One of the natural responses people have when they feel anxious and depressed is to isolate themselves. Sitting at home all alone sulking around seems to be a good solution when you feel this way, but isolating yourself is actually one of the worst choices you could make when you suffer from anxiety and depression. Here are several things you should know about this.
Why do people isolate themselves?
Depression is something that often causes people to isolate themselves, and this is often because people who are depressed do not feel like interacting with others. When you are feeling anxious or nervous, the only thing you might feel like doing is sitting around doing nothing. The last thing you might want to do is get up off the couch and leave the house. Unfortunately, isolating yourself during times of depression and anxiety is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing.
What are the dangers of isolation?
While isolating yourself when you are depressed might be the way you cope, you should realize that doing this may only worsen the symptoms. Isolation is something that causes depression, but that is not the only negative effect it has. According to studies on this subject, people who live isolated lives have a greater risk for heart disease and other types of health problems.
Why is isolation so harmful?
It is not exactly clear why being alone is harmful to your physical and emotional health; however, it may have something to do with the high levels of cortisol the body produces when it feels stress and anxiety. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is helpful for dealing with stress, but it is harmful when you are anxious most of the time.
Another point that may explain why isolation is harmful is one that involves the positive benefits of social contact. Time Magazine reports that social contact has the ability to reduce a person's blood pressure and pain.
How can you break this habit?
If you suffer from anxiety and depression, you might want to seek help from a counseling center. This is a great way to begin interacting with others, and it could help you find ways to stop isolating yourself. If you can begin getting involved with various activities, you might notice a decrease in the anxiety and depression you suffer from.
If you would like to learn more about this subject, schedule an appointment with a counselor that specializes in anxiety and depression treatment.