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  1. Thanks for the responses, lp44 and AngryDad. My big fear with just forcing myself to go out is that some of the times when I have done this, I have ended up feeling even more depressed because I'm hyperalert to body language and tone. For instance, someone might say something cold or do something that I would normally just brush off and it crushes me. I think sometimes I am misinterpreting because I am in such a vulnerable place right now, but it's hard to overcome that in the moment. I don't want to end up getting all emotional while friends are out trying to enjoy themselves, so I just retreat further into my isolation. Totally understand hiding from the world on the weekends. I work 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, so sometimes I come home on Friday and feel so exhausted from the week that I don't want to see anyone at all. That probably contributes to the problem.
  2. A little alternative, but have you ever tried any meetup.com groups in your area? It's a lot easier because there are always new people who are there for the purpose of making new friends, so it is definitely useful in that regard. :)
  3. I think the problem is that this viewpoint is what we hear this *all the time* from people who have never actually struggled from clinical depression. I'm glad this worked for you, but it's offensive to people who have struggled with this for most of their lives, tried to use "sheer will power" to pull out of it, and have been unable to do so and felt even worse about themselves as a result.
  4. Normally I wouldn't write such a long topic title, but I couldn't figure out a shorter way to describe it. I've been experiencing a lot of this over the past several months, and I don't know how to shake it. Friends will invite me out and I get very excited to be there and envision all of these fun times in my head, but then when the time comes to actually get ready and go, I find myself getting more and more depressed and eventually it is hours past the start time and I text my friends with some excuse why I couldn't make it. This has caused me to develop even more anxiety that my friends actually hate me and don't want to be around me. At this point, I am so paranoid about everything they say or do that I find they're better off not having me there anyway. I know I've been getting less and less invitations to do things because of this behavior, which of course repeats and reinforces this whole cycle in my head. I can look at and analyze it rationally, but when I'm in the moment, I lose all of that and feel so utterly alone and misunderstood -- which only serves to make me feel like even more of a loser. I don't know how to break this. Just earlier today, I was excited to go celebrate at a friend's birthday party. An acquaintance who I have felt has been especially cold toward me is also going to be there, so I texted one of my good friends asking how he was getting there and offering a ride because I wanted to have some support when I got there to help me through the night. He said he was fine and could just take the bus. All of a sudden, I just broke down and my excitement turned into complete depression and self-loathing. I didn't explain this to him because I fear he'll just think I'm absolutely crazy, which honestly I feel I am sometimes. Now it's hours past the start time and I'm about to send my birthday friend a message telling him I'm sick and can't make it. Does anyone else experience this? Have you found anything useful to break it? I miss being around my friends and feeling like I could trust them with anything, but lately I feel like I'm questioning the loyalty of all of them...
  5. Hi all, Twenty-four year old woman from the US here. I've struggled with dysthymia and GAD for most of my life and was officially diagnosed in my early teens. I have the occasional major depressive episode thrown in here and there for "fun." I've been quite overwhelmed for the past several months and thought it might be a good idea to reach out to others who understand, as it seems I have isolated myself from many of my friends.
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