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loneliness
depression loneliness
experience depression
soap opera
downward spiral
different stages
despair
isolation
Escaping Depression And Loneliness
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I'm writing about a personal approach I've taken to getting out of the downward spiral of depression and loneliness. After almost two decades of trying to treat my depression and find a cure I decided to get on with the life I had been missing. I decided to accept my depression as a fact of life instead of the soap opera it had become.

It's important to realize that no two people experience depression and loneliness in exactly the same way and so I don't believe there are any “blanket” solutions. I'm also cautious when I hear comments that some particular treatment or philosophy has no merit for anyone. As with any illness, depression has varying degrees of severity and different stages. For someone who is in the deepest depths of despair and isolation, there's often no advice that will help. If we're at the lowest level, our primary concern is usually just plain survival.

I'm not suggesting simply giving up because that would be very dangerous. I continue to take medications in spite of all their side effects and I continue to see my doctor on a regular basis. I also continue to experience regular and sometimes debilitating bouts of depression, loneliness and anxiety but they are somehow less severe because I no longer make my illness the sole focus of my life. My depression and loneliness still wash over me but now I retain a small glimmer of understanding that I am developing another part of life instead of being constantly immersed in the illness.

I'm suggesting that it is possible to build a life around depression. If we are successful then many of the reasons for our depression and loneliness will vanish. In a small way, it is like giving up or surrendering. I realize this is the exact opposite of 99% of the advice we receive however I believe it may be somewhat liberating.

Loneliness stemming from depression or vice versa, ironically, causes us to withdraw from society and lose interest in activities or pastimes we once found pleasurable. This can make our work and social interaction, if any, an absolute nightmare. If we are determined to put our illness in the background and move on with other parts of our life in spite of the pain then it may be possible to structure our careers around our illness and modify our approach to social interaction.

I'm not suggesting that this is an easy course to take. It has taken me approximately 2 years to start structuring my work around my depression related difficulties such as increased need for sleep, trouble waking up, short attention span and diminished intellectual abilities. I work largely from home and have adjusted to a much lower income. Instead of typing, I use voice recognition software. From the social aspect, I used to enjoy sports, going to clubs and parties and dining out but over the years I've come to dread face-to-face interaction with people. Instead I've cultivated a very small group of friends who understand me or at least accept that I don't have an energetic personality and prefer to avoid crowds. I've also developed some online friendships and acquaintances. They don't exactly substitute for the kind of warm and spontaneous qualities of face-to-face relationships but they do fill some of the void. It's not ideal but I do have people I genuinely care about and who in turn care about me to the fullest extent possible under the circumstances, both in real life and online.

In conclusion, please consider the possibility that your illness does not need to be such an all-encompassing aspect of your life. Take some of the pressure off yourself by accepting your illness as something you may have to live with. As a result, your illness may become less of a factor. Consider structuring your life to accommodate depression and loneliness and, maybe most importantly, forgive yourself and allow yourself to have a life. I hope this article may have given you something helpful to ponder. I wish you all the best. Regards, maxtc


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