• Few or No Friends

Depressed With No Friends

Published: October 29, 2016 | Last Updated: January 6, 2022 By | 11 Replies Continue Reading
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A stay-at-home 51-year-old single mom is depressed with no friends; the relationship between depression and social anxiety is complicated. 

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I have a question about not having any friends. I am 51 and have suffered from depression most of my life. I have no husband or significant other in my life nor do I have any friends.

I have dedicated my life to raising my children and now that two out of three are out of the house, I am finding myself very lonely. My youngest is going on twelve and she keeps very busy.

I just don’t know how to find new friends…men or women. I have to say, I am actually scared! I know there are groups out there to join but being alone so long has given me social anxiety. Can you help me?

Signed, Betsy

ANSWER

Hi Betsy,

The relationship between depression and social anxiety is complicated. It’s common for people to suffer from both disorders. (It’s estimated that half of those with depression simultaneously experience social anxiety.)

When women are immersed in raising their children, they may not realize they’ve lost touch with friends. It’s easy to become isolated and wrapped up at home, especially as a single mom.

Getting back on the proverbial horse can be scary, even for someone who is NOT depressed or socially anxious. It’s great that you are beginning to think about this while your youngest is still at home. That will give you a head start before your nest is completely empty.

If I were you (and I tend to be pretty shy myself), I would start out by pursuing an interest, rather than focusing on meeting people, per se. Do you have a hobby or skill you find interesting? Perhaps, you could sign up for an adult education class. Do you have any interest in exercising or getting in shape? You might check out a nearby gym or start a walking regimen in your neighborhood. Is there is civic or volunteer organization that could benefit from your skills and a regular time commitment?

Getting out of the house and doing something (almost anything) on a regular basis should be energizing and will offer you the potential of meeting new acquaintances (male or female) while doing something that’s personally rewarding.

Also, if you are depressed with no friends and haven’t checked in with your physician or psychiatrist recently, I would recommend that you have your depression/social anxiety re-evaluated by a professional to determine its severity and make sure it isn’t interfering with your ability to make friends and enjoy life.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Friendship and aging, HAVING NO FRIENDS

Comments (11)

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  1. Kassie says:

    Hello,

    I have been reading some similar posts such as this one in hopes to get some insight on how to help my long distance boyfriend. Currently, he lives in Germany and I live in America. We are both 20. I am looking forward to seeing him in time for Christmas this year, but lately, I have been so worried about him I have been sick. He is diagnosed with depression and is in a town that has a scare amount of men his age. So, he has no friends (due to his old high school friends ditching him) and doesn’t have me right next to him either. I thought about going to counseling with him or even moving to him but that’s just not possible right now. He needs to find friends on his own…I feel so helpless. And because of his loneliness, he is taking everything out on me and it’s getting too much to bear sometimes, emotionally that is. Help?

  2. Emily says:

    Hello, I am a 30 yr old woman who use to be well liked and have friends at work but the last year that all changed. I was the go to person for work advice and I was often out in a situation to take charge and some stuff happened at that point about a year ago I was inspecting some stuff on beginning of shift and found items missing then the person who signed for them prior got upset at me because they thought so had done them wrong by reporting it the item was found later and the rumors started flying i planted those items. Then it went from one person not liking me to the entire work place seemingly having an issue with me. I lost every friend I had every once of dignity because of these rumors and bandwagon jumpers it doesn’t stop it doesn’t end . I feel like the person who started all this is getting away with everything he has always been a bully and always gets away with it now I even got notes on my car and home from work. People really dislike me this much I feel like it’s my fault and. Therefore I just quit being that person at work I once was . It leaves me friendless and hopeless deeply depressed and I don’t know how to fix it ….

    • Irene (the other one) :) says:

      I’ve read your comment three times now, and looking at your problem from across the ‘pond,’ I have a feeling your problem stems from the bully, (as you describe the person), who I suspect is jealous or envious of you – perhaps because of the friendships you had with people before, and want to cause harm to your reputation. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was him that took the stuff that was missing in the first place, then replaced it after you reported it.
      I had a problem with a colleague, years ago now, who sent anonymous letters on my behalf to people I worked for. I was mercilessly bullied as a result (by other staff who had received these letters – they believed I was the author). This colleague was insanely jealous of me and wanted to cause harm. I am a Christian and this woman was involved with the occult – the Christian faith is repugnant to people involved in this) – but my weapon was prayer. I also knew I had to forgive her and also prayed God’s blessing on her. Two days later management discovered who was really behind these letters – and she was dismissed. I hope this helps, and the Lord’s blessing on you. It may seem strange to bless someone who’s harmed you, but this releases the powers of a just God, and He’ll take charge – I didn’t have to do anything.

  3. Judith says:

    Hi,
    I to have and still do deal with depression. I volunteer in my community, do yoga and exercise. I have been a stay home mom for over 20 years and caring for my aging parents and have been caring for my MIL for over 10 years. I have found that giving back to my community and helping others help me. Be praying for you. There is alway Hope.
    Take care of you and only you. Go and get s massage, pedicure and buy something special for you. It’s okay.
    Best of luck to you. I’m 52.

  4. Amy F says:

    Group therapy can be a great avenue for working on your social skills and meeting new people with whom you share similar emotional challenges. Your therapist can probably help you find a group. As Irene says, talking to your psychiatrist about your medication to be sure you’re on the right dosages and combo of meds will also be essential. One of the symptoms of depression can be social isolation, so that’s a challenge your therapist can help you overcome, if it applies to you. Be sure you’re talking about your goal of making more social contacts with your psychiatrist and therapist so they can support you with these specific aspirations.

  5. Irene (the other one) says:

    For most shy or depressed people, that first step into the unknown can be a real hurdle to get over. But until you do take that step you’re not likely to discover what life can be like. Look at it this way; You may be the person someone else is just longing to meet and be friends with. You could be the answer to someone else’s prayers. We all need other people around us to function properly in society. Nobody is a waste of space (as we say in the UK), we can all be a blessing to someone else.

    It’s unfortunate that so many lonely people believe they have nothing to contribute to life, but it’s only as we step out in faith and do give of ourselves that we will receive. Try it – you’ll be amazed.

  6. Liz says:

    Before taking advice from anyone online, it might be best to seek professional mental health support. Depending on your location, this can be via your GP or physician and a referral for counselling or psychiatric intervention will be made to ensure you have appropriate support. It may be that a professional can help diagnose not only the type and severity of depression you are experiencing but, also the cause in order to provide the most effective treatment option. Also, don’t be afraid to see if the treatment is not working for you e.g. if prescribed medication makes you feel worse, like a zombie, which can happen, as it different medications suit different people. Also, if you feel intuitively that a certain type of treatment might work best for you, it’s worth putting forward your case and explaining why you think so so that the support process is inclusive of you being listened to before any listening therapy starts or other intervention begins.

    Whilst there are a plethora of self-help steps you can take, such as getting regular exercise, regularly being in touch with nature (e.g. going to a local park) and eating a healthy diet, there are no simple solutions as each person experiences depression in their own unique way and for a variety and combination of reasons, even if many symptoms are paralleled.

    I really wish you well with seeking professional help. If you don’t feel ready to take that road, please talk to someone you feel you can trust who will simply listen and be compassionate without judging or advising you in a pressured manner until you’re sure of what you want to do next.

  7. Jules says:

    You can do it i did and its an amazing world out there your missing every waking moment of it . stop letting depression stop you from being happy go out and get happy and bring happy home with you. If that makes sense.

  8. jk lopez says:

    Start rowing your oars and just enjoy it . dont worry if you make a mistake or get embarrass brush it off your shoulder and say ting devil go away and go back to enjoying life.

  9. jk lopez says:

    I can relate I was in same boat . get out there and just do what feels good and right . take it as a challenge not a chore. Enjoy it . Most dont enjoy being civilized. Its very rewarding indeed .

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