Social Media As A Place For Self
Those struggling with depression, who arent ready to quit their social media presence, face a unique challenge. How to get to a point where using social media channels is done in a healthy way? A change of perspective could be the solution.
Some people are choosing to open up more about their struggles with mental health. For example, hashtags such as #whatyoudontsee, #stopthestigma, #mentalhealthmatters are being used every day by people that try to make talking about these issues easier and less of a taboo. Likewise, celebrities are opening up more about their depression. Jay-Z, for example, published an album this year and is talking openly about his depression in interviews.
It is just nice to know that we, as a society, are starting to talk about this more. And that we can show each other that were not alone. But this public approach might not be the best idea for everyone. Some people use Social Media as a way of networking, after all, and have colleagues from work in their contacts. It will be up to you to decide if this stage is too public and professional to open up about something this personal.
So What Causes Depression
While the exact cause of depression isnt known, some things can be associated with its development. Depression does not usually result from a single event, but from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors.
Life events Research suggests that continuing difficulties, such as long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness or prolonged exposure to stress at work, are more likely to cause depression than recent life stressors.
However, recent events such as losing a job or a combination of events can trigger depression in people who are already at risk because of past bad experiences or personal factors.
For me, it was hereditary, stresses, and an emotionally abusive husband. Having to raise four children and a husband became hard work, and I had no time for myself. I was isolated from family and friends. Melissa, 37
I experienced an unhappy and unsettled transition from school to university, a relationship breakup and stressful living circumstances. Theres also a history of depression and anxiety in my family. Jaci, 33 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl-0885-anxiety-depression-information-booklet-05-15.pdf?sfvrsn=2
I lost my Dad to depression. Read Kat’s story
How To Combat Feeling Empty And Understand The Source
Set Life Goals that Establish Meaning
An essential part of getting your life moving again and finding meaning is setting goals. A lot of the time we flounder and feel lost or empty because we haven’t set goals for what is important to us. Sometimes this means reevaluating or revisiting past goals, and other times you have to brainstorm goals for the first time.
Many people who are not feeling deep meaning in their life might feel this way since they have subconsciously “turned off” their emotions. They might have reached a point where their emotions become overwhelming and caused them anxiety, leading to choosing “empty” as an emotion instead. The first thing you can do after acknowledging this numbness towards emotions is to start reconnecting with your emotions allow yourself to feel again. Your emotions may come out inappropriately at first, such as sadness being expressed through anger, but remember no emotions are wrong or bad, as long as you continue making an effort to recognize them and grow.
Engage in Activities You Used to Enjoy
Talk To Support Groups
You can find various support groups that deal with the concept of waves of emptiness. These support groups may consist of people who have a mental illness that is contributing to feeling empty, or they may consist of people who are just trying to figure out how to find a meaningful life.
Go to a Treatment Center for Severe Issues
Don’t Avoid People and Reach Out to Those Close to You
Also Check: I Am Fat And Depressed
Gently Acknowledge The Emptiness
If youre experiencing emptiness thats more like a gaping hole, acknowledge it, and be gentle with yourself, said Eder.
Remember that youre doing the best you can at any given moment. Feeling guilty is not uncommon, but it might stop you from seeking help.
Begin by recognizing your own feelings and needs. Even if challenging, try to avoid dismissing yourself and what you feel.
If you acknowledge that your feelings are linked to a loss you experienced, consider allowing yourself time and space to grieve openly. Grief looks and feels different to everyone, and there are no right or wrong ways to do it.
Once youve acknowledged your losses, you might go through five stages of grief.
Maybe the loss involves someone leaving your life physically or emotionally.
Eder suggested speaking to yourself with compassion when exploring these feelings and past experiences. For instance, you might say: Its been hard to feel so lonely, or Youre right you did need more love.
Focus On People You Care About
One thing that can lead to feeling empty and miserable is when we make ourselves dependent on the approval and validation of others. Our social circles and personal contacts are important for our wellbeing, but at the same time it is important to recognise that, for some people, you are just a means to an end. Reflect on those people who are important to you, who enrich your life and who also care about you. It can help if you open up to these people and share your feelings of inner emptiness with them.
Recommended Reading: Free Online Support Groups For Depression
Create A Solid Sense Of Self
This may be unconventional, but I believe that possessing a weak sense of self can be the cause and result of feeling empty.
When we lack a stable ego, we float throat life being tossed here and there with no sense of solidity or wholeness. Its absolutely imperative that we all have a stable ego as, without it, we simply cannot operate in this world effectively.
As such, possessing a frail sense of self is kind of like being a vagabond with no home to return to and feeling empty is often a result. Psychologically speaking, we need to be like the humble snail who carries its shell around as both a form of protection and shelter.
I have written more about how to develop a stronger sense of self in the past . But for now, here are a few suggestions:
Related Questions Answered On Yanswers
- why is it that sometimes i feel empty inside and I feel like crying ?
- Q: sometimes i just feel empty inside as if im missing somethingand i feel like crying so badly so i just want to know why i feel that way ?no stupid asnwers please
- A: I know how you feel. I had the same empty feeling for a very long time. You sound like your depressed, and if its clinical than youll need to see a doctor and probably a therapist. I know i had to. In the mean time, take a hot bath, listen to your favorite songs, and take many deep breaths. Looking on the bright side may not be always easy, but thats what you need to try to do. Please, tell your parents, or if you live on your own, go see a doctor. I really wish you the best of luck!
- Why do I feel so empty inside?
- Q: I was remembering my cat today and now I feel so empty. She died one year ago. I have three cats now but I still feel empty when I think about her. Why?
- A: Thats perfectly normal. You loved your cat and you still love her. It shows you have a good heart as well. Pets are very important to us humans. They depend upon us and we depend upon their love.Im sorry to hear about your loss. But you will get through this. Let your friends and family know how you feelseek comfort from others. Be strong. Youll be just fine.=)
Weight And Diet Changes
Depending on how you personally react, depression can make you either overeat or under eat and sometimes youll experience a mix of both. Its okay to lose your appetite or deal with cravings occasionally, but constantly living in a cycle of bad eating habits only does more harm.
Diet has been found to have a significant link to depression many times so much so that its almost a given fact. And when youre not eating right, your entire body suffers. Youre at higher risk for disease, are likely to feel exhausted, and may have even less positive thinking than before.
To make matters worse, weight loss and gain can have an effect on your self-esteem, leaving you feeling even more empty than before when you struggle to recognize yourself in the mirror. So, what can you do about it?
- Keeping a food journal and logging your meals is a good way to be aware of what you are, or arent, eating.
- You should aim to get sufficient daily calories in the form of healthy, energy-providing foods such as protein and complex carbs.
- Steer away from refined sugars and other processed foods, as they will likely only worsen your mood.
What Illnesses Happen With Depression
Itâs common for people to have other medical or mental health problems along with depression, such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression or another mental illness, talk to your doctor. Treatments can help.
Read Also: Non Antidepressants Used For Depression
I Feel Empty: Why Do You Feel This Way And How To Stop Feeling Empty
I feel empty inside Have you ever had this thought? Felt a void inside you that you dont know how it came about?
This feeling of emptiness inside you doesnt have a definition, someone may describe it as sadness, others as dread or a little of both.
Feeling empty isnt uncommon and almost all of us have felt this at some point in our lives. Whether to like to believe it or not, this feeling is real and valid. And while it can be overwhelming at times, it can be managed.
Most of the time, the feeling of emptiness lasts for a few days and can go away on its own but other times, it can persist for long and can become a symptom of an underlying mental health condition.
Lets take a look at some of the reasons why you feel empty inside.
Why Do I Feel Empty Emptiness Symptoms And Causes
People confront feelings of emptiness in life for many reasons. For example, the loss of a loved onewhether to death or separationmay leave one feeling empty in the absence of a person who may have provided purpose and structure to life. A sudden change in life circumstances may also produce such feelings.
A common symptom of emptiness is the feeling that life lacks meaning. Viktor Frankl recognized the human need for finding meaning in life, even during hardship, during the years he spent in Nazi concentration camps. As a result, he developed his own form of therapy to help people find meaning in every aspect of life, naming it logotherapy, which comes from the Greek word logos .
Emptiness can leave a person feeling emotionally numb, despondent, isolated, and anxious. Some describe the experience as an empty feeling in their chest. People attempt to fill that void in a number of ways, often engaging in activities that are ultimately unfulfilling, such as compulsive shopping, eating, or the use of substances. Unfortunately, our consumer culture often capitalizes on feelings like emptiness, promising fulfillment with this or that product.
A person might instead attempt to combat emotional emptiness and give new meaning to life by volunteering, taking up a hobby, adopting a pet, cultivating or maintaining a spiritual practice, or other activities that may prove more emotionally fulfilling.
Read Also: How To Get Out Of A Depression Spiral
Whats It Like To Feel Empty Inside
People who feel empty inside have the feeling that they are merely silent observers of their own lives. They are restless, doubt themselves a lot and yearn for recognition. Feeling constantly dejected, incomplete or lonely can tear a big hole in us, which we then try to patch up by any possible means.
Much like a grumbling stomach when we are hungry, inner emptiness can be described as a hunger for meaning, for self-control and completeness. Instead of genuinely seeking the right food to satisfy this emotional hunger, we often start looking for replacement solutions anything to fill the void we feel inside.
Impulsive eating, excessive alcohol and drug consumption, compulsive shopping and obsessive attachment to certain people are a few examples of such behaviour. However, the satisfaction we gain from these behaviours is only momentary and soon gives way to the next craving, like an insatiable appetite. Thats why, in many cases, this behaviour can develop into a serious addiction.
This creates a dangerous vicious circle: for fear of remaining forever stuck with this inner emptiness and deprived of our needs, we begin to avoid those situations that cause us to feel particularly empty inside. By acting this way, we isolate ourselves further from our social environment and feel even more alone and helpless. Anxiety disorders and depression may start to take hold.
Seek Out New Experiences
Rather than filling your inner emptiness with addictive behaviours and consumption in the short term, seek out meaningful activities and experiences that create new impressions and memories. Focus on things that will do you good or things you have always wanted to do.
Scientific studies have also shown that we tend to experience happiness and satisfaction more intensely when we share our experiences with other people. So try out a new sport, do something special with your friends or set out on a day trip with the family.
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Is There Hope Always
A lot of people find that the first step is the most difficult. They may want to keep their feelings to themselves for fear of judgement.
“You dont have to feel alone, get help.” Read Scott’s story
My fears and worries were plenty. I believed I was weak, incompetent, mental if I took medication or sought psychological help. Yes, the first steps are hard, but hey, so is crying all the time and not being able to think or have fun. For me, it was about priority and getting back the person I was and liked. Gina, 38
When All Else Fails At Least I
I get a rush of serotonin when I get something done. But this tip is specifically NOT work related. Instead, Im redefining productivity as something good for yourself or your space. This could be vacuuming, color coding your closet, folding the clean laundry that has been in your hamper for 3 days .
I will not lie to you. I never made my bed before COVID-19 . Other than that, it stayed messy. Why, you may ask? Because I was just going to get back into it!
For some reason, making my bed every day now gives me some sort of weird purpose. When Im depressed, I feel useless. If I get literally nothing done throughout the day , I at least made my bed. Go me!! I also love a midday shower. Its like, surprise! Im clean at a random hour! Feels exciting.
Recommended Reading: Depressed And No One Cares
Signs You Are Feeling Empty Or Emotionally Numb
1. You are unable to experience or express emotions positive or negative, including love and joy.
2. You routinely engage in mind-numbing activities such as TV watching or procrastination. You gain no pleasure from these activities, yet you do not feel motivated to do anything else.
3. You feel disconnected from your body. You feel fatigued, lifeless, and do not receive signals regarding hunger, thirst, tiredness or other discomforts.
4. You do not react in situations that would typically evoke emotions, such as watching movies or receiving certain news.
5. You feel like a passive observer of your life. Rather than living each moment with vitality, life seems unreal.
6. You go about each day in auto-pilot mode. By adopting emotional numbness or depersonalization, you are not truly living. You are watching your life from a seat in the audience.
7. You no longer find joy in doing activities you once enjoyed. Your memories feel like someone elses story.
8. You become less and less interested in socializing or connecting with people and feel detached from friends and family.
9. You feel no one knows the real you. And gradually, you know yourself less and less. You lose touch with your own interests, passions and dreams.
10. You feel a lingering sense of boredom.
Oh God just look at me now one night opens words and utters pain I cannot begin to explain to you this I am not here. This is not happening. Oh wait, it is isnt it?
Suppressed And Repressed Emotions
So what happens if youre living your life purpose? Youre regularly making contact with your soul? Youre devoted to living a path of heart but that emptiness is still haunting you?
If emptiness is a constant companion with you, even on your spiritual journey, it could be because you are suppressing and repressing emotion.
What is suppression and repression ?
Suppression is consciously shutting away your emotions. Repression is unconsciously shutting away your emotions .
If you grew up in an environment that demanded you to be stoic and punished any form of strong emotional expression, you probably struggle with this issue.
The problem with suppressing and repressing emotions is that over time, they begin to build and stagnate within you. The more your emotions are dammed up inside, the more disconnected you feel from yourself. The more disconnected you feel, the more you feel empty.
In other words: you stop feeling your emotions. Life becomes dull and bland. Where you would otherwise feel joy, you feel mild enjoyment. Where you would otherwise feel anger, you feel mild annoyance. Where you would otherwise feel sadness, you feel mild listlessness.
Shutting out your negative emotions not only keeps them at bay but through time, it keeps all of your emotions at bay, positive ones included.
If you want to read more about this issue, I recommend checking out our article on emotional numbness.
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