Why have I been feeling empty lately?

I have a lot on my mind, but all I want to do is stay locked in my room and not socialize with anyone. Why do I feel so alone?

It has been said that depression is often the result of a blocked goal.  Often people struggle with both anxiety and depression but have difficulty determining which is the most important issue. For some, depression is the result of frequently blocked goals and when their predominant issues are evaluated, they discover that they are anxious (worried) about a lot of areas in their life but seem to find no relief.  When there is no relief and there have been numerous attempts (either in their mind or in practical application) to resolve the anxiety, depression is often the result.  In this type of case, depression is not the main or underlying issue. The anxiety is the underlying issue.  Having "a lot on my mind" sounds like anxiety. Unresolved anxiety can lead to feelings of depression which are often associated with "emptiness."  

In the question above, I would want to evaluate all of the issues surrounding having "a lot on my mind" and determine where these might be coming from. Has there been ongoing rejection from peers? From family? If so, why does this seem to be happening?  Isolation is often a protective measure that one implements to avoid further pain. Where does that need to protect originate?  Are there unmet needs from childhood? Are there traumatic life events that have created a need to self-protect as a defense mechanism? 

We can feel "alone" even when in a crow of people or at a party.  This has nothing, in this case, to do with being around people. It has more to do with how we view ourselves.  If there is a prevailing message or script that has been internalized that says, "You are worth nothing" or "You don't deserve the company of others" then being around people will not alleviate the problem but only exacerbate it. I would want to evaluate how one feels about themselves and what negative messages one has received and has repeated to oneself over time. 

The Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy is a therapy aimed at addressing unmet childhood needs. If there is specific trauma that is associated with socializing with people, then EMDR can be very helpful in desensitizing and reprocessing the trauma.  

Looking at whether this individual's issue with emptiness is straight depression or whether it is depression as a result of unresolved anxiety is key to determining a treatment strategy. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

There are many possible issues to consider as depression  social anxieties, even medical illness.  For some, even grief creates a sense of isolation, pains from relationship break up.  Also, obsessive thinking can be debilitating.  Seeking at least one trusted friend or family member can be a start towards increased personal support.  Some persons may simply feel connected by spending time with someone as this, even if not talking directly on issues, just being around another is positive.  Obviously there is more to explore on this question, given minimal information from two sentences.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith
President and Clinical Director, Seeking Shalom

There is a difference in someone agreeing to try something and agreeing to continue to do it. Have you ever been willing to try something and then decided you did not like it? A type of food? A sport? A new restaurant? A type of dance? So this does not mean that things have changed between you. It does mean that the two of you may need to spend some time to find out what you both like. 

Instead of looking at it as a rejection, look at it as a challenge, an adventure that the two of you can go on as explorers together. Some couples have even found it helpful to each write down ten things they would like the other person to try and then each person can pick three things from the other person's list to add into their life together when they chose to over the next few weeks. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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