When feeling severely depressed, it is easy to isolate, not answer the phone--or the doorbell. This is because any interaction is such an effort. NO! You really don't care if their kid got accepted to Harvard, or their husband lost his job--or even that their house burned down!
AND the truth is you truly don't!
Depression is a very ego-centric condition. You feel worthless,like the scum of the earth--but so involved in your own pain, you can't empathize with anyone else. The only way to avoid a total collapse into some delusional, self involved state, however, is to be exposed to the world and identify with the pain of others. Hopefully, you will have a friend or family member who drags you out of your isolation.
Left to isolate, your thoughts tend to exaggerate whatever is your most serious issue---usually self loathing, to the point where you may develop auditory--even visual hallucinations. These are voices or images of either strangers--or maybe family who validate you feelings of worthlessness. Not only validate it, but as several suicide survivors have told me that they distinctly hear the voice say " DO IT!"!
Tips and Warnings
5 of these symptoms must be present for a period of two weeks or more meet the criteria for a Major Depression.
*Irritability and agitation
*A serious change in appetite (can be fasting, or overeating)
*Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or even self hate
*Change in sleep habits (either can't sleep of excessive sleeping)
*Inactivity and withdrawal
*Inability to enjoy what usually is found pleasurable
There is a significant point at which a person can decline from sadness to suicidal thoughts, and this usually occurs as a person slides into the comfortable, less stressful state of isolation. If this person is you--or friend, know that isolation, though comfortable, intensifies all the negative feelings.