Q. I recently moved into my own place last summer. I have lived alone now for 5 months, and I’ve gone a long way in terms of adjustment….i used to go through intense days of crying spells, usually not more than 2 days at a time, and would become mildly depressed. But I thought this was due to money problems, boredom (i work from home, lack of social interaction) and busted car. Well now these issues are not in the picture, and I find myself becoming increasingly withdrawn. I put of calls for people who were once good friends for weeks. I avoid most social situations, and if I *do* make myself go and make the effort, I don’t enjoy myself much, even chastize myself for thinking something would come out of it. In the end I am alone. I have a boyfriend but he does not know how I feel. I have tried to express it to him but it is useless. I want to tell my family but when I was growing up I had problems with depression/eating disorder, and if I bring up anything related to unhappiness my parents flip out. All in all I am an only child, I get good grades, I seem like a pretty normal person, I just feel more and mor elike I’m becoming isolated from society at large. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have the energy to go out or really talk to anyone. I feel stuck in a cycle of isolation…something I never would have thought existed. Please any words of advice would help, I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. If at all. I just feel like I need some help feeling connected again. Maybe this is all normal, or maybe I’m not fit to live alone. I just feel like there is a war in my head.

A. The isolation, the avoidance of people, your lack of energy, not feeling like yourself, and so forth are all symptoms of depression. Even though your symptoms have diminished in intensity since the move, I would still recommend counseling. I would suggest making an effort to go out with friends or see family at least once a week but since you are actively avoiding them, I am not sure if you would want to make this effort just yet. Counseling for your depression is the smartest move that you can make at this time. Once you have had the counseling and your symptoms have been reduced then you can reestablish relations with your friends and family, and get back to your life. Good luck.