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How do you make friends in college when you’re depressed?

Question:

How do you make friends in college when you’re depressed?


Light On Anxiety Answer:

It’s a bit of a conundrum: Depression can cause you to isolate yourself and yet also crave social interaction. Connecting socially doesn’t come easily when you’re feeling down. It’s important to start by seeking out therapy at the campus counseling center, which is often free for students. A therapist can help you create a tailored treatment plan to overcome your depression. Here are some other things to consider:

Ask for help, even if you don’t feel like talking. Maybe you have a close friend you can confide in, or perhaps there’s a local support group for people who are dealing with mood disorders. Finding the support from others can be critical, even if (especially if!) you just feel like being alone.

Join a group. Not only can joining a club or organization help give you sense of purpose, it’s also a great way to meet people with common interests. In my sophomore year of undergrad, I found myself feeling lost and without purpose. One day, I saw a recruitment poster with a few young women I had enjoyed spending time with when we had volunteered together. I joined a sorority and it was the best decision I could have made at that time. I made friends and had a purpose to work for through volunteering and other committees.

Go easy on yourself. Know that you may not always want to leave your dorm, and you don’t have to all the time. Make sure to talk about this with your therapist, as the two of you can come up with a plan for how long you can stay in and when you should push yourself to get out. There may also be times that the friendships you were hoping to cultivate don’t work out, and that’s okay too. It’s not your fault; don’t let your depression tell you otherwise.

If you have had thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


If you have a similar questions or concern, please schedule a call with Light On Anxiety to explore effective treatment for your anxiety or related conditions.

Chat with a specialist to learn more about managing your medication.

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