• Few or No Friends

Depression, loneliness and friendship

Published: May 30, 2011 | Last Updated: October 26, 2013 By | 12 Replies Continue Reading


Hi Irene,

In March 2010, a friend of mine was depressed and we stopped doing all the things we had been doing for years. I did not see it clearly then but it led to my own depression and hopelessness and one day without premeditation I took a bottle of Tylenol codeine pills and was found over a day later and was in ICU for 10 days and psyche facility for over 30. The road back has been a hard one but I am thankful for the lives that have touched me and that I have been able to touch since then.

I have had a pain syndrome for over 20 years. There are times when I feel much better but the last six months have been very hard. I’ve had to let go of many of the things I was involved with before.

About a year ago I made a new friend from my church singles group. He is a nice guy and has filled a need though he is more like a child as he had a sheltered life due to seizures. He is working weekends now and will be for some time so I hardly see him anymore. Another friend who I consider a best friend is busy most of the time taking care of her son. Also, my very best female friend moved back to my town and it gave me something to look forward to again.

Last night she met a guy I’ve known for about six months. They totally hit it off and exchanged phone numbers. He is looking for a serious relationship, as is she. I am afraid that will leave me in the lurch. Even with her, my week feels lonely as she works. I am truly happy for her and she has gone through so much that it would be a joy to see her with a good man and loved one day.

I recently started going to an outpatient hospital program to help deal with my loneliness and depression and the suicidal thoughts I have had lately when I’m in pain. My weeks look and feel like years. I am reaching out to volunteer and have in the past. I need to find some rewarding connections like mentoring etc. and will reach out. I exercise a lot considering my health. I do yoga 3-4 days a week and swim 4-5 times a week. I just started Tai Chi classes two times a week and love it.

Sometimes I get tired of it all and figure I just don’t want to be here anymore if it means being lonely and in pain but that I have to keep fighting. I have fought so hard and for so long Irene for a better future but my health always seems to set me back.

To close, I now attend an outpatient hospital program and am being treated for depression and hope one of the meds helps but most have not. Even to lift my spirits when I am alone would help. I like the program but it will end within a month or so. I am working to fill the empty places and have reached out to my church but will look elsewhere too. Thinking about moving in with someone too, but not sure where to start. Well, do take care Irene.

My best wishes,


Hi Bob,

The combination of depression, pain and loneliness you feel really needs more professional help than I can give you. It is wonderful that you are already in treatment and receiving some help. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right medication regimen; perhaps your situation is also complicated by the medications you need for pain control. Be sure to talk to your physician if your medication hasn’t been evaluated for some time and it doesn’t seem to be working.

You don’t mention whether you have contact with your family or whether you’ve had a close relationship with anyone in the past, so my response is based on the issues you did write about. I read a number of positives in your letter that make me feel very hopeful for you. You are good at making friends; you’ve proven that in the past. You have insight both into your problems and what you are missing; that’s a first step in setting goals for yourself. And you are excellent at expressing yourself in writing.

I’m also struck by how much you already do: yoga, swimming, Tai Chi, church, treatment—and you’re thinking of volunteering, too. It made me tired to think of all those activities in one week! One thing that might be helpful is finding a support group, either of individuals with chronic pain or one with people with depression.

I think you are on the right track. Just keep doing all the things you are doing to meet new people and to help others. When your medication kicks in and your pain isn’t as acute, you may feel much better about your prospects.

Of course, if you ever feel suicidal again, contact your therapist immediately. Thanks for reaching out.

My best wishes,

Here are some prior posts on The Friendship Blog that are also relevant to depression, loneliness, and depression:

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Coping with loneliness, HAVING NO FRIENDS

Comments (12)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Shelly says:

    I have lived a very long time with depression but only found out what I had when I was 59. I am now 61,I am originally from Montreal and moved to Ontario almost a year ago. I think there is too much of a stigma connected to mental illness and that many judgements are made by society and other people. I was given the wrong medication for over 25 years and crashed and lost my vital signs twice in 2013.
    I paint with acrylics and write poetry, but when it comes to friendship I am alone, even though I am a loner with extroverted moments and have been most of my life.
    I have joined Boomers Café and Forward house in Montreal to get out
    and join the ratrace but since I am new to Williamstown Ontario it has been different, like starting anew over here.
    I am not comepletely alone, married and happily and have two cats.
    Not close to my family and cant believe I haven’t have any friends.

  2. Eve says:

    Hi guys,
    I’ve got a problem…
    So I was raised in a really “fringy” church for the first 14 years of my life. My family didn’t know this and thought that they had our best interest at heart. I had a ton of friends, all of who attended this church, including my first boyfriend and most of my mentors. But when my family decided to leave this church, all the people who said they were my friends through “thick and thin” never spoke to me again. Now I’m in college and I’m trying to make friends, but I’ve discovered that I have no idea how to (or that it’s very difficult). All my “friends” from before were raised with me, like I didn’t have a choice (this was the same for all of my immediate family members, including my parents). I have a few close friends who didn’t attend the church or associate themselves with it and we have stayed in touch. I guess I don’t really know what I’m asking. I just would really like any advice out their on how to make friends and try to trust other people

  3. Tam says:

    I need help. I have adhd, I’m 27, it’s really bad at the moment, I can barely string together a sentence because there’s so many noisy thoughts going through my head. I think I’m posting this in the wrong place, so I hope people see it. I don’t have any very close friends, I moved around a lot as a child so I never got close to anybody. The friends I do have don’t understand my adhd, and don’t seem to want to or care. I can’t focus on sentences, I can spend a whole day talking to someone and have no idea what we talked about, i can lose track of the sentence halfway through and have to ask them to repeat it. people start avoiding after a while. I can only guess that they think I don’t pay attention and I don’t care about them or something. I really want a close friend. I tried counselling for 6 months, but it didn’t help my situation or make me feel any better. Stress and depression makes it worse, I don’t have the focus to study so I’m stuck packing shelves, I’m considering going on medication, but it’s a 2 hour drive to a very expensive specialist for treatment, and honestly the thought of taking those drugs scares me, and I want so bad to have someone to be able to talk it over with. I don’t even know how to end this, I’m not even sure of what I’m trying to ask

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sort of relates to me… But I have a different story, I had no one in my child hood years, didn’t fit in with anyone, really being different in a lifestyle where colour and race matters.. Papua New Guinea..lived there for 11 years, I’ve been bullied by almost everyone in school, been treated like crap, sometimes I didn’t understand what I did wrong, then I thought I’d try to be that type of bully.. It didn’t work as much, but I got highly influenced by those ppl.. Almost everyone hated me because of that… Most nights my heart aches and I would cry and pray that tomorrow would be fine… Since those 11 years, nothing really happend … Then that’s when I moved to Australia, different lifestyle, different people, my personality is be who you are have fun, we don’t have to be adults yet… But Aussie ppl judge by appearance, they discriminate ppl, well most of them, they have different classifications of social groups, everyone regarded me as wierd, an asshole, what a loser… I don’t know what I was doing wrong? :'( teen years, I became depressed, my heartaches even more… So I became a person I was not, I became a total dick, I hated everyone, hanged with ppl who I thought was awesome, but used me for money, phone credit, food… Clearly blinded by the fact that they used me… I pushed ppl away that tried to be nice to me… When those ppl left (the ppl that used me) I had no contact with them, they never talked to me, basically I was there way of support…. I reflected myself on what I did, and I’ve never been so upset.. Never been so depressed, I had no one to talk to, I struggled and I never told my parents, they didn’t no I was depressed, I faked smiles and said I was ok.. I tried and tried to apologize to those ppl I pushed away, I asked for there forgiveness, I wasn’t seeking sympathy… I just wanted them to no I am trying to change… Though it was a long road for that, it was tough, to tough for me to handle at an age of 16.. It took literally one year for forgiveness… I’m 17 almost 18, and I’ve never had one true friend, till now it’s still new to me, I’m still learning about friendship, that’s all I want… I’m at TAFE, now and I’m scared making new ones… I want a fresh start, back to my normal bubbly self, I want to be neutral, meet everyone, have fun with them, I don’t care if they have physical deformities, I don’t care what colour or race, I don’t care what language really whatever, I want to show ppl that I can be a good role model, I want to show them that I could be the friendliest person out!!! And who knows there could be benefits that comes along!! 😀 2012 and still learning, be neutral don’t hate your enemy’s, be kind to them, hang with ppl that want to socialize.. Talk to ppl that have no one to talk to…. That’s all I want :)))

    • la noire says:

      i am glad that u are now seing life in a positive dimention…. you are not alone!.. remember that more people than u know love u, u have a purpose on this earth and whatever u do, dont take it too seriously because we all gonna die one day and leave all!!!… much love!! 🙂

    • Milena says:

      No idea if you’re going to read this 2 years later but I hope you’re doing fine now and you sound like an open minded friendly person. You surely deserve healthy and loving friendships!

  5. Irene says:

    Thanks for your post but you simplify the treatment of depression to suggest, inappropriately in my opinion, that inspirational quotes can pull someone out of a serious depression. Too often, people blame victims for their illnesses by suggesting they can pull themselves out of it. The treatment of serious depression requires professional help. Untreated depression greatly raises the risk of adverse health and emotional outcomes.





  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I have never been in depression but a friend of mine suffered a lot. Due to depression he became a patient of insomnia which led to a short term memory illness. He lives with his family and it took him 2 years to recover. He was being treated with wrong medicines at first which did not help him much. Now he is fine and study architectural engineering.

    The point i want to make here is that you can recover from depression but you need to have right guidance for it. You need constant support of family and good friends and give up on all the unhealthy activities…

    Read motivational and inspirational articles, good things to inspire yourself with. like some of these inspirational quotes


  7. Libby Kalis says:


    I have lived with depression for over 20 years. It is only once I understood that depression is a real medical illness that I got the right treatment.

    I am on anti-depressants and see a psychiatrist once a fortnight. I have found this two prong approach to be the best way to manage my depression.

    Depression is an illness that can be treated and a person with depression can live a successful, happy and normal life.

    Libby Kalis

Leave a Reply