How To Cope With Loneliness And Depression

Loneliness and depression might not seem synonymous, but one can easily lead to another. With 61% of Americans reporting feeling lonely at one time or another, it’s not unusual to feel lonely. 

While it’s easy to brush off being introverted and preferring your own company as loneliness, loneliness can be defined as the mental/ emotional discomfort experienced from either being alone or feeling as though you are alone. 

While loneliness and depression can sometimes feel very similar for some people, they have varying differences, i.e., loneliness is classified as a feeling, while depression is a mental health condition.

Loneliness can come and go lasting a few days at times, while depression might usually persist longer, with some people reporting feeling the symptoms for years at a time. 

Loneliness is a reaction of your mind and body to lacking connection. Once our need for connection is met, one feels much better; however, the symptoms continue to occur with depression, even with our need for connection. 

Signs of depression include feeling lethargic, zero interest in once enjoyable activities, changes in appetite, psychomotor disturbances, agitation, and low mood. Some signs of loneliness include loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, a constant feeling of unpleasantness, and an increased desire to binge-watch.

Despite the distinct differences between the two, loneliness, if not addressed, can lead to:

  • Depression 
  • Diabetes 
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Personality disorders 
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Rheumatoid Alzheimers 

So, what ways can you use to alleviate the feeling of loneliness? Here are a couple of ways to control/ cope with loneliness and depression

Practice Gratitude 

Focusing more on the negatives is easy when you’re feeling down and depressed, which might leave you feeling worse. Consider using a gratitude journal or writing down a gratitude list. 

While it may feel awkward initially, you will slowly notice the minor things that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Not only will you become more aware of the positives in your life, but you will find that your existing relationships are strengthened and if your having a hard time with your gratitude list, use these prompts as a baseline:

  • What am I grateful for today?
  • How/what challenged me today, and what did I learn from it 
  • What have I given to my family/ friends that have made me feel good 
  • What do I love about myself?

Practice Self-Care Rituals 

With the loneliness epidemic seemingly not slowing down anytime soon, more and more people are turning to non-traditional therapies, and one is the use of CBD.

CBD works by inhibiting serotonin receptors in the brain, thereby lowering levels of anxiety and depression. If you want to dip your toes in alternate psychotherapy medicines, consider trying a THC vape pen.
Solutions:
Petnursey says:  There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.
Gamesoncloud says: Video games can help with loneliness and depression by providing a sense of social connection and companionship. They can also help to distract from negative thoughts and provide a sense of accomplishment.

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