Depression is a disorder of the central nervous system. The most likely cause is low levels of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Depression can be treated with medication, psychotherapy and behavioral interventions. A person who has had one episode of depression is at risk of having additional episodes. Symptoms of depression include sad, low or empty mood, changes in sleep or appetite, thoughts of death or suicide and withdrawal from people or sources of support such as Alcoholics Anonymous groups. There are many reasons why people with depression may choose to withdraw from others.
There is a certain amount of stress that is natural in social situations. Keeping a conversation going, for example, or attempting to conceal a bad mood. Many people feel that by avoiding the stress of socialization, they will improve their depression. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way. Isolation actually increases the brain's stress response. Reaching out to trusted friends and family can decrease stress and provide the emotional support that people need to work their way through depression and come out on the other side.
Lack of Interest
When friends get together, they often make plans to do an activity. These might include exercising together, attending a new movie, eating out or just sitting down to chat. People who are depressed, however, tend to experience a lack of interest and pleasure in activities, even ones that they previously enjoyed. It is important to remember that depression is frequently called a disease of motivation. This means that if a person can force him or herself to begin an activity, he or she may come to find it tolerable or even enjoyable. Sometimes the best way to start an activity is to plan one with others, because this makes is harder to back out. It may also be wise to choose a short, simple activity than a longer one.
It is not uncommon for people with a mental health disorder like depression to suffer from substance abuse as well. People may avoid their loved ones because they may be embarrassed at the the thought of people they love and respect seeing them drunk or high. People who withdraw from their loved ones, though, may be even more likely to drink or use drugs from sheer boredom or loneliness. In addition, people who suspect they may be developing a substance abuse problem should look into treatment programs for additional support and socialization.
Depression and withdrawal from others often go hand in hand. There are many reasons why people who are depressed may back away from friends and loved ones. The depression is likely to resolve itself faster, though, if the depressed person makes an effort to interact with others on a regular basis.