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    Ok so I've been suffering severely with mental health issues for the past year, which has meant that I've barely seen any of my friends (I'm talking like maybe 3 times in the entire year), and now they've all gone off to uni and they've made new best friends and it just hit me last night that I'm completely and utterly alone. I have no friends at all anymore, and it's driving me completely insane. I'm so incredibly desperate for human contact lmao, but how on earth do you make friends when one of the main symptoms of your mental illness(es) is that you find it unimaginably terrifying to be around and talk to people?!?!?!
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    Challenge yourself. The best way to deal with a mental illness is by challenging your demons, if you don’t do this you’re never going to recover, if you still can’t get yourself to do it, then seek counselling if you haven’t already.
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    Try finding things/hobbies that you are good at and/or enjoy, it will help you gain confidence in yourself so approaching and talking to people will become A LOT easier. It takes a bit of time but it's worth trying. You also have to keep reminding yourself that others probably feel just as awkward or scared talking to you, even those that appear to be confident.
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    (Original post by BrianMcEgg)
    Challenge yourself. The best way to deal with a mental illness is by challenging your demons, if you don’t do this you’re never going to recover, if you still can’t get yourself to do it, then seek counselling if you haven’t already.
    You can even seek counselling/therapy to help you to combat your fears.
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    (Original post by Ameba)
    You can even seek counselling/therapy to help you to combat your fears.
    Yes, there’s no harm in attempting it yourself before seeking help though
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    baby steps
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    Every small interactions count!! Start samll (etc going to shops) and work your way up. Just being in a community will help small conversations get started. I wish for only the best for you
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    (Original post by BrianMcEgg)
    Yes, there’s no harm in attempting it yourself before seeking help though
    I know, it's just some people need some guidance/motivation from a therapist/counsellor.
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    (Original post by Ameba)
    I know, it's just some people need some guidance/motivation from a therapist/counsellor.
    I can understand that
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    (Original post by BrianMcEgg)
    Challenge yourself. The best way to deal with a mental illness is by challenging your demons, if you don’t do this you’re never going to recover, if you still can’t get yourself to do it, then seek counselling if you haven’t already.
    (Original post by Ameba)
    You can even seek counselling/therapy to help you to combat your fears.
    (Original post by BrianMcEgg)
    Yes, there’s no harm in attempting it yourself before seeking help though
    I've already failed 2 courses of CBT and I'm gonna be referred to a specialist psychiatric hospital in London, but I probably won't get a place there for a whole year which is just ridiculous....... (I want to go on a massive rant about the grossly underfunded mental health services on the NHS now but I shall restrain myself!). The logical side of my brain agrees totally that I need to challenge myself more, but unfortunately the sick side of my brain keeps feeding me lies that make it seem like I can't do any of the things I need to do to get better. So I'm just stuck in this battle of like, 'I desperately want/need to make friends, but I also have to avoid meeting people at all costs'. Anyway, thanks for the replies lads!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've already failed 2 courses of CBT and I'm gonna be referred to a specialist psychiatric hospital in London, but I probably won't get a place there for a whole year which is just ridiculous....... (I want to go on a massive rant about the grossly underfunded mental health services on the NHS now but I shall restrain myself!). The logical side of my brain agrees totally that I need to challenge myself more, but unfortunately the sick side of my brain keeps feeding me lies that make it seem like I can't do any of the things I need to do to get better. So I'm just stuck in this battle of like, 'I desperately want/need to make friends, but I also have to avoid meeting people at all costs'. Anyway, thanks for the replies lads!
    I can understand that, have you tried responding to it by saying “yes I can?”, worth a try but I totally understand where you’re coming from. Unfortunate with the hospital stuff though, our silly government simply aren’t doing what seems to be obvious by reopening mental hospitals
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    (Original post by mary12k)
    Try finding things/hobbies that you are good at and/or enjoy, it will help you gain confidence in yourself so approaching and talking to people will become A LOT easier. It takes a bit of time but it's worth trying. You also have to keep reminding yourself that others probably feel just as awkward or scared talking to you, even those that appear to be confident.
    Thanks for the reply!

    I've thought before about volunteering at a cat shelter or something because I love animals, but that's a pretty unrealistic goal atm since I'm unfit for work. I guess I need to somehow work my way up to something like that.

    I agree that we all tend to believe people's facades and underestimate how much they're struggling with things too, but I've become so ill now that in most cases it probably genuinely isn't true that other people I'm with are suffering as much as I am. (I feel like I'm sounding all moany and sorry for myself now, but I honestly am ill AF. Like they're legit sending me to a loony bin lmao.)
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    I could be your friend. :five:
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    (Original post by castielhowlter)
    Every small interactions count!! Start samll (etc going to shops) and work your way up. Just being in a community will help small conversations get started. I wish for only the best for you
    Thank you! When I do leave the house and go to the shops or something (which isn't easy but I try to push myself to do it), although I haven't really had any conversations with people yet, I've noticed that even a smile from the person who's serving me at the till boosts my confidence. Which probably sounds crazy because it's just a smile, not even words, but when you're as lonely as I am a smile is actually a significant social interaction!!! Gotta start somewhere right.....

    P.S. Idk why but it actually made me feel really nice when you said 'I wish for only the best for you'. Like it's such a simple thing, but it really does mean something!
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    (Original post by Synchronise)
    I could be your friend. :five:
    This reminds me of how you used to make friends as a kid. Like you'd just strut up to some random kid like 'HI DO YOU WANNA BE BEST FRIENDS?' and they'd be like 'OK!' and BAM you're friends for life. :hugs:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    This reminds me of how you used to make friends as a kid. Like you'd just strut up to some random kid like 'HI DO YOU WANNA BE BEST FRIENDS?' and they'd be like 'OK!' and BAM you're friends for life. :hugs:
    Awww, you've just reminded me of times I'd play in Charlie Chalks soft play areas in pubs and make one time friends with people in there, only to never see them again after I've left. :moon:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you! When I do leave the house and go to the shops or something (which isn't easy but I try to push myself to do it), although I haven't really had any conversations with people yet, I've noticed that even a smile from the person who's serving me at the till boosts my confidence. Which probably sounds crazy because it's just a smile, not even words, but when you're as lonely as I am a smile is actually a significant social interaction!!! Gotta start somewhere right.....

    P.S. Idk why but it actually made me feel really nice when you said 'I wish for only the best for you'. Like it's such a simple thing, but it really does mean something!
    Awe, I'm glad I said it then! I'm here to talk if you wanna and let me know how your week/month goes
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    As others have said, don't go looking for friends. Find something you enjoy doing, and the friends will follow. 2 sites that will help with this:

    https://do-it.org/

    and

    https://www.meetup.com/
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    I agree with the others, take baby steps, say hi, smile, engage in some chit-chat with people at the bus stop, hairsdressers, the till workers it could be about christmas anything.

    You could join clubs based on your interests, you can volunteer, see what's on at the library and this can lead you to meeting more people and gaining confidence.

    I hope this helps:

    1) Relax, imagine you're just observing or there as a traveller. For example, if you are on holiday, you go there to experience and observe the attraction, you're not going to get anxious doing that are you?

    2) Smile, smiling in contagious.

    3) Be confident, respect yourself, accept yourself, work out, wear good clothes, feel good, focus on your passions, know you are a good person who treats people well, think positively, be proud of yourself, do things that make you happy, remember your happy times, what makes you confident? What makes you proud? Do you have a skill you are good at? Do things like cooking, driving, learning that increases your confidence daily. Relax.

    Have good posture, body language, improve your appearance. Be happy with yourself.

    4) Dress well, have good grooming, hairstyle, have good posture.

    5) Just say hi or hey to people in your vicinity, who cares if they don't say anything back?

    6) Ask how they are, how's everything, what's the latest, what made them choose this course, their plans for the future, their plans for the rest of the day, weekend, how was their weekend, what they will get up to, what they got up to, ask them about their hobbies, talk about what's happening.

    Talk about the weather or did you see that sports game? Just mingle with them,

    Compliment them, say "I like your jacket".

    If you know they went on a holiday or somewhere, ask them about it etc.

    7) Be passionate about life.

    8) Lighten up, have a laugh, laugh easily, be friendly, approachable, interested, relaxed.

    9) Look outside!

    If you ever need to talk to someone, feel free to PM me

    Good luck
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    (Original post by Analyst89)
    I hope this helps:
    That's a cracking post! :banana:
 
 
 
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