To be lonely doesn’t always mean you’ll feel depressed and vice versa. There have been times where I felt lonely, but only experienced a general sadness. Sad at my condition, sad at what I thought was my inability to make friends, and sad that I wasn’t a better person—one who could make friends. Yet, those feelings didn’t necessarily lead to depression.
There were other times where I was lonely and depressed. But in those situations, the depression was there first. I often didn’t want to be social with others for whatever self-defeating reasons I had. It may be I didn’t think I was good enough for others to want to spend time with me. Or it may have been I was anxious that I would say something that would make me look dumb around others.
Being depressed sapped me of the energy to get outside of my loneliness and make connections. This caused me to become even more lonely, and it acted as a feedback loop, a never-ending cycle from which I couldn’t escape.
If loneliness persists for enough time, it can lead to depression for many individuals. So, if one is feeling lonely, it’s important to reach out to others and build those connections before depression comes about. It’s also another reason for us to reach out to our neighbors, friends, and family, who may be lonely. In doing so we can stem the depression that may come about due to extended periods of loneliness.
So how does one get out of loneliness if they’re depressed? I’ll cover that in my next post.
This blog is an exploration of the subjects of belonging and loneliness. I also look at mental health issues. I seek to provide content to my readers that is informative and helpful. If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for my email list.