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Roxy

Getting Depressed The More Socially You Do To Try To Improve?

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Roxy

I feel really down at the minute.. I don't have many friends, family or relationship.. and when I look at other people they atleast have SOMEONE there for them.. 

I'm trying really hard volunteering to improve but I'm thinking I'll never be like other people with relationships, friends etc who I see around.. I know this sounds selfish but the more I see people happy in relationships etc the more it makes me sad about my own life as I yearn for that..

Sorry I'm just really low at the minute and wondering if anyone can relate? I don't know how to improve, I want to meet people but have no idea how.. 

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Peridot

I think in order to meet people naturally, you need to have your life/career on track. I'm sure you have interests/a passion. Pursue that. That's what you'd normally do anyway...and it's inevitable to encounter people along the way.

Sooo many people met "at work". A lot of these celebrities for instance, they've all got partners who are celebrities as well. So many times I've heard of couples consisting of people who have shared interests etc.

Me, I'm stuck in the harbor, if you will. My career never took off. I don't have job... In my country we say that someone in this type of situation "missed the boat". So now I'm fated to hang around in the harbor pretty much by myself.

Maybe that's what you/we can/should do; look for people who are also "alone", you know? People who are in the same boat as us, so to speak. ;)

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TheWizardofCalculus
2 hours ago, Roxy said:

I feel really down at the minute.. I don't have many friends, family or relationship.. and when I look at other people they atleast have SOMEONE there for them.. 

I'm trying really hard volunteering to improve but I'm thinking I'll never be like other people with relationships, friends etc who I see around.. I know this sounds selfish but the more I see people happy in relationships etc the more it makes me sad about my own life as I yearn for that..

Sorry I'm just really low at the minute and wondering if anyone can relate? I don't know how to improve, I want to meet people but have no idea how.. 

I hate to say this because it's not very good advice (largely because it's categorically not advice), but I think that the extent to which you can socialize, interact with people, and succeed in life really depends on the person, which is true of autistic and non-autistic peoples alike.  On the spectrum, I think that this presents the additional obvious challenges.

In terms of romantic relationships, I'm not really sure that's the best situation to go into from not having had friends.  In terms of friends, I would encourage you to try.  I would suggest that you look for local clubs based on things you're interested in, and go from there.  I don't think I had functioning social skills until I was in my early 20's, and that was after a lot of effort during high school and particularly early college.  It's something that takes a while to develop (and involves bumps and bruises, at least to your ego), but it is quite useful and rewarding.

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PandaPrincess

Yes, I can relate completely.  It hurts so much to see how everyone else just seems to click together and form deep, lasting bonds with each other while I can't.  I try to reach out to people and maintain friendships, but it feels like they are getting tired of me and want nothing more to do with me.  I just don't understand other people anymore, and they don't understand me either.  The only thing that makes me happy, and by happy, I mean temporarily lifting those dark thoughts, is playing video games, reading books, watching shows and movies, basically any type of fantasy world that will take me away from the real world.

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Sanctuary

I definitely empathise with your situation Roxy. AS does make it harder to build social relationships and so you mustn't be hard on yourself. There are certainly people with AS who have friends and partners so your situation can definitely change but it takes time. What should be avoided is trying to force the issue in order to make friends or find a partner, e.g. trying to seem socially confident and extrovert when you don't feel that way. As others have mentioned it's fine to put yourself into a social situation to do employment, volunteering or learning. In these cases the principal aim is work or learning and social contact is a consequence. In these situations I would recommend - although I know it's a cliché and not always easy to do - "be yourself". If you feel more comfortable being quiet and keeping a low profile then do that; if you do feel more confident you can be more outgoing but don't feel you have to be social. Other people can value someone more who quietly and politely gets about their business than another who always seems to be trying to impress or force themselves upon others. This approach doesn't necessarily mean that friendships will follow but the social contact can still be beneficial and can certainly take your mind off your worries.

8 hours ago, PandaPrincess said:

The only thing that makes me happy, and by happy, I mean temporarily lifting those dark thoughts, is playing video games, reading books, watching shows and movies, basically any type of fantasy world that will take me away from the real world.

Pursuing your interests in this way can be very beneficial, both in its own right but also to take your mind off other concerns. While we all need some social contact and relationships we also need to value our own company. Being alone can be difficult at times but it is also a great opportunity to pursue our interests in the ways that we want and when we want to do them.

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Roxy
10 hours ago, PandaPrincess said:

Yes, I can relate completely.  It hurts so much to see how everyone else just seems to click together and form deep, lasting bonds with each other while I can't.  I try to reach out to people and maintain friendships, but it feels like they are getting tired of me and want nothing more to do with me.  I just don't understand other people anymore, and they don't understand me either.  The only thing that makes me happy, and by happy, I mean temporarily lifting those dark thoughts, is playing video games, reading books, watching shows and movies, basically any type of fantasy world that will take me away from the real world.

 

It's so hard to keep pushing yourself.. when you don't have anyone it's like what's the point? might aswell be dead as this is not living but just surviving and don't need the pain.. Most people and NT's I've met atleast have SOMEONE, a best friend, a family member, a relationship, kids, a career.. I think if they never had those things they would ALSO get depressed and be suicidal.. and that's nothing to do with Aspergers - having that added on extra makes things even harder to meet people !

 

I have such a loving heart and nature, and don't understand why other people are so cold when I try to reach out, they look at me like I'm a piece of dirt on their shoes.. it's hurtful =( 

If theres a god or whatever, I hope he understands I'm trying my best... 

Edited by Roxy

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Harrow

@Roxypeople do care and you'll find those people in the most unsuspecting place. 

Don't give up 

 

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Nesf

I think that the best advice is that given by previous posters who say not to try to push yourself too hard, not to force it, to try and appear natural and let your personality shine through. Don't try to act NT, just be yourself. People will like you more when they see that you are genuine and are getting the real deal. Also, it's a good idea to base socialising round activities rather than going out for coffee or drink, because then the conversation is going to be round that activity and you're not trying to think of things to say all the time. Sometimes it works to suggest activities to people, perhaps you could suggest to the people you volunteer with to go to the cinema or something like that - you don't need to talk so much if you watch a movie.

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Roxy

I feel better since I didn't go to my volunteering today 

 

I think my way of dealing with my depression and loneliness is to shut myself off from the world and I can cope.. it's less painful. Anyone relate to that? 

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Gone home

I think sometimes it good to have 'time out' alone. A space where we don't need to defend ourselves and our vulnerabilities. 
Equally, sometimes doing something we don't want to do (work etc.) can be motivating and strengthening at times.

Edited by Gone home
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Nesf
3 hours ago, Roxy said:

I feel better since I didn't go to my volunteering today 

 

I think my way of dealing with my depression and loneliness is to shut myself off from the world and I can cope.. it's less painful. Anyone relate to that? 

I deal with depression by keeping myself busy, giving myself small projects to work on such as tagging music files, giving myself small treats. Over the years I've learned that most people are basically selfish, they look after themselves first and then look to other people if it suits them. I keep myself to myself and don't expect much from people so I don't get disappointed.

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RiRi

I read in a self-help book once that when we're depressed we tend to look at the things we don't have instead of looking at the things we have. I think it's true because I know I have a lot more things than say a homeless person, etc. I can think of some examples. There are also the times when we feel like we have no one, but we do. For instance, you have yourself.

I agree with posters who have said to be yourself and that ways to meet new people are things like pursuing your career or work. May I ask what has made you feel like you're "a piece of dirt in their shoes?" I've felt like you have too sometimes. Have people treated you badly in the past? Can you describe a situation?

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PandaPrincess

I think that I deal with it by keeping busy.  Usually, I go to work, which helps a lot.  Sometimes I don't have work though, which means I have a lot of unstructured time to myself, and it's hard to deal with.  I usually try to make videos for my gaming channel though during my free time.  I need to get back into doing artwork again.  It's really tough.  Talking to friends usually helps a lot too.  When I isolate myself, I am alone with my thoughts.  

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Roxy

I think for me, going out into the World when I'm depressed and seeing everyone else happy, couples laughing etc.. just makes me realise how much my own life sucks.. if that makes sense? and that makes me feel worse... 

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Sanctuary

There's no doubt that sometimes social contact and going out into the wider world can cause stress and unhappiness. Often we are happiest in our own company. However the worst scenario of all is to be alone and doing nothing except brood over unhappiness. Whether in company or alone the most important thing is to have the mind occupied on something constructive - ideally something that is satisfying but, if that's not possible, some task that keeps the mind focused and prevents it from wandering onto more negative territory. None of this is easy or always works but it is possible and everyday new and fulfilling things can be done.

I would also add - although again it is difficult - it's important to avoid making comparisons with other people. Our target should simply be to improve on our personal performance in some way, however small. It's always satisfying to look back and feel that we have improved even a little on something we've done, or to give ourselves credit for doing something new. It doesn't matter what other people have done because we are not them and they are not us. We need to measure ourselves against our own standards.

Edited by Sanctuary
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Roxy
24 minutes ago, Sanctuary said:

There's no doubt that sometimes social contact and going out into the wider world can cause stress and unhappiness. Often we are happiest in our own company. However the worst scenario of all is to be alone and doing nothing except brood over unhappiness. Whether in company or alone the most important thing is to have the mind occupied on something constructive - ideally something that is satisfying but, if that's not possible, some task that keeps the mind focused and prevents it from wandering onto more negative territory. None of this is easy or always works but it is possible and everyday new and fulfilling things can be done.

I would also add - although again it is difficult - it's important to avoid making comparisons with other people. Our target should simply be to improve on our personal performance in some way, however small. It's always satisfying to look back and feel that we have improved even a little on something we've done, or to give ourselves credit for doing something new. It doesn't matter what other people have done because we are not them and they are not us. We need to measure ourselves against our own standards.

That's true I agree. Our definition of success has to be different to NT's.. our potential has a different ceiling. 

 

We can overcome and outdo ourselves, but you can't measure us against NT's in terms of saying it's a failure not getting a job, relationship etc.

Edited by Roxy
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