Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Imagined isolation or not?

Community Member

Hi everyone !

hindsight is a wonderful thing hey people's? I should have done this or I should have done that kind of thoughts pass through my head at times and I wonder if I would have been different if I'd made other choices and been in a different position in life. I perceive myself as lonely in a crowded room too often to count, and it frustrates me how one minute I can be happy with the way I'm relaxed on my own, then go on a downer as if everyone has abandoned me just because at that moment I am alone while everyone gets on with their life without me. Then I blame myself....it must be me right? Then I feel mad and want to pull away even further from people. I don't socialise in person much at all, mainly one on one on phone and internet. So am I really as isolated as I feel ? Or the isolation is more a state of mind?

Thanks for hearing me...

13 Replies 13

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Forward Only (plus Chocka and the fishes I guess)~

I see you have already started out by helping others, that says a fair bit about you - thanks.

I guess yes you are isolated. You feel it. Being on the internet or phone is part of interacting with others, but only part. Enjoyment of fact to face contact is needed too.

You mentioned that sometimes you are relaxed on your own, then you change and feel the lack, wiht the idea everyone else is getting on wiht their lives and excluding you. OK, so the first part, chosen solitude, is fine, but the second part is isolation, something you sound as if you need to overcome. Not surprising really, most humans need others.

Maybe you have developed a pattern . I would not know why, but relying upon phone and internet sounds like you are avoiding face to face contact, at least when you want to feel more comfortable.

I think if it was me I'd suspect i needed help to interact with people and enjoy it. May I suggest that you not only talk here, where others understand from their own experiences, but have a long consultation with your GP and talk about this habit. It may be based upon anxiety, fear of rejection or something like that. I so not know, I'm no doctor. I do beleive it is worth a try.

If phone and internet are more comfortable then I'd expect over time you would use them more and rely upon them more too. As this can lead to more and more isolation perhaps you should be lookng to increase personal contact instead, and maybe medical help will make that easier.

What do you think?


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Forward only

Hello and welcome. I see Croix has already replied and suggested how you can get some help. I agree with him. I also agree with you, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I think it is a common pastime to wonder how your life would be different if you had done this or that. It's a question that will never have an answer and can cause you to become very dissatisfied with the life you have.

We do need face to face interactions with others. This is hard wired into us. Some need it more than others and it is OK to want to be on your own at times. I enjoy my 'me' time as well as being with others.

You have good insight for yourself. That's great because you know where the responsibility lies. I find large gatherings can be stressful. I have worked out how to manage these times which can make me feel distressed. Depending on the circumstances I can go home, go to a less crowded area, even go to the toilet to hide, so to speak, for a few minutes. This mini break from being with a lot of people can help me get my breath back. Have you noticed when you start to feel better?

Perhaps you can work out some strategies to help in these situations. It does depend on what is happening and how you feel at the time. May I suggest you develop some strategies of your own. I have avoided going to places at times because I think I may get overwhelmed. Maybe I would but not necessarily so. I think the more I avoid these situations the less I want to be with people. I think this is generally not a good idea.

You have told us your mood can change quite quickly from enjoyment to feeling lonely despite being with others. Do you feel panicky? I think it's a good start, as Croix has already suggested, that you see your GP and talk about your feelings. I would hate you to look back and wonder how different your life could have been if you had asked for help.

Please post in here as often as you wish and perhaps let us know the outcome of seeing your doctor if you want to reveal this.


Hi Croix! Thanks for your words and encouragement. It is anxiety over fear of rejection but after a lifetime of it, and I'm 53 btw, because of the way I am and of not living up to people's expectations, and my health letting me and others down in person, one eventually learns social avoidance to a large degree. I'm hoping being part of beyondblue while not curing me, will help me to cope better. What's that saying about grant me the courage to change what I can ? Just one thing...I've been told a lot about what I should do, but it's very rare that a professional or family say something that actually works. But I will keep your suggestions in mind.

Thank you Mary !

A lot of my socialising problems are tied in with experiences of socialising with family, critism of me, and being self aware they must be right yet not thinking it's fair to be expected to be who I'm not. I can be over sensitive to people's reactions to me in the way of sensing within a short space of time wether they would prefer not to have my company. I do have a few great friends who never make me feel like that but don't live locally. ...hence phone and internet.

Thanks Mary,

I'm a lifelong work in progress with little success, but my motto is to try and move forward only.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Forward only~

You were saying it was rare for a professional to say something that actually works and I can well understand that. I've basically had two types in many years of therapy. Those that say try this ... for those that prescribe actions and ways of thinking I've had mixed results. Some have been definitely too early in my recovery, admittedly though some have been helpful.

This other type has been the vast majority and wiht some exceptions for me it has helped consistently and considerably. Here I do most of the talking and they have made the occasional comment.

I don't really know why it helps so much, their comments have not been that profound, though occasionally it is a perspective that would not have occurred to me. I think it is something to do with the fact I can talk things over and when I do they come to seem reasonable in the circumstances, giving me confidence. Rapport is exceedingly important, at least for me.

Maybe you have simply not come across a psych who 'clicked' with you.

It is a pity your best friends are so far away. If your family is critical it does not mean they are right, in fact criticism is most often not. If someone thinks another is going down the wrong path then help and playing to their strengths is the proper way. That can take thought and effort though - criticizing is so much easier.


Thank you Croix ! All helpful especially your insight to critism from others....today is an ok with just a touch of guilt....Chocka hasn't lost weight this last week....I must be stronger and not give in to those pleading twinkling eyes for more than his fair share of lambstrips this week ! Hehe ! Hope you are having a good weekend !

Hello Forward only

You sound happier in your last post. It's good to hear. Who is Chocka? I gather a pet of yours, perhaps dog? I love having a dog in the house but since I came to live in my current home I have not had one. I imagine it's just as hard for an animal to lose weight as a human and I certainly know about that.

My experience with psychiatrists has been similar to Croix. I started going to one who was very concerned about me. I was in a very bad place. He insisted I saw him twice a week and would have put me in hospital if I had medical insurance. Public hospitals are so often full up. But then he wanted me to take sick leave. How was I going to cope with myself 24/7 on my own when I had enough trouble trying to stay safe during the time I was not at work? We compromised and I worked four hours a day. He was someone who listened to me and asked the questions I did not want to answer. Looking back he kept me safe and trying, often successfully, to get me to talk did work. I was never much good at CBT.

The various shades of psychiatrist/psychologist/counsellor all have different approaches to mental health. My only comment is that they must recognise when something is not working and try a different way. However I felt safe in this psych's office so I had a bit of respite.

I also agree with Croix about criticism. It's easy to tell someone to 'pull up your socks, you're not really ill, it's time you got better'. Sometimes they may be genuine in their concern but do not actually have time for you to tell them how you feel. So sad. I also believe it's because mental ill health is still a scary thing. All the old beliefs are still around for so many people. Putting the spotlight on mental health I think is helping everyone to see that we are not going to turn into monsters when there is a full moon. When public figures 'come out' it is so good for the community at large.

If you get a chance speak out.


Wow Mary ! I loved reading your reply ! You telling me your story put things in perspective as to where you are coming from to connect your reply from me, and having a quick think, I guess with me, the few times I've had professional help, I haven't felt like I've been heard properly leaving me feeling dissatisfied, withdrawing more, MORE isolated, and like I don't deserve help because no one in my eyes has worked out on my behalf how to fix me. Instead I've come to the conclusion it's better for me not to see psychologists etc because the last one wouldn't listen to me at all as regards why I was there and I didn't see the point of getting dragged through the mud over past relationships when I was wanting to be assessed about now and how I'm coping with everyday living, or not, as it is lol I mean cleaning cooking and personal hygiene in the now...what has that to do with relationships way back in the past ? It's my health that is to do with being independent, I'm not interested in what went wrong in padt relationships because I'm not in one and not likely to have another one ! Sorry...going round in circles...time to change the subject and have a smoke and get back to happy thoughts lol. What is CBT ? Yes you should be able to see my profile pic of chocka now??

Community Member

Beyond blue, could you give me step by step instructions where I go once I click on "visit forums" from main page of your site, to be Ble to create a NEW post please ? A hi everyone that's feeling alone this weekend ! Isn't it great we have this outlet to communicate thought the weekend ! How you all doing? ...that type of thing....although I'll probable forget those words by the time you tell me how to do it lol

Forward only