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Does This Sound Like Severe Social Isolation?


shadow281

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Since I have improved somewhat in recent days due to cutting gluten from my diet and abstaining from pornography. I have come to realise that maybe my biggest problem right now is social isolation. At least, that is my biggest problem that may be out of my control somewhat.

When I was younger (5-11), I did have bouts of what I can only describe as both boredom/isolation/loneliness all at once if I wasn't around friends very much. Back then, they didn't tend to use social media services to communicate, plus they didn't always have mobile phones (neither did I until much later). This only tended to happen during the holidays during this time, especially around the six week holiday in August in the UK. Towards the end I would start to develop horrible mental symptoms, but they would ease when I was around people again. Being alone for a week or so didn't do much damage.

After I was sent to special ed (from ages 11-17 I was in special needs environments whenever I was at a school) for my numerous angry outbursts and undiagnosed depression symptoms (this may have been the result of a gluten problem most of this, but hard to tell in all honesty), I began to feel more and more isolated despite being around people? Why you may ask? Well, because the people around me were not comfortable for me to be around. In fact, many of them were very odd and not easy to socialise with at all. Plus...too many of them were quite boring and uninteresting to me, which if you are trying to be friends with someone, that's a pretty important fault. Both friends need to be interested in each other in some way. I hate to look like I am bashing people with autism, but how are you supposed to develop social skills around these people if you are an other wise high functioning person (that, today at least, doesn't really seem to have any real autism symptoms!).

From what I have read, people with social isolation tend to have two factors. They notice more faults about people they are looking at, and they tend to be very "fearful" of anyone they know/don't know more often.

At least a few months into my time at this first school, I did start to be bothered by what others were doing more! It never used to be this bad, but I just suddenly became ultra sensitive to what I was seeing others do. I didn't feel a proper connection with anyone at these schools, so that might be the reason for this. Apparently it still counts as isolation if you are around people you don't feel connected with. AKA, they aren't a genuine friend.

And later on, after being yelled at and made fun of by various children because I was naive and (this actually happened) tried to be friendly when everyone was so hateful if they were not associated with their particular social group (for the record, there were no punks, goths, emos, metalheads, or any of those kinds of groups at this school. I have only seen three metalheads in my time at any school...and they were at another school that was almost just as bad...), I began to actually become fearful of the people around my age. I am not kidding, I don't fear older people, but people who are around my age. Just...how does that make any sense? I read that this can be a sign of social isolation, since the brain, being isolated and perhaps aware of the negative attitude of people (the ones I met anyway), puts me in a minor fight or flight response (but most of the time it's pretty moderate) whenever I am around a group of young people (walking on the streets or something), expecting them to yell at me for no real reason.

To make matters worse...I keep thinking I see people from these schools everywhere I am going right now. Not the ones that wronged me, but ones who I remembered just sort of being there. This may sound harmless, but in my mind I fear the ones who did wrong me will be nearby! How paranoid is that?!

Now obviously, one way I could sort this problem out is by trying to find new friends...well...if that was so easy, why can't I find anyone? There is literally no social outlets in the area I live in, at least no comfortable social outlets a more introverted person like me could enjoy going to (I am not comfortable with going to nightclubs or general clubs). And the people around my age here are not really the kind of people I can get on with. Most of them are more interested in loitering and sports related things. The irony is that the ones who did have similar interests (mainly video games, but there is more to me than that, I want to do writing) were not very good friends. They would just remove me on a whim if they didn't like something I said (I did have one remove me for swearing during a convo just once...I am not kidding) and they did not give a flying s*** if they were making me socially isolated.

The other negative effects this has had on me is I used to be very needy and rather annoyed if someone (who I saw as possibly being a better friend) ignored me, since I saw them as a way of feeling better, but they couldn't be my friends because they were too busy for me, or too far away. This doesn't happen anymore thank god, but this was because my social isolation hit rock bottom. I was trying to save myself from this point years ago, but tried too hard to do it.

I have been like this for around 7 years at least now. Leaning into 8 years actually. And I have yet to meet anyone in real life who I can deem as a real friend. Almost everyone doesn't really care much about me and it all just feels superficial. I stopped talking to this one "friend" I had a while ago. And he barely texts me to ask me how I am (he only did it twice since May last year, but I never felt close or connected to him whenever I spoke to him) and he doesn't really respect me all that much. Whenever he came over, all he really did was try to search youtube videos up in a forceful fashion. Mainly X Factor or Britain's Got Talent videos (seriously) all the time. And he went on once about how it's better to be into bestiality than it is to be a homosexual...which, not as a person who is gay (I am hetero), but as a person who doesn't like a******s in general, this bothered me. But then again, maybe this was because he wasn't a very good friend in the first place.

I had another say the same about me once, but only because I could barely speak to him and he was always purposely trying to alienate me from his other friends, so there was no way I could even be a proper friend since he wouldn't let me get close. And this was because of the people I was around online at one point (They were...rather terrible, this was during 2011). He pretty much let it all out on me one day and I removed him, realising he was a toxic person. He was like that in primary school too.

Oh, maybe this may be quite interesting. Both of these friends were from the same primary school. Yet I couldn't communicate with the ones from the special ed schools. That kinda goes to show that the people from those schools were not really approachable at all.

This maybe went on for too long, but does it seem like social isolation may have been a rather big cause of my worsening depression? I am actually really annoyed and frightened that I have been like this for so long.

Edited by shadow281
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It is no mystery that meaningful connections and a life purpose are the two things that help fuel us out of depression. For you, definitely seek out very deep thinkers- I would say that those are the people who will click with you the most (based on your message)

For the first time, I'm starting to have a vague idea of how to see people, and recognize which ones I click with. It still requires a lot of trial and error and a lot of risk taking. It took me forever, and I've been in circumstances I don't care to admit, but I'm beginning to gain clarity on a few things.

If you really aren't meeting people- consider relocation. Part of human interaction requires exiting your shell, and the other part of it requires going INTO your shell. Essentially, knowing when to strike and when to retreat.

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It is no mystery that meaningful connections and a life purpose are the two things that help fuel us out of depression. For you, definitely seek out very deep thinkers- I would say that those are the people who will click with you the most (based on your message)

For the first time, I'm starting to have a vague idea of how to see people, and recognize which ones I click with. It still requires a lot of trial and error and a lot of risk taking. It took me forever, and I've been in circumstances I don't care to admit, but I'm beginning to gain clarity on a few things.

If you really aren't meeting people- consider relocation. Part of human interaction requires exiting your shell, and the other part of it requires going INTO your shell. Essentially, knowing when to strike and when to retreat.

By relocation you mean moving to a different area right?

That has been the thing on my mind. I am not sure if it's just how I see things...but the people here are just not all that intelligent and aren't really nice to hang around. Most of the people here are too old (like 60+, but they are not a problem really) and the youngsters are a bit...off. I am not wishing for everyone to be a deep thinker, but the people here just feel thugish and really quite unintelligent. Plus, and no offence to anyone with autism, I was basically surrounded by autistic people growing up, ones with serious problems (a few possibly being future serial killers, but they may have not had autism) which has left me with a strange view on people around me. And having friends who turned on me for rather trivial and minor problems (the most recently in 2012, being something I wasn't truly responsible for) really threw me down. Which I guess kind of shows I never really had any close real life friends...ever.

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Not to veer a little off subject but, Kabuto sure put it in a nutshell when he said "meaningful connections and a life purpose". I think that may be the secret of happiness.

That is true. Having meaningful connections (or at least feelings of such) did make life feel much better. Helped me focus and learn better too.

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