I like to start with something funny 🙂
Loneliness is painful. There could be many reasons that we feel lonely. It took me a couple of years to realise the root of all my major depressive disorder, anxiety, and cyclothymia was loneliness. Symptoms tend to make us confused and cloud our minds to see what the real problem is. We keep on seeking treatment and therapy for our wellness but often can’t see the root of what causes it.
I realised, the trigger of depression/anxiety (in my case) was the remedy in itself. The event which led to my 5-year long depression and anxiety was the solution to end it. We have all heard, “answer is in the question.” This has been true to me.
Keeping it short I want to give a bit of context to this article. When I was 10, I was sent to boarding school which was in a different city. I spend 6 years in a hostel as a kid. I used to come home only for 75 days a year. When I was 14, my parents broke up and it was an emotional mess. When I was 19, I got estranged from my remaining family which included cousins and their families. I have often experienced people leaving me or living far.
Now we can see the pattern here. Everyone I loved and considered family was not there anymore. The last estrangement hurt the most as this event burnt all bridges leaving me with no one to call my family. This lead to depression. Since that day I had been struggling to live a life that we can call “ideal”.
The lesson here is that “Solution to our mental problems is in it. And most often it is the one that created it.”
So the solution to get my life on track was to rebuild my family by socializing. And this time I can choose what kind of people I want in my life. This depression turned out to be a blessing. Not only that but the years made me grow as a man, develop insights, grow in maturity, taste life’s bitterness and sweetness, and have a conviction that no mental tension is permanent.
Here are some lessons I learnt on loneliness
- Loneliness helps you explore yourself but at the same time could cause issues because of negative overthinking. The worksheet provided in this blog will help you address negative overthinking.
- Loneliness can make you indulge in guilt/shame generating behaviours that become harmful habits later.
- Loneliness makes you choose actions that make you more lonely. We often act how we feel. This leads to a snowball effect and worsens our symptoms. The best way to end the cycle is to use Opposite to Emotion Dialect. If you feel demotivated do what a motivated person does, if you feel depressed go socialize, etc.
- Loneliness steals all motivation. You will be more likely to have no routines, no fixed bedtimes, not bathing for days, decreased cleaning, etc.
- Loneliness increases avoidance of socializing. You’d rather prefer laying in your room and indulging in some habits than go out a socializing. Socialzation is an antitode to lonliness. And avoiding tendency won’t help in getting better.
Loneliness Symptoms with CBT Effective Thinking Questionnaire
Below worksheet can be used by self or in your practice for clients. You can even hand over a copy to your client.
Fill the form below to download worksheet