Is there a cure for depression and loneliness? Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but for some, loneliness comes far too often. Feeling lonely can plague many people, including the elderly, people who are isolated, and those with depression.
Loneliness brings symptoms such as sadness, isolation, and withdrawal. Loneliness can strike a person who lives alone or someone who lives in a house filled with people.
Cure for depression and loneliness
Although depression doesn’t always lead to loneliness, feeling lonely is often a predictor of depression one year or even two years later, and it certainly leads to sadness. Freeing yourself of feelings like being isolated by depression is part of the healing process.
We are increasingly living in isolation
We rely heavily on others to give us a sense of who we are. Without the boundaries that the presence of other people gives you, it’s easy, in no more than a few hours, to imagine yourself as just a blob.
The pain of loneliness is illustrated by the fact that through history societies have used it as a punishment – being cast outside the city walls, exiled from your own country or, worst of all, flung into solitary confinement.
Today, loneliness is an acute problem. We are increasingly living in isolation. Partly because we are aging, also because we are marrying later and having fewer children. There are fewer confidantes and levels of loneliness are going up.
How to Fight Depression and Loneliness
Feelings of loneliness don’t have to be constant to call for action, but you will need to give yourself a push to get back into the thick of life and re-engage with others to start feeling better. These strategies for fighting depression and loneliness can help.
A Good First Step
The best way to cure loneliness is to fully accept that you are lonely and to become aware of how loneliness is affecting your life.
Defense mechanisms may prevent people from recognizing just how lonely they feel. They may be compensating for loneliness in various ways, such as working, drinking, or partying too much, perhaps in an effort to push aside empty or sad feelings.
Or some people may hang out with the wrong friends to deal with their loneliness – friends who may be a bad influence.
Sometimes people deny their loneliness or try to ignore chronic lonely feelings and despair. Some folks who have been lonely for a long time feel like their loneliness is incurable. They never really try to solve the loneliness puzzle.
No matter what your situation may be, here’s the good news: you can cure loneliness with a minimum of effort! No, it’s not as hard to do as you may think.
Make a plan
There are two basic types of loneliness. Acute loneliness results from losing a loved one or moving to a new place. In these situations, chances are you know at some level that you’ll have to go through a period of adjustment to get through this feeling of loneliness.
Chronic subjective type strikes despite your existing relationships. This type of loneliness is usually a symptom of another physiologic issue. Both loneliness types require a plan of action.
One strategy is making a point to meet people who have similar interests. Volunteering and exploring a hobby are both great ways to meet kindred spirits.
Improving social skills
Some researchers argue that loneliness is primarily the result of lacking of the interpersonal skills required to create and maintain relationships. Typically, these interventions involve teaching people how to be less socially awkward, to engage in conversation, speak on the phone, give and take compliments, grow comfortable with periods of silence, and communicate in positive ways non-verbally.
Enhancing social support
Many lonely people are victims of changing circumstances. These approaches offer professional help and counseling for the bereaved, elderly people who have been relocated, and children of divorce.
Increasing opportunities for social interaction
If people are lonely, give them opportunities to meet other people. This type of intervention, focuses on creating such opportunities through organized group activities.
If you just can’t shake profound feelings of loneliness, isolation, and other symptoms of depression, you might want to talk to a mental health professional as part of your depression treatment. You want to look for a professional with a cognitive behavioral background, an approach that helps with depression and loneliness.