Depressed and friendless

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am 41, married with children, have a part time job, and am going to school online. My problem is, I am depressed, and I have NO friends. I have many aquaintances, but no friends. I don’t know how to get out of this depression. Help!

A: I’m going to venture a guess that it’s been hard to make and maintain a social life when your life is so very full. I’m concerned that you may be in a negative spiral: You don’t have friends so you’re depressed. Being depressed makes it hard to get up the energy to do the things you need to do to find friends. Online classes are great but they are also keeping you isolated from other people and eat up your evenings and weekends. Ditto the part-time job. I can understand how it can feel like there is no space for you.

I think it would be helpful for you to see a therapist for an evaluation. It’s hard to tell from your brief letter whether you are clinically depressed or whether you are feeling stuck. If you are in fact depressed, some medication may help jumpstart you again. But unless you also get some practical help in reconsidering how you’re structuring your life, medicine alone will only help you be less depressed but still friendless. That’s where talk therapy comes in. A counselor will help you reflect on the choices you are making and help you reprioritize. If you’re out of the habit of talking to someone new, a counselor can also provide a safe place for relearning those skills.

I hope you will give yourself credit for writing. That was a first move in solving your problem! Now that you’ve got some momentum, I hope you will take the next step and make the phone calls to find an experienced therapist.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Jun 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Depressed and friendless. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/06/12/depressed-and-friendless/