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Monday, November 15, 2010

Loneliness and depression

 by tg101


Depression and loneliness are often strongly linked to each other. You can feel depressed because you are lonely, or you can feel lonely because you feel depressed. If you can get a grip on depression, you are likely to feel less lonely too.
Although depression is an umbrella term for a host of problems, it is important to diagnose it correctly and quickly. With proper medication, therapy, nutrition and exercise, people can return to their daily lives without any long-term effects.

Depression is a very common condition. Approximately, 15 percent of doctor’s office visits are depression related. This is also the most prevalent serious illness primary care physicians treat. One out of 10 American adults is afflicted with major depression and more than 15 million Americans are diagnosed every year as clinically depressed. the World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world, and its researchers estimate that 121 million people currently suffer from it.

Some of the symptoms of depression are the following:

1. Feeling hopeless
2. Difficulty making decisions
3. Sometimes numb (no emotion at all )
4. Easily agitated, irritable or angry
5. Easily tired
6. Feeling guilty and terrible
7. Unable to sleep at night or excessive sleeping
8. Disturbing thoughts
9. Crying
10. Excessive weight gain or excessive weight loss
11. Abuse of children or violent towards loved ones
12. Inflicting self-injury
13. Negative self esteem
14. And the list goes on…
Many of the illustrated symptoms of depression can actually be symptoms of loneliness as well. Depression is a condition which many people are too embarrased to talk about.
Due to the historical stigmatism associated with the disorder, it remains a silent topic.
Depression can be caused by a number of things. It can be caused by a sudden, life-changing event such as loss of a beloved one or an illness. The condition can also gradually develop over a long period of time due to a number of factors, such as poor living conditions, poverty, environment, relationship problems or unemployment. Depression is also linked with personality traits, genetics or abnormal levels of certain hormones such as low thyroid hormone levels.

Whether it be physical, environmental or genetic, there are many ways depression can be defeated. Depending on the person and the condition, one or more of the below treatment methods are more or less preferred.

1. Suitable and recommended medication
2. Proper nutrition
3. Appropriate herbal treatment or other natural treatments
4. Hormone treatments
5. Exercise
6. Cognitive behavior therapy (thought-behaviour connection)
7. Change of situation wherever possible (e.g. bad relationship, job, etc)
8. Counseling or forms of psychological treatment
9. Relaxation therapies
10. Mindset and thinking patterns

The key is a holistic approach and the use of more than one of the above listed methods to beat depression

Depression and Loneliness
Depressed people tend to suffer in silence and isolate themselves from the outside world. When you are depressed, you feel less motivated to go out, make contact, socialize or participate in activities, or doing anything at all. Days, even weeks can go by without wanting to see anyone or talk to anyone and this aggrevates feelings of isolation. Often depressed people do not want to talk about their problem or simply feel misunderstood.
Similarly, prolonged and intense feelings of loneliness can lead to depression. Treating the symptoms of depression is likely to resolve the problem of loneliness. If the reasons of loneliness are well understood (this requires some soul-searching and questioning oneself) and if methods of overcoming loneliness are applied, it is very likely that symptoms of depression will become less or disappear.

Beating depression or loneliness does not start with having more friends, or a relationship, although it can help. It really starts from within and is a process that takes time and care. Asking the right questions and doing the right things as part of this process is one of the keys to healing. Humans go through life in patterns by doing the same thing over and over again. Even in different situations, these patterns will be repeated and simply generate the same results. A pattern is a repeated response to a situation in life or a series of activities that are repeated over and over again. They are formed by what we have learned from the past, what we know now, what we feel comfortable with and what our beliefs and values are. If any of these remain unchanged we become “fixed” in our ways. That’s why many of us have a hard time making lasting changes. The challenge is to break a pattern and gain new, life-changing insights.

So begin with yourself, ask yourself the questions to help you understand where your depression and loneliness is coming from and start interrupting your patterns that have been limiting you now and in the past.

This article has been written by Sommer Watts, Qualified Practitioner in Naturopathy, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine and Counseling. She runs a busy clinic in Brisbane, Australia and is the author of the book “Overcoming Loneliness”- based on her experience of people she treats suffering from loneliness and depression. The book can be downloaded from



  1. It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article

  2. thanks this should help

  3. This is a nice issue where we can cope up with stress...

  4. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    Depression symptoms