Humans have a profound need to connect with others and gain acceptance into social groups People form bonds readily and organize much of their behavior around establishing and maintaining those bonds. Further, people suffer when relationships deteriorate and social bonds are severed. Although feeling disconnected from others and experiencing a lack of belonging bothers everyone, depressed people may be particularly sensitive to these painful social encounters
Social Connections: WHY THEY’RE IMPORTANT
Avoiding social contact is a common pattern you might notice when falling into depression. Some people skip activities they normally enjoy and isolate themselves from the world. Others turn to alcohol or junk food to mask their pain and unhappiness.
Researchers have found that joining or being part of a social group can alleviate depression and prevent re-occurrence and the more the contributions of those who suffer this ailments, the better the results. Many patients said the groups made them feel supported because everyone was “in it together.” They were no longer lonely, no feelings of self-hate, antisocial feelings and lack of enthusiasm for living.
Although maintaining relationships with friends and family can be an effective way of dealing with depression symptoms, it also can be one of the toughest things for a person with depression to do. “One of the common symptoms of depression is social isolation,” says Jennifer L. Payne, MD, PhD, assistant professor and co-director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
However, it depends on the willingness of the patient whether he or she is ready to get off the ailment.
For example: The patients either joined a community group with activities such as sewing, yoga, sports and art, or partook in group therapy. Those who did not identify strongly with the social group had about a 50 percent likelihood of continued depression a month later. But of those who developed a stronger connection to the group and who came to see its members as “us” rather than “them,” less than a third still met the criteria for clinical depression after that time.
So If you fell depression coming on Get active, see friends and family. Make new friends, Join a Zumba, reading, cooking, hiking or biking group just get buzy moving to chase that depression away.