Making Friends After Mental Health
I had a serious and unfortunately very public mental health crisis. As a result I've lost all of my friends due to my weird behaviour when suffering from psychosis.
3 years later I'm thankfully much better mentally and have managed to continue working in my profession as an engineer.
My social life however is awful.
Due to the industry that I work in, it's widely known that I went through a crisis, and making meaningful friendships at work is impossible. I'm not a sporty person (no energy for it) but I do like to socialise...despite having social anxiety.
I've tried joining groups but never seem to meet people that I click with who are also keen to make friends (most go out to hook up it seems)
I'm terribly lonely, with no support network on this side of the world apart from my psychiatrist. Despite going through a serious mental health crisis I would consider myself relatively back to normal - Although prone to deppresive phases - usually entered around my existential lonliness.
I'm based in Perth Australia and would love some advice as to how to go about building a social circle, that doesn't require joining a sports club or volunteer work?
Hi Tough it out,
I'm very sorry to hear about the challenges you've faced, but it's heartening to know you've made significant progress in your mental health journey, it's definitely worth to celebrate. Rebuilding a social circle, especially in a professional environment where people are already aware of your past struggles, can be difficult, but it's certainly not impossible.
Since sports clubs are not your preference, how about considering joining groups based on other interests you might have? For example, book clubs, art classes, music groups, cooking classes, or technology and engineering meetups. These settings often provide a more relaxed environment to meet people with similar interests. Local libraries sometimes may host author talks, book discussions, or other community events, which can be a great place to meet people in a more intellectual setting.
You can also try to look for non-sport related community classes or workshops in your area. These could be related to hobbies like photography, gardening, cooking. These are great ways to meet people in a learning environment, which can take off some of the social pressure.
Given your history with mental health, participating in mindfulness or meditation groups can be dual-purpose – aiding your personal well-being and providing an opportunity to meet others.
Hope these ideas help a bit.
Hey thanks for your response Mark. I guess part of the problem is I don't have that many interests outside of writing and video games. Possibly down to residual depression.
To give you an idea of the sort of thing I'm after - I attended a couple of AA meetings - I was hoping there might be something similar for people who have recovered from mental health issues (I'm not an alcoholic - I just went because I was lonely)
I've also considered getting advice from a social couch...but they don't seem to exist in Australia?
Hi Tough it out
Perth can be tough with the everyone knows everyone mentally. I am sure many others have been through at least a small feeling of what you have been through and attitudes are changing around mental health. Sounds like you have done a huge amount of work yourself and found a way back to a “normal” what ever that is for anyone.
I have struggled socially a great deal since arriving in Perth, I have VERY limited interactions. I just joined a meetup group and got the courage to go, I pretty much stayed on my own but got into a couple of quick hello nice to meet you chats and then left, that was all I was up too then. I am actually looking forward to the next one even though right now I could not face it.
If you can that could be a good place to start. Or forum chats could be a way, you have reached out here and on line friends could be a first step depending what you are looking for.
I have no interest in socialising with people from work. I spend too much time with them as it is 😉
Hi Tough it out,
Thanks for your reply.
Since you're interested in writing, joining a writing group or attending writing workshops can be a great way to meet like-minded individuals. These groups often involve sharing work, providing feedback, and sometimes just discussing literature or writing techniques.
There should be, from my understanding, local and online communities for video game enthusiasts. These can range from casual gaming groups to more structured clubs that organise events or gaming nights. Check out local gaming stores or online forums for groups in Perth.
I believe social coach or similar service exists in Australia. I don't have relative resource, but I suggest you to give Beyondblue hotline a call or have an online chat with them. They will provide you professional guidance to access the resource you need.