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Women Clubs & Girl Groups are a great way to Fight Depression

02 Oct 2016

Sayali quit working post marriage. After the initial excitement faded, the days became very long for her. The early morning rush of sending husband to office was followed by a lonely day in the house, with no one to talk to or share. Ajay kept busy in his work, then with friends at times, had hardly any quality time to spend with her. Sayali felt she was going into depression, when suddenly she received an invitation for the opening of the local women’s club. She accepted out of an impulse.

Looking back to that day, Sayali felt that an impulse had saved her life. The women’s’ club was a social hangout, with some charitable ideas. They had weekly meeting, regular kitty parties, had tea at each other’s home. They exchanged jams and recipes. They organized charitable programs, fund raisers, visited women’s and old age homes. Sayali found the busyness alluring. It kept her off the dark hole, and she can ask for guidance and help to anyone. Also, listening to snippets of other women’s lives gave her ideas to run her home more effectively. She did not nag Ajay anymore; she felt much more confident, less stressed and physically fit. Since she’d left home, Sayali felt happy.

Apparently, wolves are not only the social animals, humans are too. There are several distinct effects that lack of a peer group or social circle can have on a person’s well being, both in psychological as well as physical. Psychologist John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago has been tracking the effects of loneliness. He found: 

    Living alone increases the risk of suicide for young and old alike.

   Lonely individuals report higher levels of perceived stress even when exposed to the same stressors as non-lonely people, and even when they are relaxing.

    The social interaction lonely people do have are not as positive as those of other people, hence the relationships they have do not buffer them from stress as relationships are normally supposed to do.

    Loneliness raises levels of circulating stress hormones and levels of blood pressure. It undermines regulation of the circulatory system so that the heart muscle works harder and the blood vessels are subject to damage by blood flow turbulence.

    Loneliness destroys the quality and efficiency of sleep, so that it is less restorative, both physically and psychologically. They wake up more at night and spend less time in bed actually sleeping than their more social counterparts.

    It also increases the risk for depression and from there suicide.

If you are being isolated and have no social interaction per say, you are at the risk of the aforementioned things. To combat that, however, there are tips too.

a.  Help to nurture others --- raising children, teaching, caring for animals — helps to alleviate loneliness.

b.  To avoid loneliness, many people need both a social circle and an intimate attachment. Even if not both, at least one is mandatory.

c.   Loneliness creates disturbed sleep — taking a long time to fall asleep, waking frequently, and feeling sleepy during the day. Sleep deprivation, under any circumstances, brings down people’s moods, makes them more likely to get sick, and dampens their energy, so it’s important to tackle this issue.

d.   Try to figure out what’s missing from your life. The more clearly you see what’s lacking, the more clearly you’ll see possible solutions.

e.    Take steps to connect with other people. Show up, make plans, sign up for a class, take a minute to chat. Join a club, you can also make a women’s forum with the locals as Sayali.

Take help of a counselor if you feel nothing is getting rid of the pain and darkness. Discussion and sharing with a neutral yet expert person can make you see things that were otherwise being overlooked. It also helps to work on the situation and turn it to the positive. Hold your own hand; the others are sure to follow.

 

If you/your wife are struggling because of these issues 

Just click the pink button on  the left to consult a relationship psychologist expert


Tags: anxiety depression social interaction peer group social isolation