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Does Isolation Cause Depression


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#1 Argamemnon

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:14 PM

Do you think having little to no social life causes depression? Is it simply unavoidable? I sometimes think that's the main reason for my depression, but when I try to socialize I always end up feeling worse. I always feel extremely anxious and can't enjoy the interaction at all. And I beat myself up afterwards. I think about what I said or didn't say, or how I reacted (my facial expression etc.)

It seems that whatever I do, I can't win. Social interaction or no social interaction, it's a lose-lose situation. I feel trapped. I find it strange that according to my psychiatrist social isolation has absolutely nothing to do with depression. He says there are many people who enjoy being alone..

Peace

Edited by Argamemnon, 15 December 2009 - 07:47 PM.


#2 Guest_Jonathan_*

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 10:16 PM

Argamemnon,

Welcome to DF!

Social interaction is an activity. Feelings about your self and how you see others see you are often distorted by a depressed mind, and so how you perform in such situations. Your psychiatrist is correct. Growing up in social isolation may result in a depressed individual, and may trigger symptoms of the illness, but is not the cause. Likewise you may be a social butterfly from birth, but still succumb to depression. You are scratching the surface of what is causing your depression and that is a wonderful step towards overcoming it. Congratulations!

Good luck and keep posting,

Jonathan

#3 Argamemnon

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 10:56 PM

Thank you Jonathan,

At least you are not judgmental. Look at what this person says about people who suffer from social anxiety in a BBC article:

"Everyone has frailties of one kind or another and just get on with it. I can see this will end up. Shyness will be catagorised as a disability and I can give up work and live off benefits for the rest of my life. Sounds good to me, bring it on!"

I wonder why people are so ignorant and cruel. Just because they don't suffer from severe social anxiety and depression does not mean that other people are as lucky! :shocked:

I'm not a selfish person who only wants to live off benefits. I'm 33 and have never had a girlfriend (and most probably never will). I have practically no social life either. Obviously, there is something 'wrong' with me which causes me to be like this..

Would a 'healthy' young man abstain from love and intimacy at my age? Would any "normal" man prefer to die a virgin? Obviously not. People who think that social anxiety is not an illness are speaking out of pure ignorance.

They are probably thinking "I don't have this, so it doesn't exist!". Well, I don't have AIDS, so what? That doesn't mean that AIDS doesn't exist...

I'm sorry, I feel a bit frustrated now...

Peace

Edited by Argamemnon, 15 December 2009 - 11:18 PM.


#4 Guest_1rw_*

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:32 AM

Isolation certainly can be a contributing factor for many people.

Community, family, and friends, are among the things that mental health professionals consider to be factors in a person's mental health.
If someone is completely isolated from these things, their mental health could suffer.


when I try to socialize I always end up feeling worse. I always feel extremely anxious and can't enjoy the interaction at all

I am much the same way.
I'm introverted, and often enjoy my alone time more than I'd enjoy being around others.

It's tough to for me to balance this.
I'd agree with people who suggest it's healthy to have good relationships with friends and family, as well as possitive involvment in your community. But, for some of us, it's hard to have those good relationships and interactions.
Some of us are more introverted, and/or have a greater need for individuality. This can cause us to be lacking in our relations with friends and family and lacking community interaction.
I've discussed this with my therapist, and she really didn't have any solutions, other than agreeing with me that it may be tough to find that balance.


Some people may also have personality disorders, or other conditions, that hinder them from being able to establish strong possitive relationships with friends and family or their community.
As a result, I'd suspect that these sorts of people, (myself included possibly) may be at a higher risk of depression, simply because they're less able to easilly forge these healthy relationships with others.


I find it strange that according to my psychiatrist social isolation has absolutely nothing to do with depression.

I also find it strange that a psychiatrist would say that.

Edited by 1rw, 16 December 2009 - 11:38 AM.


#5 AngelOfTheMoor

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:47 PM

I can see why social isolation and depression aren't necessarily correlated because there are some people who do like to be alone. But it sounds like your psychiatrist is not taking other factors into account, such as how the person feels about being socially isolated. Odd.

I have social anxiety, and I've never really been able to connect with people. I get so nervous around them. But occasionally I force myself to socialize, and then sometimes I wind up having a good time and sometimes I don't. I do like people; I'm not a misanthrope. It's just that I can't establish more than superficial relationships because I am too nervous, and I also sometimes fear that my presence bothers people.

I think that, for me, social anxiety/isolation and depression feed off of each other. I get depressed because I have difficulty socializing, and then that depression sometimes makes me isolate myself. It's a vicious cycle.

I've had a lot of people tell me things that are similar to what's in that BBC article. That I should just get over it. I work very hard, and I do not live off of benefits, and even if I did, there would be a legitimate reason. I don't think most people who receive benefits do so just to be lazy. I find that a lot of people don't understand that social anxiety is a real thing that's not easy to overcome, which makes it even harder for me to connect with someone. Sometimes people think I'm being snobby or am not interested in socializing, but that is not the case. :shocked:




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