A particularly cruel punishment in prisons was/is to put people in solitary confinement, depriving them of any contact with other prisoners.
Without going into the unpleasant details, it’s pretty evident that an extended period of incarceration under these conditions generally has an extremely derogatory effect on someone’s mental state.
I know this. So when, on occasion, my mood is low, why on earth do I perform the equivalent of placing myself in solitary confinement? Why do I cut myself off from others? Why do I avoid human contact?
Why do I do this when the very opposite behaviour would almost certainly make me feel better?
I know I’m not alone in doing so, but it’s one of the paradoxes of low mood. Human contact generally helps hugely, but something inside prevents us doing the very thing that might improve matters.
The good (the excellent) thing is, however, that the benefits of human contact can build up like pennies in a piggy bank. Every little helps.
So on a day when you don’t feel much like talking to those closest to you (it’s almost bound to happen) be sure to snatch a few words with the person at the cash register, the woman waiting alongside you to cross the road, the receptionist at the dentist’s, the postman, the man selling newspapers.
Please don’t lock yourself away. You deserve better.