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How to Deal with Loneliness

a person looks sadly from a window wondering how to deal with loneliness

Determining how to deal with loneliness can be challenging, especially if you are coping with other issues, such as substance abuse or mental health concerns. Nevertheless, connecting with others is essential for ongoing happiness, mental well-being, and even physical health. Humans are social creatures, and it’s thus essential to maintain healthy interpersonal connections. If you or a loved one is feeling isolated or showing signs of depression, why not reach out for support? At Evoke Wellness, we offer quality mental health treatment and substance abuse recovery programs at our centers in Chicago, Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Florida. Call 866.429.2960 or send us an online message to learn more.

Some Signs of Depression that Treatment Might Be Helpful

It’s normal to experience some mood fluctuation based on life circumstances, how you feel physically, and even the weather. Nonetheless, if low feelings take up a lot of your time or interfere with your life, getting help can make a big difference. Here are a few signs of depression that suggest a professional treatment option might be a good choice:

  • Losing interest or enjoyment in things that previously brought joy, such as hobbies, work, exercise, or sex
  • Frequently feeling empty, sad, or hopeless for a prolonged period
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Having significantly less energy than you used to, potentially resulting in being unable to get out of bed some days or having very little motivation to engage with daily life
  • Changes in appetite for food reflected as either eating much more or much less than before the low feelings started
  • Beliefs that you are worthless or excessive feelings of self-blame or guilt
  • Difficulty with executive mental functions like concentrating, forming memories, or making decisions
  • Physical pain unrelated to actual physical ailment, especially headaches or other muscular pain
  • Engaging in self-harming behaviors like cutting, having suicidal ideation, or making suicide plans or attempts

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, getting a professional consultation could be a great choice. While depression can be debilitating, there are also many effective treatment options available to help. As with any mental health concern, getting more information from a qualified source like a doctor or psychologist is an ideal first step.

Self-harm and active suicidal thoughts often require immediate attention. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 at 988.

How Do Substance Abuse and Depression Impact One Another?

Sadly, depression and substance abuse have a very strong and long-standing interplay. Moreover, the relationship goes both ways. Addiction to substances can contribute to depression, and existing depression can lead to substance misuse and addiction.

In the first case, substances like barbiturates, opioids, and alcohol can all potentially trigger depressive symptoms. This is because they all have a physical suppressing effect on the central nervous system. They depress the body’s vital processes, such as heart rate and respiration. It’s little wonder that they can trigger decreased mood and low feelings as well.

In the other direction, many people already struggling with depression due to genetic factors, seasonal affective disorder, traumatic life events, or other causes develop substance use disorders. This is the case because it’s all too easy to view drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms when internal states feel unmanageable. Sadly, this “fix” is far from permanent, and the unintended consequences make it all the more dangerous. While intoxication may help numb difficult feelings in the short term, over time, it just makes matters worse by raising the odds of addiction, overdose, financial difficulties, and compromised relationships.

Tips for Dealing with Loneliness

One of the best things to do if you’re feeling low much of the time is to seek professional support through a primary care doctor or psychologist. Here are a few basic tips to tide you over in the meantime or in tandem with professional treatment:

  • Practice gratitude through a daily journal or by speaking aloud five things for which you’re grateful at the end of each day. This can serve as a powerful reframing device.
  • Give yourself something to look forward to regularly. This could be a weekly yoga class, a running group, a book club, or a gaming circle, to name just a few. Having even one regular social commitment can go a long way toward beating the blues.
  • Actively remember that you’re special and irreplaceable. Make a list of things about you that are unique. When you catch yourself making negative self-judgments or comparing yourself harshly to others, try replacing that thought with something positive. For example, remind yourself of a talent you have or a relationship you value.

Practicing mindfulness exercises, such as a short morning meditation or reading and reflecting on an inspirational book, can also help. Learning to be with yourself alone while doing something calming and pleasant can go far toward self-regulation and inner peace.

Contact Evoke Wellness Today for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Programs

If you or someone you care about is grappling with depression or substance abuse, don’t lose hope. Call Evoke Wellness at 866.429.2960 or fill out our confidential online form to request help. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is standing by to talk to you about treatment options in Chicago, Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Florida and to answer any questions.