Health Guides: Managing Major Depression

Relationships and Major DepressionOvercoming major depression isn't easy, but healthy relationships and a strong social network can give you the support you need.

Social Isolation and Loneliness

Social Isolation and Loneliness

At times, symptoms of major depression can make you may feel like the loneliest person on the planet. You're uneasy about socializing, so you limit contact with others, but being alone makes you feel more depressed and withdraw further. It's easy to get trapped in a cycle of isolation and loneliness. In his book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, Andrew Solomon writes, "Syndrome and symptom cause each other: loneliness is depressing, but depression also causes loneliness." To the brain, isolation can feel like physical pain, some researchers say. One of the best strategies for disrupting this isolating depression pattern is having people in your life -- friends and family -- that you trust and feel comfortable being around.