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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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Hi. i dont know if you can help me but im 21 years old and

Customer Question

Hi. i dont know if you can help me but im 21 years old, work as a support worker and live in essex. I suffer with depression and have done for about 5 years, i am currently taking anti depressants and anxiety medication. For a while now i have felt so lonley, i havent got hardly any friends (3 or 4 max) and i cant bare it no more, the loneliness is getting to me so bad that i dont want to live with it any more. I need new friends that understand me and wont judge me for it.
Please help

Katie
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.

 

I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are experiencing. This is not something you should have to endure alone. Having thoughts of not being able to bare it, or suicidal thoughts and urges is a serious problem that should not be taXXXXX XXXXXghtly. Depression can certainly cause this type of thoughts and feelings. It is important that you act quickly to get help from professionals who are able to help you to be safe and begin to feel better. A good idea is to have a physical, including bloodwork to rule out a thyroid condition or other medical problem that may be contributing to your mood. Also schedule an appointment with a psychologist to have an evaluation and talk therapy. You may need antidepressant medication in addition to this. This type of medication can be prescribed by a psychiatrist or a primary care physician and can be quite helpful to alleviate these feelings. In addition, therapy can be very effective to help you to learn to feel your feelings in a safe way and develop tools to improve your mood which will also be helpful in allowing you to become more social and build more friendships. Other tools such as exercise, eating healthy, structuring your days, meditation, volunteering and working can all be quite helpful. Sometimes the pain of feeling the way you do can be a good motivator to help you to do something about the problem and find out what is wrong. Make sure that you allow this to motivate you to do something positive, as in getting help, rather than something negative. As difficult as it may be to believe right now, there is hope, as long as you get professional help.

 

The following information may be helpful to you in the meantime:

 

What to do if you may be depressed.

 

1. Identify that you want to change this pattern of negativity in your life. This is a powerful and courageous decision. Have a thorough assessment from a qualified clinician (medical doctor, psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Some good resources are: your HMO, local mental health agency or hospital, Primary Care Physician, or a professional source that you trust.

2. When necessary, begin the process of therapy, which can be short term or long term. Therapy is a partnership between an individual and a therapist, a shared experience of mutual trust and confidentiality. The therapist is a good listener and support person. The process of self reflection in therapy enables a person to sort out both positive and negative feelings. It can help improve communication and encourage expression of hidden feelings that have caused sadness. As a person becomes aware of the problems causing the depression, develops solution strategies, has more self understanding and compassion, the door is open for a change in belief system.

3. Learning what triggers negative thoughts is a key factor. Depression can be experienced in cycles, with different intensities. Cycles of the seasons, holidays, and aging cycles can trigger depression. People prone to depression may get more depressed when their life changes (i.e. a move, job change or a loss) or when there is a health or relationship crisis.

4. Changing one's habitual thinking patterns is important. Recycling the negative thoughts over and over also reinforces the depression. Continually thinking that "Life will never get better." Or "I will always be a failure." influences the depth and length of the depression. Therefore, changing one's thinking patterns from self judgment to compassion, from hopelessness to hopeful is necessary. Therapeutic techniques that reframe negative thinking i.e., cognitive exercises, positive reinforcement, breathing, meditative and relaxation exercises, as well as other therapeutic techniques, all seem quite beneficial.

5. Understanding how to "empower yourself" by taking responsibility for your own health and well being, while not blaming others for your problems is critical. Disconnecting from the negative patterns which keeps you powerless and focusing on positive life patterning helps to increase self esteem, i.e., healthy diet and exercise regimen; fulfilling and joyful connection to family and friends, a sense of humor, involvement in hobbies, music, theater, dance, art; relaxation techniques, positive affirmations, yoga, TaiChi; having someone to confide in, asking for help, reaching out to help others, joining a support group, improving communication within relationships and learning to problem-solve. And there are many more. You can use your own creativity to bring the positive into your life. Sometimes you just need someone to help light the way.

 

Exercise, eating right and journaling can all be good ways of dealing with the feelings that you are experiencing. If you feel that you need to share feelings, you might try writing a letter to yourself and then writing a letter back as if you were responding to someone you care about. This can often be helpful to allow you to begin nurturing yourself. Also, if things get to be too difficult, reach out to a crisis line, emergency room or to your doctor for help. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if I can help further.

Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience: Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
Lori Gephart and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. I do work and do go the gym but i am still not able to make any friends. Are there any groups in essex that i could join for people suffering like me?

Katie
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 4 years ago.

I am glad to hear that you have been going to the gym in addition to working. Making friends may take some time. Please find this listing of support groups that may be helpful to you: http://www.depressionalliance.org/how-we-can-help/essex.php

 

Keep working at this. The more you begin to like yourself the more you will be interesting to other people as well. You deserve to have caring people in your life. I wish you the best.

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Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.