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Seeking Constant Isolation & Ignoring Close Friends

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From UK: Hi, I hope you might be able to give me some advice. I’ve never had a problem making friends, although I’ve always been selective about who I let get close to me. I am not someone with huge friendship groups though I have lots of individual friends. I do have a group of “best friends” that I met at uni 10 years ago, 3 of whom I am closest too and have stayed in touch.

I would say over the last 2 years I’ve become more and more withdrawn from them. Due to the type of friendships I have with these people, the things we went through together and our closeness in the past, its not their giving up on me I worry about. Its the fact that I get phone calls from them and other friends & ignore them, I even get angry that they call me! I constantly make excuses for not answering the phone or not going to visit them. Mostly i’m not busy, I just don’t want to talk. However, when in a social situation with them I’m engaged and contributing, I would just rather not be there.

I have struggled a lot with S/H from age 14 . Most of my closest friends knew of this in the past, though it wasn’t something I allowed to be addressed and as I have matured i’ve got a lot better at sustaining the personality type of someone no one would suspect of having a problem like that. I’ve never been to a Dr or spoken to anyone professionally as I am secretive and I’m ashamed. When it first started, I stupidly managed to self induce a phobia of doctors as a way of avoiding them, thinking I would get locked up if a Dr found out. (S/H much less common or talked about when I was at school)

I’ve worked hard to overcome my urges for the past few years, and have only ‘fallen off the wagon’ a handful of times. Now i’m worried about my new(ish) need for complete isolation and this weird feeling of annoyance towards friends. clearly I have changed and not them, they’re good friends to me, with problems of their own they need to talk through. why am I not interested any more? I’ve been up to 3 months of not seeing or speaking to anyone unless I have to at work!

Seeking Constant Isolation & Ignoring Close Friends

Answered by on -


Don’t you think it’s time you did see someone professionally? Clearly you are concerned about yourself or you would not have written to us at PsychCentral. But we are very limited in what we can do because we can’t ask the questions that would get to the bottom of the problem. We only get the briefest outline of the issues.

What I can tell you is this: You do deserve to have a fuller life. The fact that your friends do continue to call tells me that you are someone that others find worthwhile. I hope you will give yourself the same respect and care that your friends do.

Self-harm is a symptom of distress. It is not something to be ashamed of. It’s something to pay attention to. You are telling yourself that there are things about your past and present that need to be addressed. Please listen to yourself and get the help you need and deserve.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Seeking Constant Isolation & Ignoring Close Friends

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Seeking Constant Isolation & Ignoring Close Friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 May 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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