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The Dangers of Not Having Any Friends (Long-Term)


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Hi,

I haven't had any friends since I was about 11, and I'm 32 now. Now, I try to make friends at my volunteer jobs, but people just ignore me, and it doesn't happen. I think that there's danger for someone who doesn't have any friends long-term (I mean 5 plus years of not having a friend, besides a family member). Yes, I have my mom and dad to talk with, but it isn't the same thing as having a friend who's around my age.

When I was a teen without friends, I turned to music for comfort and happiness. I used to totally fantasize about , idolize,  and adore singers and bands and any decent-looking male in the public eye.

I read that having friends to laugh with and have fun with is like a "pressure cooker" (is that the right word?), in that friends are like the holes in something that lets hot steam out, and without those "holes/friends" I can only imagine that a person would not be healthy and "normal" and would have tons of problems, which is what I am like. One guy said he'd go crazy if he didn't have any friends to blow steam off with. So, I wonder what not having friends has done to me. I can understand if many celebrity stalkers are people who chronically lack friends and/or have trouble making them, because this lack can lead to people worshiping, fantasizing about, and idolizing people who are in the public eye and who are attractive and popular.

Now, I try to make friends at volunteer jobs, but I'm totally ignored and left out, like I'm invisible.

Thanks,

Shana

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Hi Shana.

When I went into a major spiral it was astonishing how spending half a day with friends I had not seen in years was.  I would also say that I didn't realize there were friends around until I landed in a hospital and one of them found out and contacted some people who were sort of in stealth mode.  Another very positive thing.  Maybe like me you have people who your not staying in touch with that would surprise you by being a friend (in need is a friend indeed) *And no one more surprised then me.   Its great to have parents around.  I really really miss mine.   I found myself getting a LOT closer to my siblings who I wasn't particularly close to (Big age difference) and they also had the family house stuff.   Finding people with similar interests is a good way to make connections.  Music fan stuff I wasn't into until just a while ago.  I joined (Don't laugh) a Fan Club where you get a T-Shirt and a card and apatch to put on your hat and...   I went to a concert and was greeted by two people (In a huge crowd) who had the same shirt and wanted to ask "Whats your favorite song?  How many concerts have you been to?  Whats your name?  Lets email each other"  Ok  I WISH I had done the lets email each other.  I'm a little shy but I can totally see hanging out with people who are big fans.   Anyway - hope this is of some minor help.

32 is an age where (I think) a lot of people in my life were "busy" with husbands wives kids, houses and other stuff.

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I'm sorry you are having a hard time making friends.  I haven't had any friends IRL for years that are my age (since college in 1995).  But I'm fine with it; I actually do not want friends at this time because I'd have to talk to them, go places with them, etc.  And a lot of times I just don't have it in me to do all that. I kind of need them at my convenience, which is not the way a friendship works (IMO).

Do you want friends because you feel like you *should* have friends at your age, or do you want them because you want them?  I think some people want them just because they think it is normal to have them.  With me, I don't care what is normal or not.  Friends would stress me out because of the responsibility of having them.  I like being on my own.

I have also read in places how not having friends/spouse can shorten your lifespan (Sorry, I read this somewhere but don't remember where).  I don't believe that because I know for me the stress in and of itself would shorten my life.  I am happy alone.  I think some people need them, others don't.

I agree with HAL9000 about 32 being an age where most likely a lot of people are busy with spouses, houses, kids, etc

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Maybe you'd have better luck finding friends in after-work activities like at http://meetup.com

Yeah, I should probably try meetup. I haven't gone to one yet.

I'm sorry you are having a hard time making friends.  I haven't had any friends IRL for years that are my age (since college in 1995).  But I'm fine with it; I actually do not want friends at this time because I'd have to talk to them, go places with them, etc.  And a lot of times I just don't have it in me to do all that. I kind of need them at my convenience, which is not the way a friendship works (IMO).

Do you want friends because you feel like you *should* have friends at your age, or do you want them because you want them?  I think some people want them just because they think it is normal to have them.  With me, I don't care what is normal or not.  Friends would stress me out because of the responsibility of having them.  I like being on my own.

I have also read in places how not having friends/spouse can shorten your lifespan (Sorry, I read this somewhere but don't remember where).  I don't believe that because I know for me the stress in and of itself would shorten my life.  I am happy alone.  I think some people need them, others don't.

I agree with HAL9000 about 32 being an age where most likely a lot of people are busy with spouses, houses, kids, etc

It's nice to know that I'm not alone, and that there are other people out there who haven't had friends in many years, and who are ok with it.

I look at my life, and it's been a struggle since I was a pre-teen (when I stopped trying to make friends and pretty much decided I would learn to be ok without friends). I think that this struggle I've had in life is because I haven't had any friends in 20 years, while it seems everyone else has friends. The only people I know of who don't really have friends are my parents, and I think this has happened because they feel bad for me. And then, when I go on volunteer jobs (before I was at the SPCA for 4 months , now I'm at a food pantry), and I'm around 4-5 other people, people ignore me, like I'm invisible. I try to talk to people, but it doesn't work out. BTW the people I volunteer(ed) with are almost all seniors (age 65 plus).

I don't know what's "normal," but I have had problems coping with life and living life "normally" for many years, and I have it in my mind that if I had a friend, my life would get easier.

I don't remember what it's like having a friend, as I haven't had one in so long.

 

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I kinda wish to be in your shoes now. I got some friends that I wish I've never met honestly.

Sorry to hear that. Yeah, I guess some friends can be bad influences.

Is this the same information you have asked for in this topic in the link below?

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?/topic/75155-is-it-ok-to-not-have-any-friends/

Yes, it is pretty much the same topic. Sorry if I'm repeating myself. But I added in new info, such as trying to talk to people at volunteer jobs I had, and both times getting the same response from people.

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I talked to my tdoc about this. He said that we're social creatures and we need socialization. Too much socialization can be overwhelming.

Usually I like to go to a clubhouse to meet people a few times per month. I prefer to meet my close friends a few times per month. Once every 2 weeks is fine too.

For me, there is something as too much socialization.

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Lisa, I startesd volunteer work, and it hasn't led me to making new friemds. It does give more to talk about with people I already knpw, like folks at work and my relatives. Sounds like you really only tried to start conversations twice. Keep trying, and maybe add a new group to your routine. I help an animal shelter and while most of the regular volunteers are older, there are all ages, from kids to college age and up.

 

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Some of the people that came out of the woodwork when I was in the hospital were people I lived with during school and probably would have said then that they were friends but I really REALLY didn't need to have so much time with them.  So its like years but when we connect up there is this "connection" that clicks in and of course its different when your not living in the same house and getting on each others nerves.  Kind of weird.  Really unexpected.  

Quote (since college in 1995).  Ahhh...  well the music / fan club stuff I mentioned.  was a  band that was huge then.   Weezer! 

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I agree that having friends is like letter the steam out through holes in a pressure cooker. But they have to be the right friends, or it will simply become a stressful situation rather than a beneficial thing. I'd say find people with similar interests, and keep your options open, because not every conversation (no matter how deep) leads to friendship, and not every friend can be a close one. Multiple types of friends/acquaintances are nice, because you can be fun and make stupid jokes about the Kardashians with one friend, and talk about all your issues and problems to another. 

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Word.

I went 8 years without one RL friend... From age 12-20 (turning 21 in a couple weeks). I made one friend via an online community and IRC channel. He just so happened to live really close by and was into Hip-Hop as much as me. I ended up moving in with him. He's a lot older than me (30). He became something of a mentor to me. Taught me how to record lyrics properly along with certain tricks for producing beats...

Only downside of our friendship was that he's a heavy drinker. I moved in there expecting to be productive and get a job and my license but it never panned out because I was getting drunk and high everyday. I think it was a kind of co-dependent situation. Helping each other get high and getting into trouble. He ended up in jail this last week. I couldn't pay the rent there this or next month so I came over to my mom's and I'm currently pet sitting for her while she's on a business trip. I'm gonna move in with my dad. It'd have been nice to live on my own but I don't think I'm ready.

IDK what will happen to our friendship or him in general with his legal troubles... He's my only friend and I'd like to hang out with him occasionally but I'm moving 100 miles away. Guess it's back to the lonely life for me then... I'm used to it. 8 years is a long time. I'll just focus on my hip-hop music making skills and educating myself with books (not gonna have internet when I move :/ )

That being said... I have A LOT of close online friends from the IRC channel I met that guy on. It's gonna suck not being able to chat with them. Well, I can use mobile hot spot on my phone but that only lasts so long before the data runs out,. 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I also have not had friends for years. I'm lonely but I find it stressful to deal with people and in the past none of my friendships have lasted. I just don't have the social skills to maintain friendships and keep them healthy. I don't know what I do wrong exactly so it is hard to change. I guess I'm not fun.

Anyway, I believe that as a social phobic, my anxiety in social situations will be significant unless I expose myself to those situations a lot. If I see people every day I kind of get used to it and can deal with it. For me social phobia is only a big problem if I have lived like a hermit for a long time and then face a social situation. My social skills will not improve without regular practice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not sure I believe in God but I started going to church and bible study. I have met a few people that I consider friends.

i also met a lady when getting a pedicure that likes going to the movies but doesn't like to go by herself and neither do I. We go about twice a month.

i also volunteer at the food bank.

i am also going to take a ceramics class this term. Should be fun.

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  • 1 month later...

I find that if I don't interact with people for too many days, I start ruminating very badly. Isolation does very bad things to people. I haven't been pushing myself to go outside and talk to people very hard lately, so now it's becoming even harder to look people in the eyes and to make small talk. I also tend to miss signals that people DO like me and want to know me. You probably feel left out when you make attempts at friends but it doesn't work out the way you had hoped. Do not give up. People notice the good in others even when they cannot see it themselves. I am a terribly lonely person. I have one good friend, who is actually my ex, so it's complicated, but having someone outside my family to talk to is important. If you are kind and patient, even if you do not talk much, people will appreciate you. Keep trying, gently and patiently, and one day you may find someone that you are happy to call a friend. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have 3 friends but they're all busy working and dating and having a life. I don't really like people. I'd say the danger is if what if you need a favor? In college before I made friends I had to get my car fixed and I had no one to drive me home and back to the dealership. A guy that worked there had to drive me home and pick me back up the next morning. Embarrassing. 

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2 hours ago, MellaBlue said:

I have 3 friends but they're all busy working and dating and having a life. I don't really like people. I'd say the danger is if what if you need a favor? In college before I made friends I had to get my car fixed and I had no one to drive me home and back to the dealership. A guy that worked there had to drive me home and pick me back up the next morning. Embarrassing. 

^^In bold ... Me too ... the friends I have now are for asking favors.  They don't know that, but that is how it is.  Both are busy doing things, and usually one of them I can go to the grocery store, CVS, or PO with if I ask in advance for a ride.  Or to get my mail for me when I am away.  Also if there is an emergency. Otherwise we don't do much of anything together.

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  • 8 months later...

In regards to the original post, I believe there are dangers. As someone who has not had a friend since high school (over 10 years) I feel I can talk about the dangers first hand. Just remember these are only my own personal thoughts on it, and I may have other background issues that make my situation unique.

I feel like a danger to society whenever I go outside. I have feelings of hostility against anyone who does the smallest thing that upsets me. People who cut me off by walking in front of me, people who I have to move out the way of who are texting and walking and not looking where they are going....even people who say rude/racist/misogynist comments out loud in public. I understand everyone has their individual rights but I can't shake the whole I'm right and everyone else is wrong way of thinking.

I think that if I had friends then being exposed to other peoples thoughts, beliefs and ideas might make other people more tolerable. It might also remind me that people have flaws and that I should accept that rather than wanting to perform physical acts of violence on them.

I think friends are important. I also know how difficult it is to find them. I've already accepted that I'm destined to never have friends. Don't be like me. It isn't fun.

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Most of the friendships I've had in my life were toxic. Now I have friends who actually care about me. The difference has been huge. Having bad friends was probably worse than having no friends for me, in the long run. I ended up with massive trust issues and a really low self-esteem. So yes, good friends can help you blow off steam. But bad friends just make everything worse. I don't think it matters how many friends you have, as much as how many healthy connections you have. Even if that's with family members or anyone else

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  • 1 month later...

I have my sisters, my parents, my husband and my children. I am comfortable with the staff where my husband works and his business partner and his wife. They are like family to me. I have a cousin who is older than my dad I am friends with, we just talk on the phone and don't see each other for years sometimes. I am content with this. My little sisters are better than any friend I could make. I am 42. The only people in my life have been through the rough times with me. They aren't too cruel or mean. They get me most of the time. The people that aren't in my life were not there when I could have needed them because they wanted to make sure they were never needed. They weren't needed. They aren't needed. Why talk about the weather with them? Why show up on holidays and pretend my aunts and uncles give a crap about me and mine? They don't don't and they are mean, rude, or just ignorant and usually its an unpleasant experience for me and mine. Why think I am going meet a stranger who will get me and who will bring me great joy each time we get together? My sisters get me like no one else ever will for better or worse. My time is filled quite nicely with the people I do like. I really don't need friends outside of family and the family I choose at my husband's workplace. Its okay to avoid relatives that are painful to deal with, but work things out with the best of the lot. I don't need a thing. I'm happy even.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/30/2016 at 6:33 PM, Melancholia_Personæ said:

I think that if I had friends then being exposed to other peoples thoughts, beliefs and ideas might make other people more tolerable. It might also remind me that people have flaws and that I should accept

The fact that you wrote this might indicate, on some level, you are already awake to the possibility that various attitudes might be tolerable. Anyway, it helped me be more aware, thanks.

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I can so relate...I don't have social phobias really, but I've painfully begun to realize it gets MUCH MUCH harder to make solid/quality friends esp as you get older. Especially if you move, live in a big city, finish college. All of my friends from around college/20's got married & had kids in their 30's and just disappeared. Too busy to reply to a short email, and so I figure WHY BOTHER???!! Some people I know can absorb themselves in TV or whatever (I hate TV), they have pets or spouse, family who takes up all of their time.

Sounds cheesy, but be your own best friend (I am still trying to learn this). Treat yourself special. talk to yourself or write yourself letters if need be!!! Take a walk in nature. I'm serious. Volunteering and going to Meetups is also crucial. Usually people that do these activities have time in their schedule and are interested in making new friends. It's tough to stick to it, initiate and keep going when you feel like you don't connect with anyone, but at least it increases your chances (unlike hiding in your apartment)

Appreciate, hold onto and cherish any old friends & family members who listen and are supportive of you. It is rare. It is unbearable at times when you are feeling bad/sick/depressed etc to have no one to talk to, no one who's around, no one who ever checks-in or even knows whether you come home at night. It's a lonely world! This is one reason I have come back again to these psych forums...There are so many people suffering and so many supportive/understanding souls here. And when you deal with mental illness - any kind of interaction can be a good thing (Even if it is only online/virtual!) A simple word of encouragement goes a long way.  All the best to you.

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On 7/12/2015 at 3:28 PM, carlossong said:

I talked to my tdoc about this. He said that we're social creatures and we need socialization. Too much socialization can be overwhelming.

Usually I like to go to a clubhouse to meet people a few times per month. I prefer to meet my close friends a few times per month. Once every 2 weeks is fine too.

For me, there is something as too much socialization.

I agree.  I don't like to go out and meet people at all, but if I happen to be in a conversation with a bunch of people unexpectedly, it can over-do my brain and I eventually start to stare, and just need to go home.

(I know you haven't posted this in over a year so FWIW ... )

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On 8/17/2015 at 2:10 AM, mcjimjam said:

I also have not had friends for years. I'm lonely but I find it stressful to deal with people and in the past none of my friendships have lasted. I just don't have the social skills to maintain friendships and keep them healthy. I don't know what I do wrong exactly so it is hard to change. I guess I'm not fun.

For me, being lonely is a lot better than being with people; less stress when alone.  None of my past friendships have lasted either.  I actually am not interested in seeing how they are today either.  (sorry for the really late response!)

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On 8/30/2016 at 7:33 PM, Melancholia_Personæ said:

I think that if I had friends then being exposed to other peoples thoughts, beliefs and ideas might make other people more tolerable

I understand your perspective.

For me though, (and this is most likely because of the SZA diagnosis) being exposed to other people's thoughts, beliefs, and ideas isn't the best thing for me (even good thoughts) because if I ever become delusional again, those people and their thoughts/beliefs/ideas would most likely become a part of the delusions in a negative way.  Maybe positive, but more likely to be negative.  and then I believe the negative thoughts, and eventually lose the friends because I would be listening to the voices. (Let this never happen again for me in my life).

Also, sometimes I don't want to even meet people and hear their voice because eventually their voice (whether I know them or not) will be a voice that I hear.

But I do understand what you are saying.

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1 hour ago, cloudmonger said:

I can so relate...I don't have social phobias really, but I've painfully begun to realize it gets MUCH MUCH harder to make solid/quality friends esp as you get older. Especially if you move, live in a big city, finish college. All of my friends from around college/20's got married & had kids in their 30's and just disappeared. Too busy to reply to a short email, and so I figure WHY BOTHER???!! Some people I know can absorb themselves in TV or whatever (I hate TV), they have pets or spouse, family who takes up all of their time.

Sounds cheesy, but be your own best friend (I am still trying to learn this). Treat yourself special. talk to yourself or write yourself letters if need be!!! Take a walk in nature. I'm serious. Volunteering and going to Meetups is also crucial. Usually people that do these activities have time in their schedule and are interested in making new friends. It's tough to stick to it, initiate and keep going when you feel like you don't connect with anyone, but at least it increases your chances (unlike hiding in your apartment)

Appreciate, hold onto and cherish any old friends & family members who listen and are supportive of you. It is rare. It is unbearable at times when you are feeling bad/sick/depressed etc to have no one to talk to, no one who's around, no one who ever checks-in or even knows whether you come home at night. It's a lonely world! This is one reason I have come back again to these psych forums...There are so many people suffering and so many supportive/understanding souls here. And when you deal with mental illness - any kind of interaction can be a good thing (Even if it is only online/virtual!) A simple word of encouragement goes a long way.  All the best to you.

First para in bold ... so very true.  When I was out of college and the MI stuff started, then I started to do better, even then all the friends from college had family and work and etc take up all of their time.  And yes, didn't have time to email back a short email.

Second para bold ... I don't think it is cheesy at all ... I agree with you ... everyone drifts off, doing their own thing.  And because I can't relate to them anymore, there they go.

Third para bold ... I completely agree with you.

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It is scary really....apart from my parents I have NO ONE who is there for me. I fear for the day that they are gone, I don't know how I will go on with no emotional support and dwindling finances. I can't afford $200 weekly Therapy appointments for the rest of my life. I struggle with keeping employment for any kind of long period. I have no savings or retirement money. Medications have not "cured" me by a longshot. Yes I've had friends that come & go (superficial friends who will join you for a drink or an event a few times per year, if it's convenient for them) but no one who has the capacity to listen, really "be there" if times get tough, or empathize with what we go through just to get through the day.

I've revealed to friends in a vague/light way that I've struggled with depression been on meds, testing the waters...but those "friends" always disappear. I've succumbed to not revealing the extent of my issues to anyone. You learn how to live a dual-life. This illness has become such a huge part of my identity...it's messy, ugly and devastating. how can I continue to push it down under the rug, act like everything is fine....smile, smile numbingly, and talk about the weather!?!!

There is still so much stigma about mental illness (despite the celebrities who have "come out" ) It's something that no one openly talks about. You are not protected in the workplace if you have mental issues, then you are declined by health insurance if you have seen therapists or been on meds. Discrimination at it's finest. People have their own "problems" and don't want to be exposed to more. It feels like a death sentence or solitary confinement at times.

Today there is not the awareness or support that other physical illnesses (such as Cancer) have. Many cancers are highly treatable (unlike mental illnesses which can constantly return tenfold). It really gets under my skin...Those who overcome cancer get LOADS of outpouring of support, sympathy, understanding, squads of cheerleaders rooting for them. They are given accolades for their mental strength & perseverance while those with mental illness suffer silently alone/isolated in a sort of eternal punishment for being a "lesser weak-willed person". The truth is mental illness takes the lives of many more people than physical diseases - it's about time they are seen as equal!

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2 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

I've revealed to friends in a vague/light way that I've struggled with depression been on meds, testing the waters...but those "friends" always disappear. I've succumbed to not revealing the extent of my issues to anyone. You learn how to live a dual-life. This illness has become such a huge part of my identity...it's messy, ugly and devastating. how can I continue to push it down under the rug, act like everything is fine....smile, smile numbingly, and talk about the weather!?!!

I've done the same, with the same outcome (they 'disappear').  You do learn to live a dual life, I agree with that.  I hate when someone who knows you have a MI sees you with your 'mask' on, and then they think you are doing better than you are.  That pisses me off too.  It is like a no-win situation.  No mask, people leave.  Mask, and the people who know you have a MI think you are doing better than you are (and then ... at least with me ... I have to tell that person why I had a 'mask' on, and that I am not doing as well as I seemed to be.  If that makes sense).

2 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

Today there is not the awareness or support that other physical illnesses (such as Cancer) have. Many cancers are highly treatable (unlike mental illnesses which can constantly return tenfold). It really gets under my skin...Those who overcome cancer get LOADS of outpouring of support, sympathy, understanding, squads of cheerleaders rooting for them. They are given accolades for their mental strength & perseverance while those with mental illness suffer silently alone/isolated in a sort of eternal punishment for being a "lesser weak-willed person". The truth is mental illness takes the lives of many more people than physical diseases - it's about time they are seen as equal!

Don't even get me started about cancer (specifically breast cancer) and the outpouring and support etc, and what they are given (see highlight in bold).  I think all cancer is equal, so I don't understand why people do all this stuff for pple with breast cancer, while other types of cancers get hardly any recognition (compared to the breast cancer) for.

I'm not going to say more about the cancer thing because it probably isn't appropriate for CB forums, but feel free to PM me to finish the conversation.  I have a good amount to say about it.

Anyway, sorry for the slight tangent.

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You make a really interesting point above that I have experienced all the time as well! It's very much a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation!

"I hate when someone who knows you have a MI sees you with your 'mask' on, and then they think you are doing better than you are.  That pisses me off too.  It is like a no-win situation.  No mask, people leave.  Mask, and the people who know you have a MI think you are doing better than you are (and then ... at least with me. I have to tell that person why I had a 'mask' on, and that I am not doing as well as I seemed to be.  If that makes sense). "

Totally makes sense. I have been experiencing this with significant others, my family etc. I put on the "Mask" because it makes me feel like I'm "trying harder" to be happy, relaxed, well adjusted, social or whatever but then it sort of backfires in that instance, because it's true - people think you are feeling so much better/you're more stable, when it's all just an act....

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On a related note, I think Facebook only encourages this social "Masking" on a massive level. No one ever posts anything real, about how they had a horrible day, a breakdown, challenges around life....Therapy...How they hate their job, need a friend to depend on, whatever. No one ever posts about feeling lonely...Family difficulties around the holidays. It's all a Happy/Manic sort of contest. It's easy to see why one begins to feel sub-human after reading all these happy exuberant posts...

I can't even look at Facebook anymore because of the constant "I'm so grateful for my perfect life" type posts, crafted Instagram shots where people look like models in exotic locations, never-ending saccharin life affirmations, Law of Attraction-type posts. "You always attract what you think about" (like a person's thoughts are the ONLY reason why tragedy or bad things happen to them, it's because they deserve it..) Total BS! I read something that really resonated with me the other day. The writer said " I didn't choose depression - depression chose me" People don't choose to be ill.

Edited by cloudmonger
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@cloudmonger  I am not on FB, and choose to not be on it, in part for reasons you mention. 

4 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

I read something that really resonated with me the other day. The writer said " I didn't choose depression - depression chose me" People don't choose to be ill.

I agree with this.

5 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

I have been experiencing this with significant others, my family etc. I put on the "Mask" because it makes me feel like I'm "trying harder" to be happy, relaxed, well adjusted, social or whatever but then it sort of backfires in that instance, because it's true - people think you are feeling so much better/you're more stable, when it's all just an act....

And the thing is, is that when you are explaining that you aren't doing as well as they saw, at least for me, they start to not believe me that I am really doing worse.  Then I'm told, well what is their to be depressed about?  and then get into all that shit.  Just because I look ok doesn't mean I am ok!  I hate living a dual life, but it has to be done. Unfortunately though, things like this come up, adding one more problem to deal with.

So when home, the mask is off.  My home is mine and is my space to be in, without my mask on.  As in leave me the fuck alone.  And thank goodness for caller ID!

Edited by melissaw72
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On 10/18/2016 at 6:16 AM, melissaw72 said:

I understand your perspective.

For me though, (and this is most likely because of the SZA diagnosis) being exposed to other people's thoughts, beliefs, and ideas isn't the best thing for me (even good thoughts) because if I ever become delusional again, those people and their thoughts/beliefs/ideas would most likely become a part of the delusions in a negative way.  Maybe positive, but more likely to be negative.  and then I believe the negative thoughts, and eventually lose the friends because I would be listening to the voices. (Let this never happen again for me in my life).

Also, sometimes I don't want to even meet people and hear their voice because eventually their voice (whether I know them or not) will be a voice that I hear.

But I do understand what you are saying.

Right on, I am the very same way, only I don't necessarily need to hear the voice. My mind can make up and assign voices to folks who's faces I've barely seen.

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  • 10 months later...

I feel that I do not have a lot in common with most people, so I don't go out of my way to make friends. And I don't want to get too chummy with the people at work, either. 

When I do get in social situations I can even pick up on that the other people realize that I am socially awkward, which makes it worse. Plus my SO is a social butterfly, which makes it THAT much harder. 

Most people in my life are more or less acquaintances anyway

 

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The thing that drive me crazy is that norms think we should be very sad. The thing is that i don't think that many of us would use this as how we feel.

. We feel unable to function. We feel that we are loosing our minds! We are unable to concentrate, engage with others or have the ability to remember a conversation we are currently in.  We feel we don't belong in this world, that the world and people will never accept us.

Even though this is how we feel it is difficult for norms to understand,

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  • 3 months later...

I can't function because of this and I isolate. I am in my late 30s and I haven't had friends since my college years.

It's very hard and disabling. I wish people wouldn't be so judgemental. My only friend is my family. :(

 

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On 7/11/2015 at 9:20 PM, lisa2712 said:

Hi,

I haven't had any friends since I was about 11, and I'm 32 now. Now, I try to make friends at my volunteer jobs, but people just ignore me, and it doesn't happen. I think that there's danger for someone who doesn't have any friends long-term (I mean 5 plus years of not having a friend, besides a family member). Yes, I have my mom and dad to talk with, but it isn't the same thing as having a friend who's around my age.

When I was a teen without friends, I turned to music for comfort and happiness. I used to totally fantasize about , idolize,  and adore singers and bands and any decent-looking male in the public eye.

I read that having friends to laugh with and have fun with is like a "pressure cooker" (is that the right word?), in that friends are like the holes in something that lets hot steam out, and without those "holes/friends" I can only imagine that a person would not be healthy and "normal" and would have tons of problems, which is what I am like. One guy said he'd go crazy if he didn't have any friends to blow steam off with. So, I wonder what not having friends has done to me. I can understand if many celebrity stalkers are people who chronically lack friends and/or have trouble making them, because this lack can lead to people worshiping, fantasizing about, and idolizing people who are in the public eye and who are attractive and popular.

Now, I try to make friends at volunteer jobs, but I'm totally ignored and left out, like I'm invisible.

Thanks,

Shana

I'm sure it's a risk factor; for what, I don't know though.

Throughout life, I've always maintained a handful of close friends. Right now, I have two people I would consider true friends – one I've known since 6th grade (am 37 years old now) and the other, his younger brother actually, I've been friends with for the last ten to fifteen years. I've had a few other close friends, but we fell or drifted apart at various points. So, suffice to say, I've not had a new friend in some time. Not for lack of desire or trying though, I would say. I think my social anxiety, depression, and general introverted-ness has definitely played a factor. I also think some logistical things have gotten in the way: working in a field and job that, while rewarding and certainly meaningful, it's very high stress, emotionally and physically draining, low paying (both from a cost of living point-of-view and especially for what we do/are asked to do), and functionally a dead end without pursuing an advanced degree or changing fields or jobs; and also still living with parents in my childhood home.

So, I guess, after that long-winded response I meant to say I'm sorry you're going through this and you're not alone.

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On 12/6/2019 at 6:23 PM, psychwardjesus said:

I'm sure it's a risk factor; for what, I don't know though.

It can definitely make the social anxiety and depression worse when you don't have any friends. All those crappy thoughts seem true because if you aren't worthless and loathsome then why are you alone? I was stuck thinking like that for a long time. The social anxiety and depression can make you want to isolate yourself, which can make you more anxious and depressed, which makes you want to isolate yourself even more and so on. They won't like me anyway, miserable weirdo that I am, so what's the point? So you push people away and never ever let anyone get close, because it'll just end in failure and rejection anyway. And that went on for many years - I'm alone and nobody likes me because I'm a piece of shit, and I did nothing to try to disprove this because the rejection which I thought was inevitable would've hurt even more.

I'm going to see Knives Out at the cinema next week with a friend. The first real-life friend I've made since I left school, and I moved soon after finishing school so I have been friendless for a long time. I haven't beaten those crappy thoughts completely but I'm now doing things which challenge them. Everyone hates me? Well she doesn't seem to, and she invited me to go and see this film with her. Being alone just gives those crappy thoughts more power to drag you down. And the moral of this boring story? Being alone is shit and it's not as impossible as it may seem to meet someone who likes you. Something like that.

Good that you have two true friends psychwardjesus. For us introverts it's the quality rather than the quantity which matters. Two close friends or 200 casual acquaintances? Don't mean to dismiss your problems with making new friends.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting TedTalk related to this. "The Strongest Predictor of How Long You Will Live"

The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it's not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy -- it's their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions.

It's not only close relationships, but overall social integration, think every little interaction you have every day: the postman, a neighbor, grocery clerk, a stranger on the bus or cafe, a smile from a stranger on the street. It all adds up:

https://ed.ted.com/featured/1fJ5KElL

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