Isolation is bad for depression. When someone is depressed, they often feel sad, hopeless, helpless, tired, worthless, and alone. As a result, many people withdraw from others when they become depressed. This withdrawal and isolation can lead to dark thoughts, including thoughts of suicide. In addition, when someone isolates, they often begin to ruminate about their past mistakes, losses, hurts, or regrets. This rumination can create a self-feeding loop of more depression followed by more rumination which leads to more depression. Getting out of this loop can be hard once you get into it. The more isolated you are, the harder it tends to be to break the cycle of dark thoughts and depressed feelings.
8 Steps to Decrease Depression and Stop Isolating
Get Support – Reach out to family and friends. Let them know that you are struggling and ask for their support. If needed, join a support group for depression. There are many support groups that are now available online. You don’t have to battle depression alone, get the support that you need.
Get Moving – Depression zaps the energy and makes movement difficult. When you are depressed, just lifting your head off the pillow may feel exhausting and every movement may feel labored and difficult. However, getting the body moving can help lift the mood. While it may seem impossible at first, engaging your body in activities helps combat feelings of depression and isolation. Activities can also be a great way of meeting new people and expanding your support network.
Change Your Thoughts – The thoughts of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and guilt are symptoms of depression. Learn to label those thoughts as symptoms, rather than believing they are true. Look for the positive things in your life and find things to focus on that bring you hope.
Use the Start and Stop Technique – Rumination creates a perpetual loop of bad thoughts about yourself and your life. One way to break this loop is to tell yourself to stop thinking about those negative things in your life and then start thinking about something else that is more positive or that is not emotionally charged.
Engage Your Mind – The more engaged your mind is, the less likely you are to be focused on depressive thoughts. Find things to focus on that require you to be mentally engaged. Where possible, engage with other people so that you don’t feel so alone.
Journal – Writing your thoughts and feelings can help. The more that you can put words to the feelings, the less power those feelings tend to have.
Be Self-Nurturing – When you are depressed, the last thing you tend to want to do is to be self-nurturing. Yet, nurturing is exactly what you need. Realize that you are not worthless, it is the depression that is making you feel that way. Be kind to yourself, rather than self-critical.
Get Professional Help – Seek therapy and consult for medications when needed. The combination of treatment and medication can often be a powerful way of breaking the hold that depression has on you.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.