"Depression isolation" - i.e. isolating yourself from others when you feel depressed - is something that's extremely, extremely common. And, this is particularly the case when a person is in the "Storm Zone" of The Depression Project's "Storm To Sn Framework".
As you can see in the image above, a person can be said to be in the "Storm Zone "when their depression is at its worst - i.e. when it feels like there's a storm raging in their mind. When someone with depression in this Zone:
They’re usually being bombarded with negative thoughts; those negative thoughts are at their most distorted, negative and catastrophic; and that person is at their most attached to those negative thoughts (i.e. more so than at any other time, they believe them to be true).
The difficult, painful emotions that someone feels when they’re depressed are at their most intense – i.e. they're feeling at their most miserable, worthless, unmotivated, numb, irritable, angry, ashamed, lonely, misunderstood, isolated, regretful, hopeless, and/or filled with grief, for example.
Their ability to function is significantly compromised – to such an extent that fulfilling their day-to-day responsibilities can feel unmanageable (and often are); and even simple tasks like getting out of bed or having a shower may feel like climbing a mountain.
In the “Storm Zone”, it’s common for someone to feel so miserable, broken, and hopeless that they aren't able to envision the storm ever passing.
And, because the symptoms of depression are so severe in the Storm Zone, it also means that someone in the Storm Zone is much, much less likely to want to spend time with other people than they otherwise would.
In fact, below are 20 reasons why people with depression often isolate themselves when they're in the Storm Zone.
Depression Isolation: 20 Reasons Why People With Depression Isolate Themselves When They're In The Storm Zone
To process complex emotions.
They want to "protect" the people they love from their symptoms.
They're in "survival mode", and are therefore having to use all of their energy just to get by.
They're hypersensitised to their environment.
They need time to recharge their batteries.
They're completely and utterly exhausted.
They don't want anyone to see them at their worst.
They feel unworthy of support.
They need to be in their "safe space".
They want to avoid having a meltdown and embarrassing themselves in public.
They don't want to burden others with their suffering.
They need to decompress.
They don't know how to talk about their depression.
They fear judgment.
They feel disconnected from the world around them.
They can't get pleasure out of anything - including spending time with their loved ones.
They shame themselves into isolation.
They don't want to disappoint the people that love them.
They don't have the energy to fake a smile and pretend they're OK.
If You Have Depression Yourself
If you have depression yourself and you can relate to the above, our friend, then please know that you are NOT alone - because like we've said, "depression isolation" is really, really common.
Additionally, if you ever want any help to get through your depression, then please also know that The Depression Project has lots of different resources to help you, including:
Our ground-breaking Storm To Sun Framework - which can help you to understand your depression properly, know exactly what you need to do to get better, and make it much easier for you to get support from your loved ones.
Our Depression School - where through our books and online courses that are created by therapists, we'll teach you the strategies you need to know to get better.
Daily Depression Support & Encouragement - Each day, we'll email you an uplifting quote to give you some extra support and encouragement to help you through it.
Your Very Own Depression Letter - To make it easier for your loved ones to understand and support you, we've drafted a letter which you can use as a template to explain to your loved ones exactly what depression feels like, as well as the ways in which they can support you through it.
If You DON'T Have Depression Yourself
If you don't have depression yourself but you have loved ones who do, then please don't take it personally if they choose to isolate themselves from you.
Like we hope you now understand, there are many reasons why someone with depression may engage in self-isolation - but it's NOT because they're rude or because they don't care about you.
It's because when they're in the Storm Zone, they feel mentally-, emotionally-, physically- and spiritually drained; and exhausted, broken and unable to function.
Please try to realise this, and instead of taking it personally, try to reach out to them using one of these methods to let them know you're there for them, and learn the best ways to support them when they're in the Storm Zone as well.
All our ❤️,
The Depression Project.