Are You In Isolation?

Depressed white woman sitting on ground surrounded by leaves near trees

Share Your Pain With The World

Are you in isolation but just not sharing it with the world? Do you feel like you have to hide your pain or mental illness out of fear of ridicule and embarrassment? Do you feel like you’re spiraling into a black hole with no one there to save you? If yes to any of these questions, then you are not alone. Many people all around the world feel isolated despite having friends, colleagues, coworkers, family members or acquaintances to interact with. Isolation can mean many different things to each individual, but we all experience it at some point or another.

I’m sure you already know that isolation is worse than the potential embarrassment that you may experience by sharing your pain or mental illness with the world. What’s the worst that can happen with embarrassment, if it even does happen? You’ll start caring what other people think about you, like it even matters? But what’s the worst that can happen with isolation? Suicide.

When people are depressed and isolated, it becomes much easier for them to act on their suicidal thoughts; they have no distractions at hand. Depressingly enough, the thought of ending their life becomes their distraction, as a means of escaping their misery and torture. You may not really be as depressed as you think you are, but if you continue isolating yourself, the depression that you are experiencing can begin to spiral out of control.

So rather than isolating yourself, find someone who you are comfortable with and share your pain, frustration or mental illness. And if you don’t have anyone to share it with, then seek a psychiatrist, psychologist and/or therapist. Never go through your problems on your own! We are in this together.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Forget About Your Family

Father walking with child near trees towards lake during sunrise

Stuck In Your Own Ways

As we continue to isolate ourselves due to evolving technology, it becomes much easier to forget about our family. With so many social media platforms, entertaining websites, Netflix and other outlets of entertainment, we sometimes end up getting stuck within our own world, forgetting about the important matters of life. One of the most important matters is maintaining a strong and meaningful connection with your loved ones.

As you grow older, it becomes easier to depart from your family as you gain more independence. Your thoughts change, the way you view the world evolves and your past relationships are not necessarily interpreted the same as in the present. As you continue to go down your path, by slowing losing touch with your family, you grow more distant from them, only making the process of reestablishing rapport and a meaningful connection more difficult.

Don’t allow technology to ruin your family relations; think of technology as a bonus and not a necessity. The beauty of technology is that it provides us with greater access to information and entertainment, but sometimes at the expense of face to face communication, and nothing is greater than in-person interactions. Don’t tip the balance on technology’s side; family and friends should always come first.

Especially during this pandemic and social distancing, it’s much easier to isolate yourself at home and get lost in your own little world, forgetting to keep in touch or simply losing interest in doing so. The more you spend time by yourself, the more you become comfortable going without the opinions, thoughts and beliefs of others in your life. In other words, you become comfortable distancing yourself and sometimes you don’t even know it; others have to tell you.

Enjoy every moment that you spend with your loved ones because tomorrow is not promised. Even though it might seem like a “been there, done that” feeling whenever you gather together, change that thought and replace it with “just being in the moment.” You want to learn how to appreciate the present moment regardless if it reminds you of a previous experience in the past. Make each moment something new and special; just enjoy every second and imagine instructing your mind to slow down your perception of time, so that you can make sure to capture every detail as vividly as possible.

Every moment spent with your loved ones is a blessing; treat them like so.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Socially Depressed

Worried white man with black face mask on

Social Distancing And Depression

For children and adolescents, staying at home may not be so bad; they get to play more video games, read more books or indulge in whatever activity they always craved when they used to be in school. But I’m sure some adolescents are also feeling depressed as they cannot gather in their social cliques as frequently as they used to. There’s no doubt that social distancing is increasing the rate of depression worldwide.

Keep in mind that not everyone is fortunate enough to work from home; many have lost their jobs and are left in ruins. Think about the parents who have children and no longer have an income; how embarrassed must they feel to ask their parents for financial support! Depression is increasing because humans were not created to stay isolated at home; we are not animals locked up in a zoo.

But sometimes it feels like society has turned into a zoo. For the most part, everyone is inside their homes while the few that are brave are walking outside for a breath of fresh air. The thing is that walking outside should not be considered brave because there’s a very small chance that you’ll catch the coronavirus by breathing it; it’s not airborne. The virus spreads via contact and droplets.

Social distancing is controversial but many would argue that it’s not necessary; if people who are healthy wear masks in public, then they should be allowed to return back to work. It’s those who are sick or have weakened immune systems who should stay home. But because the entire world is on lockdown, everyone has a greater chance of developing major depressive disorder.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some people who love being at home all day; their dream of smoking ganja and playing video games all day has come true. But for most people who are financially responsible and work for a living, staying at home is a powerful hit to their psyche. Think about all the college students who are going to graduate this Spring and not be able to enter the workforce because many employers are no longer hiring!

Imagine how depressing it is to end college and almost be guaranteed to not obtain a job? You end up getting a diploma and going back to your parent’s house or in an apartment that your parents will likely pay the rent for. That’s not the best way to kickstart your career; in fact, depression is a very likely outcome. If you think that the coronavirus is only affecting humanity physically, then think again.

Mental illness is likely on the rise.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Keeping In Touch

Isolated woman touching white textile

Preventing Isolation

As one gets older, he or she becomes less concerned with people who were never that close to them to begin with. Weeding out friends, acquaintances and random relationships from one’s life happens much more frequently as one gets older. During your adolescent years, you don’t do as much weeding because you’re too focused on status and popularity.

During adolescence, people hold onto others out of the sake of not sacrificing their image, connections or popularity. Every person may be important in some shape or form. But as one gets older, priorities change and superficial relationships become the last thing that people want to hold onto.

It’s important to keep in mind that you have to be smart when it comes to weeding people out of your life. Weed too little and you’re stuck with toxic folks; weed too much and you risk becoming isolated and lonely. You have to find the happy medium. But keep in mind that weeding is a process that does not always happen naturally.

Sometimes you have to take a step back and reanalyze your relationships: “Is this person even worth being friends with? I always feel kind of insecure and uncomfortable when I’m around them!” You have to learn to protect yourself by removing toxic people from your life, and surrounding yourself with fruitful ones.

Another important point to make is the act of keeping in touch. You have successfully weeded out old friends, but are you even keeping in touch with your current ones? As you get older, it becomes very easy to get lost into your own life, focusing on school, work, family and your significant other, but not enough on your friends.

How about your tennis friends, drinking buddies or even your former schoolmates? Keeping in touch is important because it allows you to reconnect with people outside of your life; it helps prevent isolation. Isolation is not that hard to fall into, but once you’re there, you either hate it or become ironically comfortable with it.

Keeping in touch does take work; nothing comes easy in life, especially when it comes to maintaining relationships. Just because someone is no longer near you or has moved halfway across the country, does not mean that you shouldn’t make an effort to keep in touch with them.

Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to keep in touch. But if it prevents you from becoming isolated, then by all means do it.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)