Top 7 Tips To Make Friends While Being Depressed

Being depressedAs a teenager, making friend shouldn’t be a difficult task, you just need to find some people that enjoy some of the things you enjoy yourself and share that common interest between you and that person. Sounds pretty easy.

Making friends should come naturally to us because it’s something we as human thrive for and need in our lives, but it doesn’t come so natural. We are social beings and at the core of each one of us, there is a need to feel secure and protected by belonging to a community and social circles.

All of this means that when we’re not satisfied with our social needs, it can affect in a certain way the perception we have of ourselves, leading to believe we are not worthy of belonging and lastly to recluse ourselves and feel even more depressed.

Why will someone bother to befriend me if I feel like a hollow shell on the inside?

Just remember that feeling it’s not your reality, you’re not an empty hollow shell, you’re a human being worthy of love and compassion. The difference is huge because you just need to realize this is the truth and your feelings aren’t facts.

I want to share with you some of the best practices for making new friends while dealing with and fighting depression.

7 Tips to Make Friends While Being Depressed

     1. Find Common Ground

Find someone in school, work or nearby that have the same interest as you. It will be easier to relate to them and they will be more open to you if both of you are talking about something interesting.

     2. Socialization Goals

Add a few goals, (or just one if you feel it’s too much) to your daily task about doing something with someone. It may be something really simple like just saying hi to someone you don’t know and make a question about something they might know. Or maybe a compliment about their clothing and hairstyle.

     3. Volunteer

I cannot address in just a few words here how important it’s doing something for someone without expecting anything back. While you are actively volunteering you will spend time doing something good for society alongside with other peers, this is a perfect environment to start new friendships with caring people.

     4. Non-Socializing-Pressure Places

Nightclubs, bars and that kind of places all have in common that they are meant to socialize with people, either with friends or to meet new people there, but they put too much pressure because of the outcome expected to be funny, enjoyable and charismatic. Best to find some other places with less pressure, For me, a library has done wonders!

     5. Join a Support Group

Support groups exist especially for that reason, giving support to its members. The only thing you need to do it’s to join, participate in their activities and meetings and let your needs be known to them. Probably the easiest way to feel that you belong to something and make new friends while fighting depression.

     6. Set Realistic Expectations

In today’s world, everybody has the tendency to over-judge others and to high-up unrealistic expectations of what is normal. More than a tip, this is a mindset. Don’t judge other people based on how they look like or what you can get from them, instead focus on the interaction that’s taking place right at the moment and try to do your best one interaction at a time.

     7. Don’t Be Harsh With Yourself

I left this one for last because it’s more of a mindset to have rather than a simple tip, and it’s more focused on keeping friends rather than making new ones. This means that whenever you’re feeling that someone is letting you down don’t think it’s your fault, people have lives and responsibilities too. This applies to new friends too, remember, one interaction at a time.

Conclusion

While you may follow all these tips or some of them, it’s not the intention to be a replacement for proper treatment.

There’s no need to say that depression is a nasty feeling we may fight with all our strength to win back our lives. With that said, finding and keeping trustworthy friends while you have depression can be a great therapy to finally beat your depressive moods.

But it can be a great challenge too. The important thing it’s to always take some action (even if it’s minimal) towards the happier healthier version of ourselves we want to be with the mindset of doing our best even if we feel like failures in doing so.

PS: If you find like failing or having it too difficult to even talk and start a conversation with someone else remember that depression needs to be treated by an expert.

The 11 Most Common Kinds of Depression That You Should Know About

I know it’s easier to recognize if you have depression than to know which kind of depression you’re having. To know if you’re depressed you just need to know what is depression and look for the common symptoms in the last two weeks.

To get a better idea of the kind of depression you’re having I’ve compiled a list defining the most common depressive disorders with their unique trait that makes them so particular and different from the others.

11 Most Known Kinds Of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Kind of depression

When we talk about clinical depression we usually refer to MDD. Major Depressive Disorder It’s also known as “Major Depression” or just depression because is the most known and one of the most common.

This depressive disorder usually comes with a loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities and hobbies, lower self-esteem, and self-confidence in our own abilities to function as normal human beings, a blue state of being (low energy, fatigue), and sometimes emotional pain without a clear cause.

This kind of depression leads you to believe that the situation is 10x worse and 10x bigger than what actually is. From there comes the feeling that we are hopeless and can’t do anything to fight it and cure it.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia)

Kind of depression

Dysthymia is much less intense than other kinds of depressions but has long-lasting symptoms, hence the name of “persistent depressive disorder”.

PDD is quite tricky because people who suffer it don’t realize they have it and think that depression and pessimistic thoughts are just part of their personalities and characters.

This is usually the case because they live day by day as normal people do, but a little more depressed than normal people and don’t realize they have a depressive disorder, so they don’t communicate to family, doctors or friends.

Avoidance of stressful situations and fear of failure are common in mild degrees of dysthymia. In cases more severe, people tend to use a self-defense strategy of insensitivity in a long-term period, meaning they don’t get the same thrill of happiness of daily joyful activities.

The nature of PDD is to be subtle and kill slowly but surely.

Atypical Depression (AD)

Kind of depression

It’s called atypical depression because doesn’t have the typical symptoms of MDD or any kind of depression, easy to figure it out.

The atypical feature of the AD is that has a high mood reactivity. This means that when something positive happens or has a potential to happen they suddenly will see the day brighter and the mood improves faster than normal, when the positive situation ends, they usually turn again to a blue state of being, seeing everything grey without meaning.

The AD usually begins in teenagers and is the portal gate to more serious personality and anxiety disorders of all kinds, such as; bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder just to mention a few.

Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia)

Kind of depression

Cyclothymia means “to go on cycles between your mood“.

If any major depressive episode has been present but there are other common symptoms of depression and chronic states of feeling blue and then feeling shining, then there’s a high chance that person has cyclothymia.

A lot of mood swings is the main symptom of this one but with less severe effects than bipolar I and II. In fact, It’s considered a subcategory of bipolar disorder.

It is rare to find this kind of depression among people, but maybe you could identify some of your friends that you generally think they are bipolar, but don’t show as many signs and symptoms of suffering from a major depressive disorder.

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

Kind of depression

The swings of moods are much more dramatic than cyclothymia and have more effect on their energy and ability to focus on any given task (attention-deficit disorder). The high and lows are known also as “mania and depression”.

People with manic depression can’t control their fast mood-shifts and in most cases don’t realize the dangers of being too “high” or being too “blue”. As a result of not controlling their highs, they tend to take unnecessary risk, get irritable and behave impulsively. When feeling too low, even deciding what to eat can be an overwhelming task.

Hallucinations and delusions are a common trait too and this is why suicidal thoughts are closely related to bipolar disorder. It is believed that the psychosis is a reflection of their out of order mood.

Bipolar disorder usually gets worse if it isn’t being addressed to being cured.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Kind of depression

Exclusive for girls!

Once a month when a woman is in the second half of her menstrual cycle she has the chance of getting depressed if she suffers from PMDD.

Everygirl may experience their menstrual cycles different but I (as a guy that I am) have noticed that the common factor of every girl is their mood swings, if the stress of being in menstruation is combined with other kinds of stress or anxiety, it’s very probable that will develop this kind of depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Kind of depression

In winter there is an increased number of people with fatigue, irritability, and weight gain. These people are experiencing with more intensity the anxiety of the season because of the lack of sun there it is.

While is normal that we may feel a little down due to a cold environment cause there’s not enough sun in winter, experts started to diagnose this “SAD” because of the increased reports of depression on winter and then the absence of the symptoms on spring.

It seems that some people need more sunlight than others due to their sensitivity, lack of vitamin D or something else that is still unknown. If you’ve been diagnostic with SAD, don’t worry, hopefully, it just lasts for this season…

Psychotic Depression (PD)

Kind of Depression

Hallucinations and delusions are a must in this type of depression as everybody should know.

These symptoms of psychosis should happen only while a major depressive disorder episode or a bipolar disorder is active, otherwise, it should be diagnosed as schizophrenia.

After several episodes of major depression is very likely that the psychosis will do his appearance and after the first time of someone being a victim of it, it will keep reappearing making more difficult to be cured and making people don’t believe in their senses and thoughts.

The most common delusions are those of being disease, feeling guilty, being persecuted by an extranormal entity, and being punished for something they believe have to pay some kind of moral price.

Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression (PPD)

Kind of depression

It may happen in first time parents within the first year of the newborn baby and can last for weeks to months.

The symptoms present in this disorder are extreme feelings of anxiety and sadness, the hopelessness of not knowing how to take care of the baby, fears related to hurting the baby by accident, dramatic changes in eating and sleeping patterns, even fatigue and irritability may do their appearance.

By the way, this one is not exclusive to women, it can happen to the father too!

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Kind of depression

Being exposed to some type of trauma such as warfare and sexual abuse, or being the victim of it is the trigger of this disorder.

In kids (because of their innocence and high level of sensitivity) even verbal abuse can develop in the future a PTSD. A teenager with PTSD is more likely to attempt suicide and do self-harm.

I cannot prove it, but I believe that some urban tribes like “emos” which self-harm themselves were born because of the widespread habit of creating trauma on others; ie. bullying.

The most common causes of this disorder are rape, child abuse, life-threatening illness (cancer and HIV on top of popularity), war-related trauma and trauma related to pregnancy.

Situational Depression

Kind of depression

Also known as the “adjustment disorder” or “stress response syndrome”. It’s a lot more common than major depression and its main characteristic is the depressive mood for dealing with a stressful situation.

The common symptoms of the adjustment disorder are an overwhelming sadness, being nervous and worried about facing the situation or event that is causing this depression. If the symptoms are still present after a long time the situation has passed, then it can be considered as the stepping stone to bigger problems.

Usually don’t need any treatment because the event (bad breakup, losing a job, the death of someone close to us, etc) pass and this depression pass with it.

Conclusion

All types of depressive disorders affect how we think, feel, and act, which leads us to feel like a heavy burden placed upon our shoulders to do the normal day to day activities. Some of course with worse and more extreme effects than others.

What I can say by consensus is that each one of us wants a fulfilling successful life and being able to contribute to our society in some sort of way that we may choose. For that, we need to be in our top mental and emotional capacity, and this is where any kind of depressive disorder and mental illness wrecks and brakes our efforts.

If you are willing to give the good fight against depression I’ll encourage you to find the best ways to fight it and use at least one method that you feel comfortable using and your mood will slightly improve every day.

One day when the dragon has been slain you’ll be able to look back the huge challenge it was back then, and how brave you really are because you were able to overcome it by fighting and succeeding little by little every day.

How to Build Your Self-Esteem

“Apart from disturbance whose roots are biological, I cannot think of a single psychological problem—from anxiety and depression, to underachievement at school or at work, to fear of intimacy, happiness, or success, to alcohol or drug abuse, to spouse battering or child molestation, to co-dependency and sexual disorders, to passivity and chronic aimlessness, to suicide and crimes of violence—that is not traceable, at least in part, to the problem of deficient self-esteem. Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is as important as the one we pass on ourselves.” 

~ Nathaniel Branden from The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

I cannot say it better, Nathaniel Branden is the author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem which consist of:

Self-esteem

  1. The Practice of Living Consciously
  2. The Practice of Self-Acceptance
  3. The Practice of Self-Responsibility
  4. The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
  5. The Practice of Living Purposefully
  6. The Practice of Personal Integrity

I’ve noticed that somewhere he made a note saying Self-Esteem is not an idea but something to practice everyday, that’s why all the pillars are called practices. Practicing something means that you need the discipline to do it on a constant basis. An idea, however, is something you just need to know. This is why I think it’s brilliant.

I simply love the topic of self-esteem and the approach that Nathaniel Branden gives in his book is something different from what I’ve seen around. Kudos to him!

I don’t want to shove to you all the 6 pillars and will strongly recommend you to read the book. What I want to do is (for the sake of time and length of this post) to ask you the main question behind each one of the six pillars of self-esteem.

To Build Your Self-Esteem Answer These…
  • Living consciously to me means…
  • Are you able to accept and recognize your own greatness?
  • How much more responsible can you be?
  • Are you the author of your own story?
  • What do you want? What needs to be done by you? Are you disciplined about it?
  • Are your ideals, moral compass, and behavior congruent?

“But does anything take more courage—is anything more challenging and sometimes frightening–than to live by our own mind, judgment, and values? Is not self-esteem a summons to the hero within us?”

~ Nathaniel Branden

There’s much more value reading the complete book but having the answers to these questions will give you a strong stepping stone on building your self-esteem, managing your emotions and beating depression in the long run.

It’s little by little that progress is made and someday we break through, a man walking forward in the darkness is still walking forward and even if he doesn’t know when he will arrive, it’s a sure thing that he will arrive at his destiny.

So… what are you waiting for? You have work to do and the best moment to start is RIGHT NOW!!