings of sadness and helplessness. Attempting to make connections with others is crucial for people that have issues of depression.
There are a number of facets that are important if you are working on recovering from depression. The main components of treatment for this illness include therapy and medication, healthy diet and regular exercise and developing a social support network. Social support means have closer connections and spending more time with others to develop healthier coping mechanisms.
It can often be challenging for people with depression to start connecting with others because they have become adjusted to many patterns of withdrawing socially due to their illness. Making efforts to see people in person and committing to more social engagements is difficult at first but ultimately it will help a depressed person feel better over time. People are social beings at their core and they need plenty of connection in order to be mentally stable and healthy.
Loneliness and Depression
There is a very close relationship between feelings of loneliness and depression. Someone who has a lack of connection with others and experiences loneliness may end up develop symptoms of depression. On the other hand, someone who was previously very social but starts to develop depression may become more isolated over and time and begin to feel lonely. However the problem occurs, depressed people often feel very alone and separate from others.
People who are isolated or feel alone may have a stronger tendency toward thoughts of self-harm or suicide because they may not realize how their actions affect others. Feeling a part of a network of people can help you feel supported in a way that can minimize and reduce loneliness and suicidal thoughts. It can also help you understand that your life has meaning and you are valued.
Someone who is dealing with feelings of loneliness may find it hard to connect with others. They may be surrounded by people and yet feel far away. Working on connecting with people is an important step in learning to cope with depression and it can take some time to adjust to finding close relationships.
Learning to Connect
Many people rely on social media to connect with the outside world but the reality is that spending time online actually makes people feel lonelier and more depressed. Connecting and speaking to people face to face is crucial for our mental health. Even though the internet has replaced many in-person interactions, human connection is something that we need on a daily basis.
Reaching out to others can be challenging with depression but taking small steps can make it easier over time. One way to start is to attend group therapy or a depression support group where you can discuss the things you are going through. These kinds of groups facilitate connection because they bring together people who deal with similar feelings and struggles where they can confide in one another.
Group activities in general can be a great way to meet people who share similar interests and are all working toward a goal together. Team sports, reading groups, volunteer groups and many other activities get people to create their own community where they can experience a hobby or venture together. That kind of connection can lead to closer friendships that extend outside of the group meetings.
Friends and Family
Meeting new people is important for those with depression but also connecting with family and friends that you may have distanced yourself from can be helpful as well. People with depression sometimes have difficult relationships with their family members that can contribute to their symptoms. Resolving problems with family, friends or your spouse can help make you feel more emotionally stable.
While recovering from depression it may be beneficial to attend family therapy as a way to reconnect with family members that you may have lost touch with. Talking to family about your depression and letting them know what you are going through can allow the relationship to improve and grow closer. Old friends may also want to support and help you through your depression problems if you are open in discussing it with them.
Opening up to others and avoiding too much time alone can make it easier to connect with people over time. It may feel painful at first but socializing in small doses and gradually increasing face to face time with others can be very beneficial for depression problems. Working with a therapist can help guide you in finding the right approach to start spending more time connecting with others.