October 9, 2018 at 11:55 pm #91773
I feel like I can bother people it is so hard making friends for me these days, I feel alone and my depression starts to set in. I have tried making or taking to some but I find myself stuttering when I talk becas I just forgot how to have a conversation. I am a stay at hhome mom and talk with my infant all day and a five year old.
April 8, 2019 at 11:19 am #180374
People really need (and have time for) only a couple of friends… keep trying. It’s good for you AND your baby to get out. Just start little conversations whenever you can. Even the grocery store line – why not! and who cares if you get rebuffed or rejected at that sometimes. You’ll live! Some of those conversations will go well, and you will get better.
April 8, 2019 at 12:27 pm #180389
I feel you! It’s hard to initiate a conversation. I find that if I ask people about themselves, it’s a good way to get started. Ask another mom about her child, their favorite playground, if they know of a good storytime at the library, etc. And it always helps break the ice to pay a genuine compliment.
April 26, 2019 at 3:24 am #188970
I feel you. I don’t have any local friends
May 9, 2019 at 8:07 pm #192726
Having friends and forming new relationships can be an important part of your depression management. Here’s how to expand your friendships.
Perhaps you’re feeling lonely, but don’t have the energy to make friends or reach out to old ones. That’s just one part of the complicated link between depression and friendship. Depression can trigger a downward social spiral: People who lack supportive friendships are at greater risk for depression. But depression can also make it harder to maintain friendships or make new friends.
Learning more about the effect depression can have on social interactions and understanding the importance of positive relationships on depression can help you with new and existing friendships.
Depression and Friendships: Why It’s Harder
The connection between depression and friendship can be very strong and somewhat underestimated by those affected by the disease. One study found that men with no friends were four times more likely to become depressed, and women with no friends were nearly twice as likely to become depressed as people with 10 or more friends were. The findings, drawn from nearly 6,000 adults over age 40, were published in the November 2013 issue of the International Journal of Social Psychiatry.
Conversely, people experiencing symptoms of depression lose interest in things that once brought pleasure, including friendships, leading them to withdraw from existing friends and social contacts.
People who are depressed often don’t have the energy or motivation to reach out to other people.
Depression can cause powerfully painful emotions and thoughts, such as feelings of worthlessness and anxiety that create a barrier between you and the rest of the world.
Your mood may be so depressed or down compared to other people that it’s difficult for you to relate to others. Depressed people also tend to be self-involved. It’s somewhat akin to being overwhelmed by physical pain. Without meaning to do so, you could be transmitting these uncomfortable feelings, and others could mistakenly see you as aloof.
Another challenge is that people with depression may have unrealistic expectations of friends. Don’t expect a friend, even a very good friend, to lift you out of the illness.
But friendships can be one part of the cure: In addition to working with your doctor, friends can reintroduce you to social settings and make you feel like getting back out in the world.
Manage Depression by Making New Friends
Once you’re being treated for your depression and start feeling better, exploring social interactions can be beneficial. But how will you know when the time is right? You should start looking toward making new friends when you feel up to the task, are feeling better about yourself, and are feeling like you have something to offer others.
When you do get back out there, take it slow. Don’t expect to develop a close and intimate friendship right away. Start with small steps, making an acquaintance rather than a soul mate, making one friend rather than finding a circle of friends.
Friendship can be an essential way to protect against depression as well as a part of depression management. To start adding this valuable connection to your life again, follow these tips:
Explore support groups. “Some people find it helpful to discover new friendships in support groups with other individuals who’ve also experienced depression and who understand how draining and incapacitating it can be. Ask your doctor for recommendations for a local depression support group.
Join a special interest group. Depression can rob you of your passion for just about everything. Once you start to feel more positive, renew your passions and make new friends by joining groups that cater to people with similar interests. Like to hike? Join a local hiking club. Such groups are easy to find through websites such as Meetup.com.
Take baby steps. Making a friend is fun yet can be risky, even when you’re not depressed. When you have depression, it’s easy to set expectations too high or overanalyze little setbacks so that they feel like major failures. Working with your doctor can help you set reasonable goals for making new friends.
Make healthy choices. During your recovery, it’s important to be around people who support your healing process, or at least those who won’t undermine it. Avoid people who drink alcohol excessively, use illegal drugs, or have a very different lifestyle or schedule than yours. These habits can tempt you and threaten to undo your recovery.
Continue therapy. Levine suggests that people with depression shouldn’t vent too much to new friends. Your doctor and/or therapist are treating your depression. Let your new friends be the people who journey with you as you get back to enjoying the things you once loved. Try not to overburden a new friendship with too much focus on depression.
Don’t blame yourself. Making new friends is complicated, and you may experience a few false starts along with some successes. Resist blaming yourself if a friendship doesn’t work out. Learn whatever lesson you can from the experience, and try again.
May 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm #193328
Please don’t give up. Perhaps join a local moms group in your area. Or start a conversation with another mom at the playground or your library’s story time.
May 22, 2019 at 9:56 am #197801
Friendship is a necessity, we all need to vent, to open open…
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