Mental illnesses are hard to understand and they eat up the victim in different ways without the one realizing it. Everybody has a different coping mechanism, while some try to talk about their problems and seek medical & professional help, the slightly less fortunate ones are left alone with their thoughts. It is this “harmless” thinking that often leads to making the person feel sadder than before. In this course of events, an individual finds himself stuck in this vicious circle where they don’t respond to texts, return calls and completely shut themselves in a cocoon for the outside world.
The question that strikes anybody’s mind at this point is how healthy this is and is isolation the only answer?
WHAT DOES ISOLATION LOOK LIKE?
It seems pretty obvious when one reads this word. It simply means, staying away from people in your life, right? Well, the answer to that is partially correct. Social isolation doesn’t necessarily mean isolating yourself from people but it implies the lack of genuine interaction with the outside world. For e.g.: one might be attending all my classes in the university and still avoid people and healthy conversations.
WHEN AND WHY DOES A PERSON FIND THE NEED TO ISOLATE THEMSELVES?
Humans have the tendency to feel that they are unique and that their pain is special to them. Our generation takes pride in being sad and depressed, we think it makes us cool but that’s not the case. We start believing that our experiences and misery make us different and therefore forget to communicate about the bedlam that is going on in our head with others because we ASSUME that they won’t understand it and choose to suffer alone and we end up isolating ourselves.
WHAT DOES ISOLATION FEELS LIKE?
Imagine going to a party where you know nobody except a close friend and you just want to spend your entire team with them. You go to that party because of them and try everything in your power to steal moments with them. The difference however is that the party is your life and that close friend is YOU! That is exactly how isolation feels like, you are your only companion and you want to spend all your time with yourself but not in a positive manner.
WHAT ARE THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS TO IDENTIFY SOCIAL ISOLATION?
- Losing interest in conversations: This is the most apparent way a person can become self-conscious about turning the hiatus mode on. If you ever find your mind wandering to far off places in the midst of a conversation but on a regular basis then you might have already started isolating yourself.
- Losing productivity: A person tends to become lethargic once they start distancing themselves from the real world.
- The feeling of not being “enough”
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO COMBAT ISOLATION?
Virginia Woolf in one of her books quoted, “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” This should be the general outlook a person should bear in their mind. No battle can be fought alone and everything in this world is tolerable if only you have the right amount of courage. Never ever underestimate communication as a tool, it can bring about a lot of changes. Isolation is never the answer, it only leads to making you lonelier and sadder.
We all are in this fight together and until we find a tactile solution to this we all support each other and lend our ears to the ones in need.
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