News & Views

11th September 2020

Are you dealing with Social Withdrawal or Social Isolation?

What is Social Withdrawal or Social Isolation?

Are you spending increasingly more time alone because you think no one understands what you’ve experienced or what you’re going through? Are you avoiding social situations because you might be reminded of things you hope to forget? Do you avoid others because you feel you should be able to deal with challenges on your own? These can be signs of social withdrawal or social isolation.

Social withdrawal is avoiding people and activities you would usually enjoy. For some people, this can progress to a point of social isolation, where you may even want to avoid contact with family and close friends and just be by yourself most of the time. You may want to be alone because you feel it’s tiring or upsetting to be with other people. Sometimes a vicious cycle can develop where the more time you spend alone, the less you feel like people understand you. And the less you feel like people understand you, the more time you want to spend alone.

Social withdrawal and social isolation can make it difficult to do the things you normally would enjoy or to get through the day. Some effects of this isolation can include loneliness, relationship problems, alcohol or drug problems, and trouble sleeping. Left unchecked, social withdrawal or isolation can lead to or be associated with depression. Such behaviour can also negatively affect those you care about.

If I’m withdrawing from others or isolating myself, what can I do about it right away? 

Allowing social withdrawal or social isolation to continue unchecked will only make your situation more challenging. When you find yourself demonstrating antisocial behaviour, it's important to:

  • Address what's causing you to want to be alone.
  • Reach out to your friends or family members even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Research shows that spending time talking with family or friends improves your mood and has a positive effect on health 
  • Connect with social groups or participate in clubs or hobbies focused on something you like.
  • Talk to a doctor, psychologist or a counsellor

NECA Vic Members, their employees and families have FREE access to Hunterlink - 24/7 counselling service. Call 1800 554 654. 

 

Source: Hunterlink https://hunterlink.org.au/.

Reference: https://maketheconnection.net/symptoms/social-withdrawal