I am 21 years old and I feel like I have no friends in life. After high school I lost touch with a lot of people, which I know is normal (a lot of them moved away). I did not make any good friends in college. At the moment I feel like I have one best friend, who I do everything with. But now that she is moving very far away I feel like I have no one. I see all these girls my age with so many friends and always happy and I feel like I should be like that. I do not feel different in any way to other girls, I just sometimes feel like it is harder for me to get along with people, and when I try to make friends and make an effort, no one makes the effort for me. I am starting to get really sad and feeling like I am getting depressed. I work full time and I don’t know where to meet friends. I need help.

A: I can imagine these feelings have been difficult to cope with and am glad you reached out here. I recommend you try two things. First, I would look around to take a class on something that really interests you. Not a one-time thing, but something that happens over a weekend, a week or a semester. Put yourself in an environment with like-minded individuals and let relationships emerge from there. Try to find a learning environment where you will learn about others and they will learn about you: A photography class? An acting class? Find something you like and learn about it with others who are interested.

Second, find a therapist in your area who does group therapy and join a group. Group therapy is radically different than individual in many ways and allows you to learn how to make and strengthen connections and relationships. A good group therapist will be able to lead you into a discovery about who you are and who you want to become. The find help tab at the top of the page will give you a list of therapists in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral