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I feel so lonely and depressed: breaking the cycle with support networks
One of the devastating effects of depression is that people begin the believe that whenever “i feel so lonely and depressed” passes through their mind, it is written in stone and as such then they are doomed to forever feel as they currently do, without support, afraid and alone.
However, this is manifestly untrue and one of the redeeming graces of depression is that whilst it directly undermines and dilutes the perception and self-esteem of the sufferer, this can work to our advantage as well.
Oftentimes, people who are feeling depressed and lonely will withdraw and retreat from social commitments and friendships. They become trapped in their own little world and as such seem unable to comprehend anything beyond the way they currently feel (which is going to be pretty lousy).
Take advantage of support groups
A distinction must be made between formal and informal support networks. A formal support network is the name would suggest, is typically professionally led, involving the clinical input of therapists, counselors and psychologists to help us break the cycle of depression.
Formal support networks will be clearly delineated, organised and structured for the benefit of the person who is suffering from the “i feel so lonely and depressed” thought pattern. They will be challenged in a safe, neutral and non-judgmental way, designed deliberately for that purpose.
The progress maybe small, incremental and gradual with plenty of stops and starts along the way. But the progress WILL be made. However, formal support networks also seek to rely upon the input of friends and family who are involved in the life of the depression sufferer.
This often comes as a shock to people who are wrestling with i feel so lonely and depressed thoughts, because they assume that their struggle is a private one, and one that can never be expressed or identified to anyone other than a professional.
But the benefit of an informal support network is that it is more flexible and readily available. An informal support network, and the members who constitute it, will provide us with a much needed positive distraction.
They will ground us, making us realise we are not alone. We don’t need to suffer in silence, nor chaff under the misery of negative thoughts and self-defeating behavior.
Whether it is calling them up and chatting to them on the phone, being invited to dinner, or merely “hanging out” watching the latest episode of your favorite tv show, one thing is for absolutely certain: they will be happy to support us anyway they can.