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Depressed and lonely: the thought processes that go with them
Feeling depressed and lonely can be and is a pretty scary thing to deal with. All too often people suffer in silence, their misery never articulated because they think they are “selfish” or “weak” for wanting to reach out and establish contact with another person.
We humans are social creatures. Numerous clinical studies have been conducted into the psychological and physiological damage that we can sustain due to imposed isolation, and so wanting to spend time with others is a perfectly normal response.
Typically, when people are feeling depressed and lonely they will find themselves succumbing to certain thought patterns which are invariably dysfunctional and counterproductive. One of the most common is the so called overgeneralization.
With overgeneralisation, the person who is feeling depressed and lonely will take a singular bad experience and then apply that conclusion to all further incidences. So, under overgeneralisation a bad experience with one store will mean that every store will have the same poor customer care.
Loneliness and future
More directly, the onetime a close friend lets us down perhaps by cancelling a prearranged social gathering, the conclusion inferred is that they will always let us down and we cannot trust them. This in turn leads us rather neatly to the next example of depressive thinking: fortune telling.
In psychological terms, and specifically, in the context of feeling depressed and lonely, fortune telling is problematic because the person automatically presumes to know the future, or the outcome of any given event.
Unfortunately however, they merely guess (typically wrongly) the outcome, and will be biased in favor of the most negative outcome possible. These are all symptoms of feeling depressed and depressive thinking and there is absolutely no shame in them.
If we can identify a problem, and analyse it, then we stand a much stronger chance of either defeating the problem, or at the very least, reducing its intensity and its level of influence over the quality of our lives.
Perhaps you are unaware of the negative thought patterns you are experiencing when you are feeling depressed and lonely. With that in mind then, why not keep a journal? Write down your daily experiences, the good and bad experiences.
Record what happened, and then record your thoughts. Hopefully you will also be able to identify a clear pattern and from there then, be in a stronger position to remedy/challenge it. Studies have shown that keeping a journal can substantially reduce stress.