I have been in your situation. I agree with others, talking to your primary care doctor is so important. They can give you a better diagnosis and help even support groups that are tailored to you and your needs. Hope you get the help and support you need. This is a good thing and a safe place to get advice.
I've been severely depressed before, so I totally sympathize with you. Perhaps you could just start with letting your primary care doctor know how you feel. They can prescribe antidepressants, which could really help you feel better. Plus, I agree with others about getting tested for any kind of nutritional deficiencies because that can make you feel messed up. Your parents don't need to know you're receiving antidepressants from your PCP. They might not be as upset with knowing about it as you think they would be, however. I'm sure they just want the best for you. Your health is important, as well as your happiness. They're your parents, and they love you, right? But if it's too hard to talk, just start with the doctor and see what is recommended and go from there.
I agree with the others about volunteering, but for different reasons. Do it as a fulfilling pastime. Don't do it to meet anyone. But if you do, great! It can be hard to meet someone volunteering, because you become pretty absorbed in the activity.
If you go to religious services, you might meet someone who feels the same way. If you are still in college, some colleges also have religious groups on campus that you can be involved with. And of course, there are other kinds of groups as well. Anyway, it is really good to date someone who is the same religion as you, so that you have less disagreements and don't wind up breaking up over your differences. That being said, it isn't really true of everyone and differences can also be enriching. So you'll have to make up your mind on that. You know, how you might want your children to be raised. If it matters to you about what their religion will be. Or if you might be willing to let the other partner decide. For instance, if you marry a Catholic, you have to agree to let the kids be raised Catholics. But if you're really in love, you might want to go along with that.
One book that's really helped me to be more extroverted is a book by Dale Carnegie, called 'How to Win Friends and Influence People.' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Win_Friends_a nd_Influence_People You can find a used book somewhere, in a bookstore or online. Definitely get one of the new versions, however, as the original printings had some things edited out. There was a lot of anti-Japanese feelings going on around the time the book was written, and I'm afraid that made its way into the book. But, like I said, that's edited out of the newer versions. All the rest is really great advice. Like, my favorite, encourage other people to talk about themselves. You can really get to know other people that way. Listening is definitely a learned skill. It takes a lot of practice. Not only do you have to listen, but you have to remember. Which can be really hard. So he suggests carrying around a little notebook, and jotting down important facts about people as soon as you are away from them. And you can review that before you see them again. It's good advice!
If you can afford to at all maybe you could start by seeing a therapist for just two sessions or so, and FIRST discuss with the therapist the issue of talking to your parents.
I understand that you hesitate to talk about feeling depressed but I do think that the first step is to begin to talk about it to the right people. Maybe first discuss what you wrote here with your GP?
@USERSMYNAME , the issue is that they would receive the bills for it. Even if they don't receive the bill, I receive a notification when my partner (on my insurance) receives an EOB, and I can see the entire EOB as the primary accountholder. They would know he is seeing a therapist, even if no other information was available.
THAT SAID, I think at the point you are at @BOBVILL5 .. therapy is your best option. While there could be a medical reason for it, having long periods of isolation can definitely cause some issues. It's so hard to meet people, especially as an adult out of college, but it can be done.
You mentioned you are in an urban area.. it may seem way out of your comfort zone, but I have taken some basic improv comedy classes and they were a lot of fun and a good way to meet people, too. There are people of all ages and from all backgrounds in these classes, at least where I am (Chicago). Now Chicago is known for comedy of course, but I know these classes are offered all over the country!
Are you certain that you would have to make your parents aware if you see a therapist? You are on their health insurance, but that does not entitled them to know your medical history or details since you are not a minor. Can't you just make an appointment on your own without notifying your parents?
Fitness Minutes: (318,566)
3/13/18 11:28 A
I agree with LADY and James. Consider doing some volunteer work. If you are in decent sized city/town, check your local listings. Habit for Humanity is one great organization, but there are plenty of food pantries, churches, eldercare facilities etc all looking for volunteers. You could read books to an elderly person. You could mentor a teenager as part of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
There are even volunteer dating websites. Here's an example.
You meet like minded people who want to help their local community. You can also input your age range so that you are meeting up with people your own age.
Volunteering can help you get out of your funk. You start feeling better about yourself when you do good things for other people. That's why so many of us have recommended you do some volunteer work. You enrich yourself as well as expand your social circle.
You can volunteer for a few hours or a day. Whatever works for your schedule.
If you don't want to volunteer there are also dating fitness website i.e. you meet people on weekend rock climbs, white water rafting, kayaking, skiing etc.
And I do agree that you should talk to your doctor. there could be a medical reason you're feeling the way you are. And definitely do not be afraid to talk to your parents. I'm sure they will support you. but if you are concerned with their response, then start with your doctor and see what they recommend. They could refer you to a therapy group where you can talk with other people who've also been struggling.
I agree with LADYSTARWIND on habitat for humanity.
It is a great place to meet people who have something in common, they want to help others (and that is a good trait). The projects go over a longer time, so you might get to make more personal connections, and lastly you might learn things about housing, and construction and home renovation, which are good things to know.
Since you live in an urban area... check into the website: Its Just Lunch! I've got a friend who did that (in Chicago), and really enjoyed the meetups. Friendships are indeed difficult for many people...but you are on the right track knowing the first step is that you need to meet people.
Volunteering for activities like trail work or Habitat for Humanity projects is also a great opening... in part because you spend more than an hour with a group ... and actually can get to know something about them and vice versa. Some of these projects go over multiple weeks, so it is even better. All the best, patti
Patti "The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
First of all - major kudos for reaching out here for advice and suggestions, and for realizing what some of your issues are and acknowledging that they can be better addressed with some help. The team suggested by SlimmerKiwi will undoubtedly have a lot of wonderful support for you.
As has been suggested, the first line to address is a full physical, to make sure that there are no medical issues (vitamin / mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, etc.) making things more difficult for you.
When speaking to your parents, you might want to emphasize that many employers are encouraging staff to engage in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as it has proven to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency (and, not coincidentally, improve employee morale). This can be one of the most effective forms of therapy for the issues that you are facing, but can be presented as a "growth tool for better chances of workplace advancement" (which gets rid of the embarrassment and shame problems when first discussing the idea with your folks).
You may also want to start speaking with your workplace about changing over to being on your own insurance coverage, so that the transition and paperwork and charges are all seamlessly ready to go when needed, and so that any treatment that you are receiving will not be interrupted or altered because of having to change providers.
As for the whole socializing and actually meeting people --- well, you first might consider taking a public speaking course (something like Dale Carnegie, for instance). Your workplace might cover some of the charges for this, it will help you in furthering your career, and it will teach you how to present a calm and confident and welcoming attitude to the world. While you may or may not meet folks your own age in the course, it will give you the tools that you need to feel comfortable in getting in to social situations where you ARE more likely to meet peers.
You might also consider joining in with some activity groups. If you check on the local social media scene, you should be able to find some age-appropriate groups who are in to hiking or skiing or skeet-shooting or some other type of outdoor activity that you would enjoy getting in to. The physical activity will be good for both your body and your mind, and the socializing will keep you in practice so that your confidence in your social abilities will keep growing. While video games have their good points, social confidence really is one of those "use it or lose it" areas, so forcing yourself out to do group activities will pay off.
Once you start addressing the depression, and start taking control of learning better coping and social skills, you will be in a much better position to start considering dating. Start with the basics of taking care of yourself, and then start branching out.
Take care, and be well!
Sir Terry Pratchett:
"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
Bob, have you ever discussed this with your Dr? There are often medical reasons why a person suffers from depression, and an evaluation, including bloods could help determine that. Also, ask for your Vitamin D level to be checked with your bloods because that is often an exacerbating factor. Also ask for a referral to a Therapist, altho' it might be good to get a proper diagnosis and a Psychiatrist is best for that. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. A lot of us have been through this, including myself!!!
PLEASE do not be afraid to talk with your parents. You need to have some professional help, and as you are on their plan, it makes even more sense to talk with them. If their response is along the lines of 'you don't need help'; what have you got to be depressed about?"; 'suck it up"; "it's in your head"; etc. just tell them that a person doesn't NEED a reason to be depressed. Below is a link to the Mayo Clinic. I want you to read it, and print if off. Then it will be on hand to show your parents if they don't understand: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dep ression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007
I had the same problem of being quite the introvert, but like you will, I eventually grew out of it. Note: being an introvert is OK, many successful people are still mainly an introvert and it helps being alone to reflect on the lessons learned from life. I never had a real girl friend until after working for a couple of years; and after I had gained enough experience to be able to help others. But to grow we need to understand that we all have unique talents which we must nurture by learning from others, mainly through books if you are an introvert and then by reaching out to others with similar interests.
A good blog of mine, about growing and nurturing your talents, is https://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6469666
Edited by: OLDEROWL at: 3/11/2018 (23:40)
I'm Bob. I am retired and live in Virginia, USA (EDT) with my wife. I lead the "Feel Better Fast and Make It Last team. www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes sageboard_thread.asp?board=0x64349x687 88378 Our goal is to help all members better use their mental powers to act positively and proactively to live a joyous productive life. The joy is in the shared journey of life whether it be ordinary or extraordinary, but mostly it will be exceptional with each other's support.
I don't go out and socialize a lot now that I am older but I do go out to events that interest me (smaller events because I do not like large crowds) and I make myself talk to at least one person. I do the same when I go out shopping. It is hard at first but it does get easier. I've met the nicest people at the most unexpected times and i've even become friends with a couple of them. I know it's easier said than done.
Another place to try would be a Christian singles group. Not to find dates, just friends.
Not advice, just suggestions. Sparkpeople is also a great place to make friends
Edited by: KARLA2018 at: 3/11/2018 (23:25)
Fitness Minutes: (3,610)
131 3/11/18 10:41 P
I have struggled with similar issues for years. I am 40years old.
What I would say is that I wished I had developed stronger social skills in my younger years, and not been so paralyzed by self-doubt and shame and insecurity.
It gets harder as I have gotten older....so I guess if I had any advice for you, it is don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed- many people are going through what you are going through, and congratulations for being brave enough to want to get help.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
3/11/18 10:04 P
Before I explain my situation - i'm not suicidal and I have a lot going for me in my life that I'm grateful for. However, i do accept that i'm in a mental state of depression. I've been feeling this way for the past 4 years and I want to change, since this seems to be last and hardest obstacle to conquer. I have a great job, a supportive family, a few friends (not many nearby), and working on getting in better shape. I'm 24 years old.
Ever since starting college, I've struggled making new friends. I was very introverted and even though i was involved in a few clubs, i made a few acquaintances (People I talked to but never hanged out w/ outside the club) and only 1 real friend that I still talk to this day. I've also never dated throughout college, not that I really even tried much. All of this bothered me, since i had no idea how people made connections with others and I felt excluded.
Today, I find it even harder to make new friends. I've been looking online for meetup groups but its very rare to find a group that both interests me and is full of people in my age range (20-29). I also live in a relatively populated city too which makes it even harder for me to understand why I'm struggling. I've also been trying online dating on the side. I haven't had much luck from it at all (1 date in a year), even using a paid site and another non-paid. I am just stuck in a mental cycle where i desire to meet people but don't know how. I spend a lot of time playing video games on my computer which i know is why i'm not meeting alot of people. But, even if i did get off the computer to meet people, i don't see where I would go to meet people. I'd prefer not to go to a large social event alone, but it's hard when you don't have many friends. I know for a fact I'd benefit from seeing a therapist/counselor but I don't want to ask my parents because I'd feel embarrassed for whatever reason. However, i am still on their health plan so i'd them aware before i sign up for a session. I really don't want my parents asking me what's wrong with me or why. It's very complicated and would rather only talk to it with a professional..
Sorry for the long read but i'm desperate for help. Thanks for the advice in advance!