Loneliness and Depression

We have all experienced loneliness at some time or even many times in our lives. That feeling of isolation, wanting to withdraw because we feel no one really understands how we feel.

Before I continue I would like to draw a clear distinction between clinical depression, loneliness and reactive depression. I am not here to go into the desperate darkness and despair of clinical depression where you feel that your brain has been wrongly wired and you have no control, and much worse, no desire to get better. Clinical depression is much more complicated. I have experienced it. However, the two can feel exactly the same and so how do we know the difference ?

Quite simply I finally surrendered to this immobilising state of despair, visited my wonderful GP in Harley Street who had known me for years, and asked for help. Actually I did not even have to ask her for help…she took one look at me and knew……I no longer wanted to feel this way. It was that simple, and there lies the difference. I wanted to feel better, I wanted to get the positive, fun loving Lynne back that seemed long gone.

She was able to give me some medication to help me through the never ending darkness, as a result of my very shocking experiences during that year. I was quite simply unable to make the breakthroughs that I latterly discovered.

I have come a long way since then with the gift of loneliness and surrendering to it!! Loneliness and reactive depression can feel very similar. By reactive depression I mean a  “reason” for feeling sad and alone, ie. losing a loved one, losing a business, losing our health, losing our self respect, losing our looks as we get older, losing our friends and the big one, losing our money or our income which has become our security and to a certain extent, particularly today, losing our status in society.

If you have experienced any of the above you will know exactly what I am talking about. I would like to clarify again that losing a loved one can be just as devastating as the death of a loved one. There is the rejection, humiliation and all the downward spiral effects, resulting in loss of self esteem and an inability to start again because we have been made to feel inadequate unattractive, unworthy and as a result we do not value ourselves.

The big question is…do we ever really value ourselves? Now of course we are bombarded by new age self help books, diets,  mantras, affirmations, meditation, exercise classes, socialising, escaping through alcohol, usually to to our detriment, and a huge amount of pressure to find ways to just get over how we are feeling and get on with it. But we are not getting to the core of the problem. What is this void of loneliness? Why is it so scary? and why are we so frightened to go there and challenge it?

Well, I have some wonderful news……I have done the course, been there and got the tee shirt as the saying goes, but don’t forget to start with throwing away of the old tee shirt FIRST, which has probably had the very popular tag for years with the slogan ….. ‘HELP YOURSELF” This is not an easy line to discontinue let me tell you unless you see that it has had its day!! A bit like a fashion statement. Get rid of it NOW!  If this has made you smile then you are already on the right track and taken the very first step in how to combat loneliness……..more to follow ….it gets very exciting…..