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Withdrawal and Depression

I think we all know that depressed people exhibit withdrawal from people and things at some point. For some, this is a positive occurrence but for many, it is making their condition worse. Here is my take on the matter...

Social withdrawal


Negative: According to many, "social withdrawal is the most common telltale sign of depression". The reasons for this are many but generally have to do with our unintentional isolation from people's input on our thinking.  The isolation causes an increase on our stress response thereby making the situation worse.

Positive: When withdrawal is by choice, as in intended, we make a conscious decision to take time away from people to resolve something or things that no longer serve us. I have done this many times and with good results. I also saw others gain from taking time for themselves and come out of the self-imposed isolation with better understanding of their condition, come up with avenues to do things differently, enforce their own strength, and increase self-confidence.

Withdrawal from things

Negative: Withdrawal from activities or habits we previously enjoyed is onset by the lack of motivation or general disinterest that is a characteristic sign of depression.  Again, the withdrawal is brought on by the feeling of 'why bother' rather than a choice.

Positive: When we stop doing the previously enjoyable but ultimately detrimental things (like frequent use of social media) or habits (like eating donuts), the end result could be beneficial.


I will expand this post with concrete examples at a later time but for now, suffice that not all withdrawal is bad.

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