Lonely and Depressed in New Town

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am sometimes happy, then lonely and depressed. Let me start by saying, I am 21 and very happy most of the time. I will have days where I am singing and whistling, where I feel like I have the best life. Then there are days like today. I will give a bit of back story. I just moved to Chicago from Michigan. It is the first time I have lived on my own outside my parents home. I came for a job and eventually school. I was happy at home, but felt it was high time I got out and learned who I was on my own. I was kind of stuck in a rut in Michigan and felt like I had no time to figure out my own life. So now I have just moved here. I will only have been here a month come the 2nd of August. I love my job, my apartment and the point in my life I’m in. It feels like I have found my place. But then I wake up like I did today. I wake up feeling lonely, lost, sad and like I want to cry for no reason. I am not really home sick because I talk to my family every day. I don’t miss being home… but I think I miss human interaction. At home I was the social person who loved asking how people where and giving hugs. I was always a very touchy feely person. Now here, I don’t know anyone. I have no friends and have had no physical contact for a month. I want so badly to make friends but I have no idea how to start. It is always very easy to chat with people at a store and talking for the first time with them is no problem. It’s the next step I can’t seem to know what to do. How do you turn someone you chat with at a store into a friend. When I think about asking someone out for a drink or something like that, I start thinking very self deprecating things. Like, why would they want to become friends with me, they probably have lots of them. They are probably just talking with me to be nice. I can’t seem to get those thoughts out of my head. I have also started thinking that my friends back home don’t even miss me. I don’t hear from them that much and I doubt if I really was even their friend, or if we just got together because we knew each other for so long. The friends I had, I have had for more then 10 years. I really don’t have any new friends that I would consider to be close friends. I have people that I got together with every now and then, but I never felt that closeness. I wonder if thats because of me. I just don’t know how to start building that friend base again. And how to stop thinking those hurtful things about myself. I have the same problem with boyfriends. I am 21… and have never had a boyfriend. I have been asked out by men in the past, ones I have even likes, but I could never go out with them. I even have several dating site profiles with men asking me out and I can never take the next step to do it. I am so afraid they will reject me. That they will be disappointed with what they see when they meet me. That they will look at me and then just stay for the date because they have to. I am so sick out doubting myself. I am not a bad looking person I don’t think, but I can’t ever really believe that. I can’t believe that someone else would find me even good looking. I just want to be content with myself. I am content with my life in all other things but those two. Relationships with friends and relationships with boyfriends. What should I do?

A. I think you have correctly indentified the main problem, which is that you are lonely, and you have yet to develop relationships in your new town. An additional issue is that you are doubting yourself. Continued negative self-talk is leading to diminished self-confidence. If it continues, you risk being trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence.

How can you prevent this? Try to override the negative self-talk and force yourself to begin interacting with people. You have the ability to connect with others. The proof is that you have a long history of successful relationships with many people.

It is important to be as logical as possible. You are new in town. You left your hometown, where you lived for 21 years. You have been in your new town for a very short time. It takes time to meet new people and to develop relationships. It would be incorrect to conclude that just because you haven’t yet connected with others, you won’t ever do so. I believe it is simply a matter of time. Remind yourself of that when you are evaluating your current situation.

If you continue to have difficulty, you may want to see a therapist for a few sessions. Connecting with a therapist would help you to see your experience from the correct perspective. In addition, he or she can help you to maintain objectivity in this situation. The therapist may also have ideas for how you can meet new friends. It takes time to adjust to a new living situation and the support of a therapist might help to make this easier. I hope this helps. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Aug 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Lonely and Depressed in New Town. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/08/12/lonely-and-depressed-in-new-town/