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Senior Contributor

Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

Hey everyone,


I’ve introduced myself recently and popped into a few threads. It’s been really nice meeting all of you, and I thought I’d start my own thread to see if it helps.


I’ve struggled with depression for many years now, and my most recent episode has been a tough one. This time last year, I took myself to hospital because I was self-harming and feeling more suicidal than I’d ever been before. I was broke, traumatised, and desperate for someone else to take over because I could not look after myself.


I stayed for a week, lots of support, I was very lucky, but when I got out, I was completely uninterested in engaging with my life. I hardly worked for the last year, stopped talking to a lot of people, mostly spending my time smoking weed and reading about different kinds of spirituality, trying to find something to believe in, some hope to hold onto.


My relationship with my partner began falling apart several months after hospital. They were less worried about me, began to focus on themselves, and were pulling away from me. We had a lot of conflict, tried counselling, but I was beginning to get sick again, and our communication was becoming really strained.


I had a some memories of childhood abuse re-surface, which caused me a lot of anger and dissociation, leading to me experiencing what felt like an emotional split. I began calling myself a different name, and behaving and responding to my friend’s completely out of character for a period of time. My partner and I broke up, and I pushed everyone away, isolating myself even further, for much longer than I intended to. I was feeling abandoned and distrustful, and have found it hard to be vulnerable ever since.


I spent several months isolating myself, not talking to anyone. I completely lost my sense of self, I had no idea who I was anymore after the splitting, and have struggled to identify with anything from my old life, even to feel like I am a person. For awhile, whenever people asked me “how are you?”, I couldn’t think of an answer because I didn’t feel like I existed. It was exhausting.


Coming up to the anniversary of my visit to the psych ward, feeling like my life has only gotten worse since then, my mood plummeted. I lost interest in everything that I loved - music, singing, yoga, food. Nothing brought me joy anymore, and I still find it hard to connect with that emotion. I became suicidal again, but I’ve had no one around to support me this time.


I’ve started on new meds, and have been seeing a counsellor. It’s not enough though, and I’ve been looking for support groups and community events to join in so I can meet some new people. It’s hard to make friends when you don’t feel real, but I’m putting myself out there anyway. Fake it til you make it.


Anyway, this is just a small part of the story, but I hope it’s enough to give you an idea of where I’m at, and I really appreciate anyone who reads this.


Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

Thank you for sharing your post and experiences with us. It sounds as though you have been through a lot over the past year. What really stands out for me when reading your post, is that you're resilient, have shown a lot of courage in sharing part of your story with us and awareness that you would like to build your support networks. These are really great strengths!
Having social supports can be really beneficial for many reasons. I'm wondering if others from the SANE Forum community can relate and have had to 'fake it til you make it' when it comes to meeting people and making new friends?

Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

hi @soft_edges welcome to the forum.


I lost all my family, friends & relationships due to 7 years of being very mentally unwell. Also unemployed for 7 years. I am finally on helpful meds now & have just started to apply for work. Nothing yet but I'm trying to apply for anything relevant that gets advertised. I'm in my mid 40's.


I had to build my social networks from nothing, mainly through meetup. Definitely fake it till you make it. I strongly believe in that path & use it a lot. It works for me. I have nice friends now, it just took time & a lot of persistence & tenacity.


Personally, I loathed support groups & found they triggered my MI symptoms very badly. I also made no friends in them despite months of trying. But that's just me, everyone is different and I know people whose entire social life is in mental health support groups and maybe a bit of church too. They really like & enjoy it. I much prefer the company of people who are well, functioning, goal oriented, supportive of me, relatively happy - it is essential to my social skills and conversation skills to have this company. Without it I was just expressing MI symptoms and text-book self-help talk because I'd become so isolated from society. I couldn't relate to anybody even though I desperately wanted to make new friends. Like I said, that's just me, that's what works for me.


And I still find friendships hard to maintain, I think that's my personality. I feel needy and like I don't have enough attention or time from friends, or that I don't have enough friends & need to expand my social circles. It's a big part of my life & and on-going work. Romantic relationships are just off the table all together, friendships are complicated enough for me. And on my meds I don't really feel attracted to anybody.


Do you have any goals about friendship at the moment or is it too soon?


Hope you know you're not alone in experiencing isolation. from experience I know it can definitely get better.

Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

hi soft edges this is Sturgeon, I've had no luck in introducing myself despite effort past 3 months, not tech savvy. At least maybe a supportive acknowledgement to you may get through & give you boost knowing others relate as well as empathize with your turmoil, effort, losses & struggle - May the load get lighter 


Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

Thank you @Moonstone, I appreciate the encouragement, it's nice to meet you Smiley Happy


@Sturgeon Thank you getting past the technical barriers to offer your support! I look forward to hearing your own story sometime.


Hi @BryanaCamp, your story is sobering but leaves me with hope, thank you so much for sharing. I've definitely been using meetup as much as I can, but yes, it takes time. I understand what you mean about support groups, it can be stifling to talk about nothing but mental illness all the time. I find it really helpful when I'm struggling to be surrounded by people who are also having a hard time, hence why I'm here I guess.


I resonate with the feeling of neediness for sure! I have never felt so wanting of attention, and it often makes friendships feel unbalanced. Then I tend to swing the other way and detach from a person when I'm not getting the level of closeness that I want from them. I think having a wider circle of friends would definitely help reduce the amount of expectation I put on people to fill the giant gaps in my social life.


I've recently found a Buddhist community that I feel welcome in, and I'm trying to make friendships there. I really benefit from routine, so having something I can go to regularly, knowing I will see familiar faces, it's really comforting. I've also considering using online dating apps to find friends, but that is a whole project in itself. Anyway, thank you again, it is nice to gain some perspective on this.

Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

Hi @soft_edges ,

Thanks for sharing your story of quite a journey you've been on. I'm on here looking for support also. I've been diagnosed not too long ago with bpd after two and s half years of getting treatment for bipolar disorder. 

I am unable to work, due to my interpersonal conflict. I get completely out of sorts trying to understand what people are doing and why they are doing it. Sometimes I feel like I'm and alien because I feel so disconnected from everyone.

I'm a father of two girls and a step dad of two more. My partner has been with me for 8 years, she's great but we have times where I blow up and take off because I have abandonment issue. That is from my childhood trauma, being separated from my father and brother thanks to the courts. Both parents are alcoholic and very abusive. 

I get panic attacks, when I do I completely disassociate, I'm not in my body or mind.


Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

Hi @Bentpole-01, thanks so much for replying! It sounds like you've been through quite a lot in your own journey! I'm really glad you've gotten a diagnosis that seems to make more sense. Let me know if you have your own thread here for seeking support? It sounds like you need it!

Re: Depression, Dissociation, Isolation

Hi @soft_edges ,

Thank you for your message. It's been totally kaos and emotional hell the last three days.

I'm at breaking point. Not too knowledgeable about forums and threads?

I don't know what they are. Would definitely like some support.

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