Lonely and Depressed. What Should I Do?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I am lonely, depressed, have no friends and need help. I have gone through bouts of depression ever since the age of about 10.

Through high school I was reasonably happy and bubbly and had lots of friends until the last year when I lost every friend I had apart from one good friend who I have now lost nine months ago. Since then I just can not make new friends, I have ONE other friend, but this is not a real friend and he does not trust me and I don’t trust him.

My family are bad people. They do not love or respect me so I cannot turn to them. My mother is a good person, however I can not go to her for emotional support as she needs it herself from me as she has her own psychological problems.

People do not seem to like me. I try to be nice, I smile at people when I talk, I appear very confident on the outside. I pay people compliments, but for some reason people just don’t like me. It upsets me alot.

I have a boyfriend of about 8 months and love him very much. He loves me and I know this but because of how things have turned out for me in the past I am very scared of losing him and that the same thing will happen and he won’t like me anymore. I cannot bear to lose anybody else.
I am currently unemployed, I have been searching and searching for jobs, gone to interviews but nowhere has taken me. Everyday I basically do nothing. I stay in my house all day. I don’t know what to do. I have to get out of this but I don’t know how, it is making me a very bitter and unhappy person. It seems like I lose everybody who I trust and love in my life. Some helpful advice would be much appreciated.

A. You seem depressed. I do not know if it is temporary experience or more of a chronic depression. You did say that you have been depressed since you were about 10 years old and this may indicate more of a chronic-type depression, such as dysthymia. You may also be experiencing a general unhappiness with life, and not necessarily depression per se. It is difficult to tell from your short letter.

You said that people do not like you. This is your impression but the fact is that you do not know this to be true. Unless you surveyed these people about their opinions of you, you do not know this to be a fact. You could very easily be misjudging these situations. It is also possible that you are judging these relationships correctly but you’re trying to befriend the wrong people. Both of these circumstances are possible, therefore it’s best not to jump to the conclusion that it’s “you” that is the problem.

You take this same sort of self-blaming tone and attitude regarding your inability to find a job. Maybe you have not yet found the right employer or perhaps you are sending off a negative or depressive “vibe” to possible employers and that might be why you’re not able to find employment.

You said that your parents are “bad people.” I am not sure what you meant by that expression but I am taking it to mean that they are not people you can or could have gone to for support or advice. You mentioned that your mother has her own set of problems and she may not be emotionally available to deal with your issues.

It might be helpful for you to consider therapy. You said that you have few people to go to for advice. A therapist can help you objectively judge whether you need to alter the way in which you behave in situations regarding employment and relationships as well as help you with your depression. He or she can evaluate very thoroughly the way in which you interact with others and coach you on how to modify your behavior if it is deemed necessary. A good therapist can help you immensely with all of the issues that you’ve mentioned. I hope you will consider this advice. Thanks for writing. Take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Jun 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Lonely and Depressed. What Should I Do?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/06/16/lonely-and-depressed-what-should-i-do/