I’m 51 Have No Children And Am Feeling Depressed And Lonely
The dilemma I am 51 and feel alone and unsettled. Although I have lived in the UK for 20 years, it has never really been “home”. I had an expat childhood, living in Europe and the US. I was very close to my parents , and now that the family home is gone, too, I’ve lost the only stability I had in my life. I have been with my partner for 11 years, but sadly marriage has not brought me the sense of closeness or security I hoped it would. I was desperate to have a child, but had three miscarriages instead. My husband doesn’t understand my grief. He thinks our life is good as it is and that we should focus on what we have. We have separate interests and his hobbies mean I don’t see much of him at weekends. I get home from work feeling exhausted and isolated. In our family-orientated society, I am constantly reminded of what I am missing, and increasingly feel I have nothing to live for.
In principle it should be possible for your and you husband to offer a loving home to a child in need if you’re sure parenthood is the only route to contentment. The people around you occupied with raising kids will, in a matter of years, be sitting at home without them, most likely despondent because their children, so lovingly raised, now can barely make it home for lunch on Sundays, if for that matter they even choose to remain within visiting distance.
Why Do I Feel Lonely The Causes Of Loneliness
There are many reasons you might be feeling lost and lonely. Theres no one answer to the question of what causes loneliness.
However, if youre asking yourself Why do I feel lonely?, it might help you to understand some of the evolutionary and biological reasons why youre having this unpleasant experience.
There are proven connections between your feelings of social isolation and everything from reduced heart health to decreased resistance to disease, so theres an increasing amount of research on the origins of loneliness.
As it turns out, genetic data indicates you can inherit loneliness from a parent.
The inheritance rate is estimated at just under 50%. So, if you have a lonely parent, some of your emotional turmoil might have more to do with biology than context.
However, dont underestimate the significant role that nurture plays in your loneliness. Studies also show that even if youre genetically identical to another person, youll feel lonelier if you have less social support.
There are two key points for you to take away here:
Take Some Time To Relax And Slow Down
If you’re frequently busy, running around with your to-do list or feel stressed by all the meetings at work, it might be time to hit the brakes.
“Sometimes when people’s schedules are back-to-back for too long, they start disconnecting from themselves and other people,” says Judith Orloff, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Thriving as an Empath. “They get overwhelmed from overworking and too much stimulation. So the practice is just to relax and do what their body needs.”
Perhaps that relaxing for you could mean listening to music, taking a bath or just sitting with nothing to do and nowhere to be.
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Why Do I Feel Alone
Human beings are instinctively social animals. It is natural for us to feel alone or lonely when we are isolated from others. As a tribal species, our brains adapted to rely on social connections as a means to survive. In fact, according to neuroscientist John Cacioppo, who has made a career out of studying loneliness, The absence of social connection triggers the same, primal alarm bells as hunger, thirst and physical pain.
Put simply, Humans dont do well if theyre alone.
However, modern life, with all of its conveniences, has led to a sharp increase in isolation. As a result, loneliness is on the rise. According to Cacioppo, The percentage of Americans who responded that they regularly or frequently felt lonely was between 11% and 20% in the 1970s and 1980s The American Association of Retired Persons did a nationally representative study in 2010 and found it was closer to 40% to 45%.
When we find ourselves becoming isolated, we should take that as a warning sign that we may turning against ourselves in some basic way. The path of isolation leads to loneliness, despair, and even depression.
We Dont Want To Burden Others
When were feeling lonely, we assume that everyone else has more exciting stuff going on in their lives than we do. Whether this is true or not, we convince ourselves that we shouldnt hassle them.
The last thing we want is for people to spend time with us out of pity. So instead of reaching out and asking someone over for dinner or a glass of wine, we hide behind pride and make ourselves lonelier.
But hang on one second if you think about it, how many times when a friend has called us have we thought, oh no, not them again? Most of the time, we are delighted to hear from that person because were feeling the same way ourselves.
Its easy to assume other people have these exciting lives and are too busy for us. Most of the time, its just not the case.
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What You Can Do To Feel Better
When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.
Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.
Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
Reconnect With Friends And Spend Quality Time Together
Spending time with others is vital to helping you feel more connected so if you’re feeling isolated after losing touch with friends, make a real effort to reconnect. “Intimate relationships are very important to mental health and especially to decreasing loneliness,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital and How Can I Help? podcast host.
You can start by texting an old friend to ask how they’re doing but don’t just limit your interaction to text and social media, which can often make for superficial connections. Instead, arrange for time to hang out in person in a safe-feeling space that’s casual whether it’s for a quick coffee or a lunch date, where you can make sure that you’re spending quality time together.
“Texting in between to stay in touch can be okay, but in-person time together feeling understood, sharing feelings and knowing the other person matters for creating the kind of bond that decreases loneliness,” Dr. Saltz explains.
Instead of always waiting to be asked to hang out, Dr. Saltz recommends taking action to extend those invitations yourself and being forthright and direct in your desire to connect with the other person.
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Causes And Risk Factors
While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger symptoms in some peopleas can hypothyroidism . But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.
Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be simply cured with medication. Biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells. But psychological and social factorssuch as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem, and lifestyle choicescan also play an enormous part.
I’m Lonelydepressedextremely Ugly And Need Alout Of Advice
I’m litterly on the verge of comiting suicide by starting not to eat and drink at all.
Im 19 and ever since I started school I have always been bullied and disliked because of the way i look.I have no friends and never been in a relationship.Im so grotesque ugly that I basically never go out and when I do people always stare at me and give me horrible looks.All iv been doing for the past 10 years is staying in siting on my computer every day,all day.
I guess I think part of the reason iv always been rejected is because people can see that I look different because i have aspergous syndrome and I’m dyslexic.
On top of all that my gran died a few months ago and my bamp who being like a father to me is dying of cancer.
Im never going to have a job becuase I have terrible qualifications,never going to drive,never going to find anyone who loves me because I’m so unbelively ugly,Im never going to have life becuase of the way I am and look.
2 likes, 7 replies
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Get In Touch With Mother Nature
Do you know there is a concept of nature walk which is found to boost mental well-being and reduce the feeling of depression by nearly 70%?
All you have to do is go out, take a walk in nature, and heal. It is indeed one of the healthiest things to do when you feel alone. Make sure you soak yourself up in this nature walk by keeping your digital devices at home and by rejoicing in what mother earthhas to offer.
Join A Club And Meet People Who Share Your Passion
Numerous groups and clubs based on shared interests and pastimes may be available to you, depending on where you reside. Many of these groups can be found on the internet or through community organizations.
To find a group of people who share a common interest, you can use the meetup websites. Locally based meetings are held for a group of people is another way on how to deal with loneliness.
You may find meetup groups for everything from food and travel to sports and recreation. There are meetup groups all around the country that might provide you with activities to do when youre feeling lonely. Its a terrific way to meet new people and keep in touch with old ones.
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Examine And Enhance Your Current Relationships
Which people in your life make you feel great? Make regular plans with them and try really hard to maintain these relationships. These are the people who will be able to support you and motivate you when feeling depressed. Even a regular phone or video chat can be a good way to connect.
We understand that being proactive and making plans to see and be around people can be hard when youre feeling lonely and depressed, but pushing yourself to spend more time with the people who you care about can really help you to feel less alone.
Reevaluate Your Social Media Usage
While the jury is still out on whether or not the rise of social media is driving loneliness and depression, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate the influence it has on your life.
Are you using it to make meaningful connections? Are you spending too much time on it? Is it causing you to withdraw in unhelpful ways?
“If we feel dissatisfied with our face-to-face relationships, we retreat into the world of social media, which only exacerbates the problem,” says Professor Floyd of the University of Arizona. “On social media, it seems as though everyone else has better jobs, better houses, better vacations and better relationships than we do. That isn’t actually true, of course.”
If Instagram and Facebook are dragging you down, it might be time for a temporary screen detox.
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Start With Small Talk
Small talk gets a bad wrap, but its actually a big part of helping break the ice. Try just asking the check-out person at the supermarket how their days going, or by sending a text to a friend. Yep, it might feel super awkward at first, but these small interactions can help you feel more comfortable in social situations.
Arguments With Friends Or Family
Arguments with friends or family could make you feel lonely and sad, and maybe even a little guilty. Did you have a fight with a friend or family member at some point in the past? Perhaps this created a rift that you havent been able to mend since the fight occurred. If you dont have a lot of friends, then this one argument could wind up being very significant to you and your mental health. Not having your friend to talk to could be contributing to your loneliness and feeling sad or depressed would be natural. Its possible that you could try to fix things and improve your relationship with this individual.
You might be surprised by how often stubbornness will prevent two old friends from making up after an argument. Even best friends will have issues with each other sometimes and it isnt healthy to not be able to disagree. If an argument with a friend has put you in a position where youre feeling sad and lonely, then dont hesitate to reach out. Theres a chance that your friend feels similarly bad and that making up would be a good thing for both of you.
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Common Depression Traps To Avoid
Expert advice on how to sidestep pitfalls that often accompany depression.
When Orion Lyonesse is getting depressed, she turns into a hermit. She doesn’t want to leave the house , and she cuts off contact with her friends and family.
“The more I’m alone, the deeper the depression gets,” Lyonesse, an artist and writer in Lake Stevens, Wash., tells WebMD in an email. “I don’t even want to cuddle my cats!”
Avoiding social contact is a common pattern you might notice when falling into depression. Some people skip activities they normally enjoy and isolate themselves from the world. Others turn to alcohol or junk food to mask their pain and unhappiness.
Depression traps vary from person to person, but what they have in common is that they can serve to worsen your mood, perpetuating a vicious cycle. Here are six behavioral pitfalls that often accompany depression — and how you can steer clear of them as you and your doctor and therapist work on getting back on track.
Feeling Lonely In A Marriage How To Deal With Loneliness In A Relationship
You might expect to find yourself feeling lonely after a breakup, but what about when youre still with someone?
Feeling alone or feeling lonely in a relationship is more common than youd think.
Over time, people can drift apart or take each other for granted, and you might feel like your spouse just doesnt get you anymore.
Here are four tips on how to deal with loneliness in a relationship:
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Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:
- Talking about killing or harming ones self.
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
- An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
- Getting affairs in order .
- Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
- A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
If you are feeling suicidal
When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!
ReadSuicide Help, call 988 in the U.S., or visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country.