Depression and Loneliness

How To Know Whether You Are Suffering From Depression Or It’s Loneliness

Depression is not a feeling or a temporary emotion that makes you sulk about your present situation. But it is a mental disorder which makes you alienate both from yourself and the world. It shatters the bond that you share with your mind and soul. It happens in a way that the negative thoughts start controlling the way you look at the world and those around you.

Decoding Depression:

Since depression is a mood disorder it makes everything seem gloomy, threatening and impossible to you. Even the simple daily chores might seem difficult to carry out. Meeting people may give shivers down the spine and the close-knit that you had with your tribe might seem to have faded out.

Not every person who is depressed will have the same symptoms. But they do share one thing in common that is isolating themselves from their loved ones. This happens mainly because they find themselves unworthy of being loved, receiving care and venting out their emotions too.

People Often Mask Depression under their Smile:

“Sometimes the prettiest smiles conceal the biggest lies.” Studies have found that those who are always happy and chirpy can struggle with depression too. Such people often mask depression under their smile as they don’t want to ruin their cool image among their peers.

Neither do they want to be laughed upon. Youngsters suffering from depression think of it as a disease. This will make others turn their backs to and leave a bad impression on their loved ones for being too fragile and sensitive.

Many youngsters often feel embarrassed to talk about depression. They think they may appear to be the weaker links of the society and will be looked down as incompetent, vulnerable and self-destructive beings.

Therefore, such individuals become the prisoner of their thoughts and confine themselves in the hollows of the dark. It leaves no place for the light to seep in as they are too scared to be judged and to be called as ‘attention seekers‘.

Confusing Loneliness with Depression:

In several types of research, it has been found that those suffering from loneliness often label it as depression. While loneliness can be a symptom of depression but there is a huge difference between the two.

In depression, people generally isolate themselves from others. They don’t engage in activities they enjoy doing earlier. They can’t cherish the time spent with their loved ones as they feel numb. Such people have a persistent feeling of retreating to their dungeon of thoughts in order to find an answer.

However, loneliness is when you are tucked in your bed with your phone by your side, expecting a call from your friend. But he/she would invite you to a party or just wanting someone to be present at that moment in order to break that haunting silence.

loneliness sadness
Loneliness can be a symptom of depression but both are entirely different.

Characteristics that define whether a Person is suffering from Depression or Loneliness:

  • Depression can be defined as an abnormal emotional state or mental disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves. It generally reflects on their behavioural patterns as they build walls around them that seem to be inescapable.

While loneliness is an absence of intimacy which leaves people with a void. Sadness, isolation and rejection are often linked with loneliness.

  • Clinical depression is a mental illness which disrupts your life and the way you perceive things. A depressed person can’t find happiness in the things they cherished before. They are always surrounded by a pool of sadness that paints their life in blues.

However, loneliness is the feeling of emptiness either on being left alone or not finding a meaningful connection when surrounded by people.

  • Depression is a mental illness. It doesn’t necessarily requires a grave event, situation, a loss or change to hit you rock bottom. It can occur in the absence of such circumstances.

While loneliness can arise due to an unexpected change, loss or weakening of a close relationship. A person can be lonely for a short period of time depending on the situation. But it can be long-term too which can lead to chronic loneliness that can be equally disturbing.

  • Clinical depression sucks the energy, motivation and the ability to experience joy. For people suffering from depression, it’s hard to open up, trust people and engage in a heart-to-heart conversation. And when they do so, they easily break down as they feel nobody can understand the chaos going in their mind. It leaves them feeling hopeless, worthless and suicidal.

On the other hand, loneliness can be cured by breaking social barriers, a warm company, a desired social connection and support can work well to revive lonely people.

Major Symptoms of Depression:

If you are not doing well lately and want to know whether it could be a warning or sign of depression. Check out the most common symptoms related to depression. To be diagnosed with depression a person needs to have at least five of the symptoms listed below, for a continuous duration of at least two weeks or so.

  1. Having a depressed or irritable mood most of the time.
  2. Loss of interest in people, activity or things that gave immense happiness before.
  3. A sudden change in weight, appetite, and behaviour.
  4. Abnormal sleep patterns, disturbance in falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  5. Feeling tired, sluggish, stressed out and restless most of the times.
  6. Lack of confidence, low energy levels and sex drive.
  7. Finding your existence as unworthy, inappreciable and worthless in the society.
  8. Feeling hopeless, undesirable and guilty most of the times.
  9. Unable to concentrate or focus, loss of creativity and the ability to make petty decisions by yourself, during most days.
  10. Finding no meaning and purpose in life and the worse- having suicidal thoughts about ending your life.

Since the symptoms of depression may vary from person-to-person. it is advised to use this only as a guideline and before jumping to any conclusion do seek help from a mental health professional.

Reference:

Psychology Today and Huffington Post.

Also, check out Healthy Heart for heart-related news and articles.

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13 thoughts on “How To Know Whether You Are Suffering From Depression Or It’s Loneliness”

    • If you aren’t feeling well off-lately and notice any symptoms of Depression. Then you must take up the test but please don’t try the online tests because they are misleading. I hope they come out as negative. Take care 😊

      Reply
  1. Loneliness is natural, genetic, for social animals like humans.
    Depression is extreme – its forerunner can be frustration, loneliness, mourning, worry about dangers of all sorts, real and imagined, physical, social, etc. They trigger depression when whatever is awfulized, catastrophized, exaggerated to “horrible”, “I can’t stand it!”. When those super-natural beliefs are challenged and replaced with reasonable beliefs such as, “That sucks! But I can stand it”, the depression is cured.
    It is not easy to change habits. We are like a horse and rider. The “rider” is our consciousness – the horse is our subconscious, our genetic instincts, and our habits. When we discover a better way to do something, we can make our horse do it. However, when we stop thinking about it, our old habits kick in and we go back to our old ways – until – we have trained our horse to go the new way. It’s like learning a new sports’ move or new language. It takes practice, practice, practice. That practice actually creates new neural pathways so we don’t even think about it – we just do it. But no one will ever be perfect at it. I like the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of the work is done with the first 20% of the effort – the closer we come to our imagined perfection, the more it costs, logarithmically. The wasted time spent on chasing the perfectionism dragon needlessly reduces the total number of our accomplishments.

    Most people think that other people and events cause our emotions. But do they? Think about a football game. Millions see the exact same game. Yet about half go home happy, about half go home sad, the rest go home somewhere in between or at the extremes. Since they all saw the exact same game, it can’t be the game that caused this wide variety of emotions. It was their belief that one of the teams was, “My Team”, that the game had something to do with their worth.

    I highly recommend that you research REBT and CBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy). For PTSD, Traumatic Incident Reduction. I cover all of this in my “exposé” of Star Trek Discovery on my blog page

    Reply
    • The points that you brought up are interesting. Depression can be cured once we get to the root cause of it- the trigger points. So you can train your mind to accept the sorrow and start working on it. Questioning your own self can be a great way to cope with the feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and despair. Rational thinking should be developed, which will help in clearing off the disturbed thoughts. Holding onto one thought can be a mental suicide. Since, all the answers we are seeking lay within.

      Reply
      • Thank you so very much for your thoughts! Knowing oneself is essential and for me, that piece of the puzzle was missing. Once that discovery was made, I could acknowledge what I was feeling, why and go about training myself to think and react differently to myself and situations around me. That is ongoing, but has been so very transforming!

        Reply
  2. I think I have suffered depression on and off throughout my life; however i am beginning to realize that I am possibly 90% introvert, not actually recognising this in my younger days because I was always active in work and studies and had a good social life, sometimes experierencing short peroiods of loneliness; I used to hide away (crawl into my shell, crave solitute, embrace sadness, feelibg sorry for myself, feeling vulnerable and not worthy of achieing anything) People didnt see this side of me and would be surprised to know this as they seen me as a strong woman, outgoing, confident. Now I am alone most of the time (in a different country than family and close friends) I reflect on my past and miss the times I was with but not ‘present’ with my children, my elderly mother etal. I dont know if I am depressed or lonely; I am generally happy, grateful for the blessings I receive daily, and most of the time feeling content in solitude, however some days I feel confident to pursue new challenges (Phd, research project, teaching, or some kind of work which I am qulified to do and have opportunitites) then my mood changes and I feel anxious I cant do simple presentation, arrange to meet people, anxious if I make appointment I will not feel like attending and cancel on last minute. What is wrong with me ???

    Reply

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