Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Welcome and orientation / Imagined isolation or not?

Topic: Imagined isolation or not?

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    21 June 2019

    Hi everyone !

    hindsight is a wonderful thing hey people's? I should have done this or I should have done that kind of thoughts pass through my head at times and I wonder if I would have been different if I'd made other choices and been in a different position in life. I perceive myself as lonely in a crowded room too often to count, and it frustrates me how one minute I can be happy with the way I'm relaxed on my own, then go on a downer as if everyone has abandoned me just because at that moment I am alone while everyone gets on with their life without me. Then I blame myself....it must be me right? Then I feel mad and want to pull away even further from people. I don't socialise in person much at all, mainly one on one on phone and internet. So am I really as isolated as I feel ? Or the isolation is more a state of mind?

    Thanks for hearing me...

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11060 posts
    22 June 2019 in reply to Forward only

    Dear Forward Only (plus Chocka and the fishes I guess)~

    I see you have already started out by helping others, that says a fair bit about you - thanks.

    I guess yes you are isolated. You feel it. Being on the internet or phone is part of interacting with others, but only part. Enjoyment of fact to face contact is needed too.

    You mentioned that sometimes you are relaxed on your own, then you change and feel the lack, wiht the idea everyone else is getting on wiht their lives and excluding you. OK, so the first part, chosen solitude, is fine, but the second part is isolation, something you sound as if you need to overcome. Not surprising really, most humans need others.

    Maybe you have developed a pattern . I would not know why, but relying upon phone and internet sounds like you are avoiding face to face contact, at least when you want to feel more comfortable.

    I think if it was me I'd suspect i needed help to interact with people and enjoy it. May I suggest that you not only talk here, where others understand from their own experiences, but have a long consultation with your GP and talk about this habit. It may be based upon anxiety, fear of rejection or something like that. I so not know, I'm no doctor. I do beleive it is worth a try.

    If phone and internet are more comfortable then I'd expect over time you would use them more and rely upon them more too. As this can lead to more and more isolation perhaps you should be lookng to increase personal contact instead, and maybe medical help will make that easier.

    What do you think?

    Croix

  3. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 June 2019 in reply to Forward only

    Dear Forward only

    Hello and welcome. I see Croix has already replied and suggested how you can get some help. I agree with him. I also agree with you, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I think it is a common pastime to wonder how your life would be different if you had done this or that. It's a question that will never have an answer and can cause you to become very dissatisfied with the life you have.

    We do need face to face interactions with others. This is hard wired into us. Some need it more than others and it is OK to want to be on your own at times. I enjoy my 'me' time as well as being with others.

    You have good insight for yourself. That's great because you know where the responsibility lies. I find large gatherings can be stressful. I have worked out how to manage these times which can make me feel distressed. Depending on the circumstances I can go home, go to a less crowded area, even go to the toilet to hide, so to speak, for a few minutes. This mini break from being with a lot of people can help me get my breath back. Have you noticed when you start to feel better?

    Perhaps you can work out some strategies to help in these situations. It does depend on what is happening and how you feel at the time. May I suggest you develop some strategies of your own. I have avoided going to places at times because I think I may get overwhelmed. Maybe I would but not necessarily so. I think the more I avoid these situations the less I want to be with people. I think this is generally not a good idea.

    You have told us your mood can change quite quickly from enjoyment to feeling lonely despite being with others. Do you feel panicky? I think it's a good start, as Croix has already suggested, that you see your GP and talk about your feelings. I would hate you to look back and wonder how different your life could have been if you had asked for help.

    Please post in here as often as you wish and perhaps let us know the outcome of seeing your doctor if you want to reveal this.

    Mary

  4. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    22 June 2019 in reply to Croix
    Hi Croix! Thanks for your words and encouragement. It is anxiety over fear of rejection but after a lifetime of it, and I'm 53 btw, because of the way I am and of not living up to people's expectations, and my health letting me and others down in person, one eventually learns social avoidance to a large degree. I'm hoping being part of beyondblue while not curing me, will help me to cope better. What's that saying about grant me the courage to change what I can ? Just one thing...I've been told a lot about what I should do, but it's very rare that a professional or family say something that actually works. But I will keep your suggestions in mind.
  5. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    22 June 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Thank you Mary !

    A lot of my socialising problems are tied in with experiences of socialising with family, critism of me, and being self aware they must be right yet not thinking it's fair to be expected to be who I'm not. I can be over sensitive to people's reactions to me in the way of sensing within a short space of time wether they would prefer not to have my company. I do have a few great friends who never make me feel like that but don't live locally. ...hence phone and internet.

    Thanks Mary,

    I'm a lifelong work in progress with little success, but my motto is to try and move forward only.

  6. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11060 posts
    22 June 2019 in reply to Forward only

    Dear Forward only~

    You were saying it was rare for a professional to say something that actually works and I can well understand that. I've basically had two types in many years of therapy. Those that say try this ... for those that prescribe actions and ways of thinking I've had mixed results. Some have been definitely too early in my recovery, admittedly though some have been helpful.

    This other type has been the vast majority and wiht some exceptions for me it has helped consistently and considerably. Here I do most of the talking and they have made the occasional comment.

    I don't really know why it helps so much, their comments have not been that profound, though occasionally it is a perspective that would not have occurred to me. I think it is something to do with the fact I can talk things over and when I do they come to seem reasonable in the circumstances, giving me confidence. Rapport is exceedingly important, at least for me.

    Maybe you have simply not come across a psych who 'clicked' with you.

    It is a pity your best friends are so far away. If your family is critical it does not mean they are right, in fact criticism is most often not. If someone thinks another is going down the wrong path then help and playing to their strengths is the proper way. That can take thought and effort though - criticizing is so much easier.

    Croix

  7. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    23 June 2019 in reply to Croix
    Thank you Croix ! All helpful especially your insight to critism from others....today is an ok with just a touch of guilt....Chocka hasn't lost weight this last week....I must be stronger and not give in to those pleading twinkling eyes for more than his fair share of lambstrips this week ! Hehe ! Hope you are having a good weekend !
  8. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    23 June 2019 in reply to Forward only

    Hello Forward only

    You sound happier in your last post. It's good to hear. Who is Chocka? I gather a pet of yours, perhaps dog? I love having a dog in the house but since I came to live in my current home I have not had one. I imagine it's just as hard for an animal to lose weight as a human and I certainly know about that.

    My experience with psychiatrists has been similar to Croix. I started going to one who was very concerned about me. I was in a very bad place. He insisted I saw him twice a week and would have put me in hospital if I had medical insurance. Public hospitals are so often full up. But then he wanted me to take sick leave. How was I going to cope with myself 24/7 on my own when I had enough trouble trying to stay safe during the time I was not at work? We compromised and I worked four hours a day. He was someone who listened to me and asked the questions I did not want to answer. Looking back he kept me safe and trying, often successfully, to get me to talk did work. I was never much good at CBT.

    The various shades of psychiatrist/psychologist/counsellor all have different approaches to mental health. My only comment is that they must recognise when something is not working and try a different way. However I felt safe in this psych's office so I had a bit of respite.

    I also agree with Croix about criticism. It's easy to tell someone to 'pull up your socks, you're not really ill, it's time you got better'. Sometimes they may be genuine in their concern but do not actually have time for you to tell them how you feel. So sad. I also believe it's because mental ill health is still a scary thing. All the old beliefs are still around for so many people. Putting the spotlight on mental health I think is helping everyone to see that we are not going to turn into monsters when there is a full moon. When public figures 'come out' it is so good for the community at large.

    If you get a chance speak out.

    Mary

  9. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    24 June 2019 in reply to White Rose
    Wow Mary ! I loved reading your reply ! You telling me your story put things in perspective as to where you are coming from to connect your reply from me, and having a quick think, I guess with me, the few times I've had professional help, I haven't felt like I've been heard properly leaving me feeling dissatisfied, withdrawing more, MORE isolated, and like I don't deserve help because no one in my eyes has worked out on my behalf how to fix me. Instead I've come to the conclusion it's better for me not to see psychologists etc because the last one wouldn't listen to me at all as regards why I was there and I didn't see the point of getting dragged through the mud over past relationships when I was wanting to be assessed about now and how I'm coping with everyday living, or not, as it is lol I mean cleaning cooking and personal hygiene in the now...what has that to do with relationships way back in the past ? It's my health that is to do with being independent, I'm not interested in what went wrong in padt relationships because I'm not in one and not likely to have another one ! Sorry...going round in circles...time to change the subject and have a smoke and get back to happy thoughts lol. What is CBT ? Yes you should be able to see my profile pic of chocka now??
  10. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    29 June 2019

    Beyond blue, could you give me step by step instructions where I go once I click on "visit forums" from main page of your site, to be Ble to create a NEW post please ? A hi everyone that's feeling alone this weekend ! Isn't it great we have this outlet to communicate thought the weekend ! How you all doing? ...that type of thing....although I'll probable forget those words by the time you tell me how to do it lol

    Forward only

  11. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    29 June 2019 in reply to Forward only

    Hello Forward

    Can you remember how you started this thread? There is a drop down menu under Get Support on the home page. Click on the Online Forums and it takes you to the list of forums. Decide which forum you want to post in and click on that. On the right hand side near the top of the page there is a blue box marked New Threads. Click on that and you can start to write in the boxes provided. If you want to browse the forums simply click on a forum you think may be good to read and go ahead. Join in conversations where you have something to say.

    It's a shame when we get put off by MH professional whose style does not suit us. Sometimes we do need to shop around to find someone we can 'click' with. That first psychiatrist for me was good for several years. What I wanted most was to feel safe and understood. I was lucky that happened first time round. I did get private insurance and he did send me to hospital at one point. I spent a week there. It was good because I just relaxed and let the staff look after me. The night before I was due to go home I had a massive panic attack. Horrible. Nurses were quite concerned but it ended OK.

    I had a similar argument about raking up the past. I said it had happened and I could not change it so why talk about it. Sound familiar? Eventually I realised that past events shape our current thinking and actions. When you get upset/afraid/worried about something, try to remember when you experienced this feeling in the past. What was it all about? Who hurt you in some way? This is the sort of thing the psych wants you to describe. Current distress may well be a spin-off from the past event as you go through it all again. Your brain is connecting the two events and you are reacting now as you did then even when you do not realise it.

    So understanding what happened in the past can help us understand what is happening now and we can start to manage ourselves. This is when the healing starts. It can be hard and painful as I found out. Please ask the psychologist or psychiatrist you see to explain all this. If I have one grouch about the psychiatrist I saw it was because he was hopeless at explanations. If I asked for clarification he would repeat his first explanation word for word. Aargh!

    Mary

  12. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    29 June 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Hello Mary !

    First, Thanks for reminding me the steps to post.

    Second, I've been over the past so many times over the years that it's time to move on. But I understand what you say and how relevant the past can be.

    Third, had to giggle about your grouchy...I hear your frustration. Happens to me at times too lol

    Hope you are having a good weekend. I'm busy mostly reading a story that keeps making me smile and laugh out loud, and at a good pace..no boring bits lol

    Forward only xx

  13. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    30 June 2019 in reply to Forward only

    Lovely to hear from your Forward and to know you are laughing. It's good for the body to chuckle.

    Love the photo of chocka. Is that short for chocolate? Pity the picture is sideways. Can you turn it once to the right?

    CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It's the most common form of therapy used I think. I disliked it because it made me think how I could change a situation or thought and at times I did not want to change. Silly? Yes but we can easily feel like that. It also made me recognise what I was doing that was unproductive. So it could be a bit painful and I felt it knocked my self confidence.

    However, it is a good therapy if only for the reasons above. Naming our reactions and seeing how events go wrong can be a great help. How much anger did I feel, how stupid, did I feel I was right in situations, how could I change it next time? It's surprising how many time we do the same thing which means we can learn to do better. Why when we are depressed we appear to be uninterested in getting well I don't really understand. I do know it seems such a huge mountain to climb and I was frequently convinced I did not have the stamina to reach the top. Oh dear, the obstacles we put in our own way.

    With patience and persistence a good psych can help you move forward, even when we don't want to move. "I know my pigsty and I want to stay here" was the feeling at times. If antidepressants work even a little it can help us to feel more able to move on. And that's the whole point of meds. They do not 'cure' you, only help you to become more stable and able to work on your own recovery.

    I may not be able to answer you after today for the next week. I am going to Melbourne on Tuesday and will return the following Monday. I think I will need a day to deal with all the emails that will pile up when I return. Please stay safe and continue posting here. Keep laughing. The world looks better from that viewpoint.

    Mary

  14. Forward only
    Forward only avatar
    24 posts
    1 July 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Dear Mary,

    I understood a lot of what you said and could feel myself ironically going " why do I have to change" and "I'm comfortable in my own pigsty" lol beyondblue advert is on lol it's a life changer for me ! There should be a special award to recognise it fills a very important gap in the lives of many in our country.

    In a happy place today. Saw mum and got some groceries this morning.

    Chocka was NOT in happy place when I abandoned him, but all was forgiven when I came home and gave him a lambstrip lol

    Be safe in your travels to Melbourne and look forward to your return in a week!

    Big hugs !

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up