Loneliness and social isolation, as studies suggest, are the two leading risk factors for developing depressive symptoms. Compared to others, people surrounded with friends and family members are able to grapple all challenges and weather any storm with élan.
Isolation increases the risk for a person to get imprisoned to his or her own exaggerated fears and imagination by becoming cut off from the outside world. Such a depressive state also makes a person believe that his or her absence will not be noticed by anyone. It also creates a false perception among the people grappling with depressive symptoms that not a single soul around cares for them.
Individuals with depression often fear alienation and segregation from the community due to the increased stigma attached to mental illness. As a result, they often choose not to speak out or reach out for help, which further exacerbates their condition.
Nobody’s a lonely island
Since humans are social beings, everybody has a deeply ingrained innate need to connect to other fellow beings. Many of the historical evidences suggest that people have thrived through all vicissitudes by living in groups. It is how the humankind has evolved and survived for thousands of years. The sudden nuclearization of families and emergence of concrete jungles that have pushed people away from closed ones and brought in the concept of solitary living can pose a real threat to one’s mental well-being.
Isolation begets more isolation. Individuals who are suffering from depression also have a high likelihood to live withdrawn lives. The increased seclusion from people takes away the opportunity to create and maintain meaningful relationships and puts one at a great risk of developing thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Furthermore, people used to living away from family members and friends generally tend to suffer from such a low self-esteem that they tend to develop a negative outlook toward life. Consequently, they may believe that the world is a better place without their existence.
Due to such negative thinking, people, many a times, don’t think twice before committing a suicide. Despite all debates pertaining to suicide as an act of benevolence toward closed ones, one often fails to understand that in most of such cases, it might be nothing but an exaggerated fear of a lonely person. Loneliness pushes a person to the brink where he or she fails to distinguish between a hallucination and reality.
Depression is not a character flaw
Though maintaining a sound mental health is not an easy task, one can keep all problems and negative thinking at bay by developing strong meaningful ties with other individuals in the community. With a positive outlook toward life, one can significantly improve his or her mental health and successfully break away from the grip of isolation.
Sometimes a well-wisher has to walk through the walls of the one coping with depression and isolation to ignite the spark of life again. At times, he or she may encounter fierce resistance, particularly when depression, isolation or both persists for too long. However, social activity along with support from trusted people can thwart depressive symptoms over a period of time.
Although depression a very common term, it not very well understood. Given the stigma attached to mental disorders like depression, an individual suffering from depressive symptoms may not talk about his or her condition fearing ostracization, loss of job, etc. If depressive symptoms persist for more than two weeks, there may be a risk of the development of depression.
If you or your loved one is suffering from depressive symptoms, it is imperative to seek professional help. The Depression Treatment Helpline assists in accessing the finest depression rehabilitation centers that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-619-7729 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about the treatment centers for depression.