Depression, extraordinary loneliness – need to talk to anyone!

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    Hi guys and gals,

    This is only my second post on here and i only just found this site, but I could really use some of your opinions. Whoever you are I would REALLY appreciate hearing from you.

    Unfortunately I have no friends and have never had any close ones really. I am a 20 year old guy in college (though I live at home). I have so many “nevers” under my belt i am falling into depression.

    I never kissed a girl, had sex, went to a concert, went on a road trip, been abroad, gone to a party, gone to a club, hung out with friends in my teens (or my new found twenties),went to my graduation or prom, been drunk etc etc etc etc…..

    Last year I had finished my first year in uni as a result you get FOUR MONTHS off! This length of time is far too much for me. I was basically isolated the entire time. I started to realize how alone i was and since then i have been falling deeper and deeper into depression.
    I am just SO lonely, i understand this is my fault (we cant keep sugar coating it, some of us just aren’t fun people) but still it feels like torture to be abandoned by everyone. yesterday i just lay awake till 5 am thinking about how awful i feel. I thought that if there was a switch beside my bed that i could flick to end it all i would be pretty tempted to hit it.

    The problem is I have Avoidant Personality Disorder, i have not been to a psychiatrist or anything but am 90% sure. This means i physically cant socialize or go out of my comfort zone. As a result i CANT talk to people i dont know,CANT go looking ofr a job, CANT even go to get a haircut.

    What can someone in my position do, i hae tried motivating myself but nothing works and i cant go to a psychiatrist for help because of the disorder itslef. I may just seem like words on a webpage but behind them is a real human being who genuinely cant cope, i would love some advice beyond just stay positive or be outgoing. Even just say whats on you mind if you cant think of advice, i could use the company.


    Susan C

    Your post has made me feel so sad. You are only 20 and you have COMPLETED YOUR 1ST YEAR AT UNI! You really do have a whole lifetime of experiences, growth, change and happiness ahead of you
    I know it doesn’t feel like that now. You are in a very deep dark hole which just seems impossible to climb out of. But please recognise your achievements. You are succeeding in college this gives you purpose & opportunity. Well done! I don’t want to dismiss your self diagnosis of a personality disorder but it doesn’t add up that you have functioned successfully through school and now college. Why couldn’t you do the same in the workplace? I don’t know how you have diagnosed yourself but you know what they say about Dr Internet… The most minor ailments can look like terminal illness. Please consider talking to someone about this who can offer sustained support. Your parents? I know if you were my son I would hate to think of you feeling so alone in your room. Or is there a cos ell or at college? Reaching out for help is the hardest thing but you have done it here. It is so brave to reach out with such honesty. I know how hard it is to seek help having suffered depression myself and wanting to “flick the switch” just like you. I did get therapeutic help and 20 odd years later I think often how close I came to not seeing those years and the rest that are ahead of me. I breathe a sigh of relief most days that I am still here and the world seems like such a different place than it did then. What I’m trying to say is as much as you can’t see it now there is HOPE for a good future.
    It’s not a disaster to have a “not done” list at 20 you have plenty of time to fulfil lists. Just make your to do list one that is personal to you and not one “society” tells you you should have ticked off by such a such age. Make a have done list instead.. I’m sure it’ll have more on it than you think… And so what if you don’t kiss a girl till you’re 30 say? How sweet will that kiss be… If you give up now your Haven’t done list will stay just that. Congratulate yourself on what you have done. There is a solution for you out there… you just might need a little help finding it.
    With warmth love and optimism


    Hi Dermot,
    I want to acknowledge all that you have said. What’s wrong with having a disorder? Who made up the rule that once you leave your door you HAVE to socialize? You don’t. If you have trouble connecting to people, then don’t, at least for now, forget it. Connect with nature; connect with trees, flowers, connect with the sun and feel the warmth of mother nature. You have four months? Learn how to meditate and connect with your breath. What is wrong with being yourself? I am telling you, nothing!

    Exercise really helps with fighting depression, and is something you can do in your own comfortable space. There are lots of fitness videos online, just pick one and follow it. You will be surprised what changes it can bring, but not in a day or two, give it 2 weeks. I had depression and I know sometimes it can be tough just to get up from a chair. If that’s the case you can start with 10 push-ups on every hour mark, or 5 even. Just get your hands to push 5 times per hour! The key is persistence.

    My first kiss came long after 20. Guess what? My “not done” list just kept growing anyways. You have to realize on the other side of “not done” list there is a “done” list, and you just added one to it -> “write my story online”. Take out a pen and paper, list out what else you have done already, you may be surprised.



    Thanks for the tips guys, I really appreciate you just reading the post and typing up a response. It always helps to here people like you two trying to help.

    Susan I get what you mean and i am very young, however I have been like this since i was 12. I just can’t cope and year after year i thought it would change. It starts to seem hopeless now. I mean i cant think of a single memory i had outside of school in the last 8 years with friends….nothing! Its as if those years are just erased and i dont think i can change. I mean i am at the point where if i was lucky enough to be out with friends and i met a girl who was all over me and sending clear signals she wants me, i just think i would ignore them, its too terrifying to end up making a fool of myself.

    TT i appreciate your tip of exercising and am going to do the push up idea. I actually bought some stuff to work out with but have felt to depressed to do anything…it is so hard to do something with depression.

    And to both of you guys, unfortunately my list does not become as big as you would think. Besides academics (which i aint great at but at least i did something i suppose) i genuinely cant think of anything……………..at all!

    My problem feels like it borders on agorophobia sometimes….i struggle to go outside not due to the open spaces but because it is outside my routine and comfort zone and just being around people i feel out of place.


    Hi Dermot, I just came across your thread out of chance (i didn’t even know tiny buddha had forums until a minute ago) and I felt compelled to create an account to offer my two cents.

    I know people always say things like “I’ve been through it” or “I know how you feel” and it feels like it’s not true or that they think they understand. I don’t know you or the full spectrum of your struggle, but what you said really spoke to me because I’ve dealt with similar issues and I was at a really low and dark place for many, many years. After 7th grade I started a new school and this is where the worst of it began. I was in a foreign country, I felt completely isolated, I missed being surrounded by my language and at school I was heavily bullied and tormented by all the men in my class every single day. It was really unsafe where I was living so I was never allowed to go outside or hang out with everyone. I would literally be driven to school and then back to the house when it was over. I was terrified of how dangerous it was and I could not even go out for a walk around the block. I was completely focused on my studies as it was the only thing that I had at that time. I felt so helpless, low and useless. I would spend all morning and afternoon at school being told I was worthless, that no one cared about me, etc they would also get somewhat physical at times and throw things at me so I was also constantly scared for my safety inside of school as well. I wasn’t going to parties or doing all of the stereotypical things we all assume teens are/should be doing. I would cry myself to sleep more times than I care to remember and there were periods of months at a time when I would go completely numb and just sit in class or at home completely out of it desperately hoping for the feeling to end.

    I can honestly say that I used to believe in my heart it would never end and I’d be isolated, misunderstood and alone forever. That i’d be stuck in the same headspace and desperate feeling forever. Let’s not even talk about self love because there was 0 confidence after 6 years of constant, daily verbal abuse. This all drew me to isolate myself even more. I was always quiet around strangers and I would avoid eye contact with everyone. I would rush in and out of places so I could get back to what felt like a safer place. I was so deep in my comfort zone that it’s boundaries were a small dot in the distance. It also cause my problems with overthinking to reach new heights.

    It makes me so sad to read what you are going through because I’ve felt those things too. I wish I had the solution that would fix it all instantly. I also wish I could put into words my journey and transition from that horrible place to the completely different person I am today. I don’t recognize myself at all, and that is a great thing! What i want you to take away from this is that I want you to know and to truly believe that there is hope and that you can get through this. I am almost 22 and I haven’t done any of the things you have listed but those experiences are not a measure of our worth and they don’t determine how happy we would be had we already done them. There isn’t just one thing to be done that can get us through these struggles, it’s a constant journey of daily ups and downs and focusing our energy on things we enjoy and fulfill us. I have discovered some activities I love and make me feel like myself like exercising, meditation, drawing and reading. Try to enrich yourself from within. And whatever you do, please don’t be hard on yourself for not being who you think you should be or pressure yourself for not making progress “fast enough”. You are doing the best you can, so be kind to yourself. I know it may sound silly but it’s the most important thing we can do four ourselves. Find kindness and compassion towards yourself. You are in this painful and difficult journey, yet you are carrying the heaviest of loads daily. It’s courageous to get up every day when we know the exact pain and struggle we have ahead of us. Even if you don’t see it now, i am proud of you for it and you should be too.

    I know this reply probably isn’t what you were looking for, so I’m sorry if you don’t find it useful – I just hope it can help you in some way. Know that you are not alone with this pain.
    Sending you lots of warmth.


    Hi Dermot,
    I saw your post and feel compelled to respond to it. A lot of what you are describing is similar to what I am going through at the moment and I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Seeing your post has actually inspired me to respond to you. That feeling of flicking the switch is something I know all to well also. It is very encouraging that you recognize the struggle you are going through and are reaching out for help. That in itself is a huge step. I also notice that you mention that you have felt this way for the last 8 years so I can’t help but wonder if something happened to upset you enough to isolate yourself this way. I know for myself it was a combination of a physical illness I was dealing with and the death of someone I loved very much. Sometimes it’s easier to build walls and push people away to help protect us from being hurt. Hopefully by talking with people and getting tips for ways to help you find your way through the it you can work towards having a more fulfilling and happy life. You still have so much life ahead that is waiting for you to join in. Maybe you could start by using some of the exercise ideas that were given and also what another person said by just taking a short walk and looking around at the trees, flowers etc. If you have a dog you could take him along and start by just setting small goals and as you get more comfortable expand them a bit more. For instance walk to the corner of your street and back the first day and when you get home write down something you saw on the way. Once that gets easier lengthen the walk and the amount of things you write. You could also work up to maybe saying hi to someone you see on the way but start small and work up to things like that. I hope to see you back on here and would love to hear of any progress you make on the way. There are a lot of nice people on this site and I know a lot of us would be hear to talk and offer support.


    Dear Dermot,
    I think you’ve spelled out part of the key already, routine.
    You feel comfortable in your existing routine, but routine is not fixed.
    Start changing your routine bit by bit, by following some useful advises by others above, such as taking a minute walk around your own house. Start with 3 minutes, slip this into your routine maybe after dinner or something. Turn it into a habit and let your physical body do the work.
    Hope this helps!

    Cheering you!


    Hi Dermot,

    You have been give some good advice by folks above. I am much older and would add the following:

    1) There are no set times for life events – some make it earlier, some later. You are only 20 and have your entire life ahead of you.

    2) Just take it one day at a time and try to fill your day with activities that move you forward. I pray your angels guide you toward your dreams from this day on !

    Listen to this one song by Josh Groban called ‘You are loved, don’t give up’ – it helped me tremendously – here is the youtube link:

    God bless !


    i appreciate all the motivational words and the help people have tried to give….but i have been having a very rough couple of days and i just dont think i can cope. this life is to hard for people like me.
    I feel like a mutation of evolution that has failed in society and so doesnt deserve a place.



    Please click on the link below and read this:


    God bless !


    Hi Dermot,

    I’m a twenty year old university student just like you (In September I’ll be on my third year, last summer on the huge break that I can truly empathize with,
    I wasn’t feeling all that optimistic about my studies either).

    I too, felt (and it still creeps back) huge loneliness. I was begging to find new people to bond with to fill the big void in my chest, but after taking time to open my e-mail each day and read an inspiring article from TinyBuddha, and learning to change my toxic thought processes, I am beginning to heal.

    I found I wasn’t looking for love and support in the right places, not seeing that just the strong, silent presence of my mother, farther and sister was there way of
    showing love. They weren’t the knight in shining Armour I’d dreamed would whisk me away and show me the perfect vision of love, but when I began to open my heart and finally see, the quick smile from my sister first thing on
    a morning became to mean so much more to me, realizing this made me smile more often… and I let my heart open more and more, let myself feel all the love and pain that came with it.

    I began to practice love and compassion to people around me, small steps like offering a quick smile to a passing stranger , and friends I had (but often complained were not good enough, i felt didn’t truly love me) showed me love in so many ways when I began to open up… I even inspired some of them to open up,
    and I found problems inside them that I wouldn’t have ever believed to be true, and now I have beautiful, honest relationships with my friends, where we help each other.

    Please, never give up, nothing will happen overnight but try at least opening your heart to your family… When I told my mother how I felt she cried for almost an hour,
    horrified I didn’t feel I could tell her before, and she told me she felt similarly at our age, she had no friends and felt too intimidated by her family to open up to them
    . She told me how she pushed herself out of the house, even if they did just end up on walks alone… became more open to the people around her and eventually, found
    some friends that she still speaks to today.

    Don’t compare yourself to others either; There were points Id look at pictures of groups of friends on nights out, and felt overwhelming jealousy… but then I realized that might be fun to them, but that is far from the perfect picture of life (In the past I was part of groups of people who continuously searched for thrills in clubs,
    and I didn’t find it fun anymore…. In fact, it led me down a very dark path of reliance on alcohol that also, took slow recovery). I heard a very nice phrase recently, that
    you’re missing things that could be happening outside if you weren’t sat inside… just by going on a nice walk, sitting on a park bench alone for a few minutes, anything could
    happen… even if it doesn’t, your out, moving, and living…. try appreciating the small things like the air you breathe before you push towards finding the bigger things.
    Trying to change my thoughts not only helped me find support in what felt like unlikely places, it gradually helped me become more motivated in my studies, which I know
    would say I enjoy.

    I hope what I’ve said makes some sense, don’t give up!


    add: sorry for any dodgy spelling, grammar etc. etc. was in quite a rush when writing


    I dealt with my depression by joining a buddhist organization. I was always then surrounded by amazing non judgemental people who helped me to overcome my depression and problems. Am part of SGI community. Its a beautiful organization.


    Thanks again for even more replies! However i think the problem of late is that i am feeling a sense of despair. I can’t recall if i have mentioned this or not already but i think I have Avoidant personality disorder, which means i REALLY struggle to socialize or go outside my routine.
    The reason i despair is because many say it is incurable even if you can improve. As anandita said she joined a buddhist organization and i think that is great but that is precisely the thing i can’t do.

    I can’t do ANYTHING that involves humans around me if i dont know them completely. I’m mad at myself while writing this and i feel ungrateful and selfish to see so many replies that people were kind enough to give yet i still can’t feel any better or move past it.

    So much shame….


    Hi Dermot
    I understand what you are saying about avoiding people and I think that by reaching out to talk to others on here you have made a huge step. Even though it is hard for you to have face to face interactions with other people maybe you can try forming some friendships by talking to others on here. I imagine even this can be difficult for you as well but I’m sure there are many people who will listen and offer advice or even just have somebody to vent your feelings to. If you ever need someone to listen or even just to let off steam I would lend an ear. I may not be as young as you are anymore but I have kids your age and many of their friends call and message me for a neutral party to vent to. I hope that you can find comfort in knowing there are many of us here willing to help. Hang in there.

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