How can an active social life help with depression?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Dr. John Preston, PsyD
Psychology Specialist

Depression often leads people to isolate themselves and keeps them from reaching out and connecting with others. If you’re depressed, it may feel scary to be with people; it may feel as if you’re opening yourself up to rejection. Or you may feel as though you just don’t have the energy to go out and engage in small talk and to laugh at what others laugh at when, internally, you’re feeling so awful. You might feel as though you would have to fake it, even to consider going out to be with other people—that you’d be lying to yourself and others. But, not surprisingly, having a consistently active social life can alleviate some of the pain of depression. Humans are social creatures; we’ve evolved in ways that enable us to connect with one another. Isolating yourself is a protective impulse that actually can worsen your depression. Please don’t misunderstand: it’s healthy to be comfortable with being alone, and it’s essential to have some time for yourself, but too much time spent alone—when you’re choosing to be alone to avoid being uncomfortable socially—can be unhealthy and may exacerbate depression symptoms.

Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse

More About this Book

Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse

When you have depression, it can feel like there's no way out. To begin changing the way you feel, you'll need an arsenal of proven techniques for lifting your mood and preventing relapse. The...

Continue Learning about Living With Depression

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.