How to cope with depression when you feel alone
When living with depression, you may feel as though you need to keep your distance from other people. You may also believe that you have no-one to talk to, and spend your time worrying about how to cope with depression alone.
While depression may be causing you to think that you are isolated or that it is best to stay out of other people’s way, reaching out is incredibly important. There is always someone to speak to, whether that is a friend, family member, charity or trained mental health professional.
The vicious cycle of depression and feeling alone
Depression can cause many people to feel alone. It results in people withdrawing from relationships and avoiding new connections as they don’t have the energy to maintain them, or feel as though people don’t want to be around them.
This withdrawal can then perpetuate feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, and even worsen your depression symptoms. It is incredibly important to break this cycle, and there are simple steps that you can take to help you do so.
Don’t try to cope with depression alone
Depression isn’t a phase that you can simply get over, and it isn’t something you have to try and figure out how to cope with alone. It is an illness that needs to be treated properly. As it can affect so many areas of your life, from your sleep and appetite to your work and home life, it is important to get the right level of support to stop it from having this destructive effect.
While certain elements of self-care can help with depression symptoms, it’s important to gain access to professional treatment. There are many forms of depression, and many different types of treatment, including therapy and medication. Speaking to a specialist can make sure that you get access to a treatment programme that will be most effective for you.
Ways to reach out for support with your depression
If you are uncertain about where to turn, here are small and simple steps you can take so that you don’t have to think about how to cope with depression alone:
Book an appointment with your doctor – you may feel embarrassed about speaking to your doctor, but remember that their role is to provide care and support, and they are experienced in talking to people about their mental health.
They may ask you questions about your thoughts and feelings - and about any medication that you are taking - to get a better understanding of what you are going through, so you may want to think about this beforehand. If necessary, they can then refer you to an appropriate specialist, whether that is for a more in-depth assessment or treatment.
Speak to a family member or friend – reaching out to someone you are close to can also feel a little daunting. But these people care about you and don’t want to see you suffer. Remember, you don’t have to talk about everything at once - just starting the conversation can make a big difference and help to get the ball rolling. If you don’t feel up to talking, write down how you are feeling and give it to the person. That way, you can make sure that you say everything that you want to.
Speak to the Samaritans – if you are worried about your depression and don’t feel that you can speak to anyone you are close to, the Samaritan’s 24 hour helpline is always there to provide you with a listening ear.
Speak with mental health specialists – when you get in contact with Priory Group, either through your GP or our enquiry page, our team will work hard to get you seen by the right specialist who can then provide you with an in-depth assessment as well as the most suitable treatment plan.
Depression treatment available at Priory Hospitals and Wellbeing Centres
The depression treatment programme that you receive at a Priory Hospital or Wellbeing Centre will always depend on the severity of your condition and your personal circumstances.
At Priory Group, we are able to provide outpatient services such as one-to-one therapy, family therapy and group therapy. The types of therapy that are available include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can help to better manage destructive thoughts and beliefs. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) can also be used to support people who experience intense emotions so that they can reduce these negative emotions and live a healthier life once again.
Our consultant psychiatrists can also consider prescribing antidepressant medication. These can help some people recover from depression in combination with therapy.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is available at our Harley Street Wellbeing Centre, which is a safe and non-invasive treatment that helps to stimulate the area in the brain linked to mood. In addition, a pioneering treatment, known as the rapid acting programme in depression (RAPID) by triple chronotherapy, is also available at Priory Hospital North London, where wake therapy, phased sleep and bright light therapy are used to improve depression symptoms.
If necessary, we are also able to provide inpatient treatment for depression, where a person stays at one of our hospitals and has the chance to work through a robust and rigorous programme of treatment, with the time and space to focus on their mental health.