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Why isn't there a medication for loneliness, a pharmaceutical substitute for companionship? Becuause even though we all know it, it seems therapists will not admit to the fact (except maybe to another therapist after a few drinks), the dirty little secret (or, if you will, the inconvenient truth or 500 lb. gorilla in the room that everyone pretends to ignore) of loneliness is that some people will always be lonely becuase they're boring. (C'mon, therapists, admit it: you *know* you all know of at least 1 patient like this who cannot be helped.) & whether it's becuz some people are born boring (heredity) or being interesting & attractive to others has to be learned at a young-enuff age that it *seems* as if you have to be born that way or it's a combination of both nature & nurture, the fact that remains that no one wants to admit is that some people can not be helped to make friends or have social connections because they will never be liked by other people. (I'm not referring to people who are boring becuz they're self-centered; those people can possibly be trained to at least pretend to be interested in others or things that others are interested in; politicians do it [with varying success]). No, I'm talking about people such as myself who are just dull no matter what we talk about or do. And we are the ones who cannot be helped by joining groups or clubs or taking classes or volunteering because in spite of years--in my case--of trying that, It. Does. Not. Work. So some pharmaceutical help with the loneliness would be the humane thing to do, espec. for the lonely elderly; let us spend our few remaining years at least slightly less-depressed, for crying out loud; have a heart, therapeutic/psychiatric community!

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Office,

"Every person who's ever lived (no matter how short a life or how long) has had a day in their life when on that day, the last good thing to ever happen to them did; and the older you get, the more likely it is that that day has already come & gone. "

I have had bouts of depression over the years, but I can honestly say that I have never believed the statement quoted above. Even in the deepest depression I tried to find one small thing to be positive about, of if I could not find that one thing to be positive about in my own life, I would give someone an unexpected compliment. Knowing I had the power with a few simple words to put a smile on someone's face helped to reinforce my value.

Now I am comfortable talking to strangers. So complimenting someone on their hair style/colour, tattoo, shoes, clothes, smile, is easy for me to do.

At 51, after a terrible divorce followed by betrayal from my family, I have decided to live my best life. I do not manage it every day, but most I do. I refuse to be chained to the past.
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Officerriley,
My ex-husband's philosophy was the glass is half empty, people will screw you if they can, Christians are hypocritical and he was "waiting to die". He would sleep 18 hours a day, when he could, then wake up with horrible headaches. When I suggested that he get on anti-depressants, his comment was, "With my luck, they'll work great but then the FDA will take them off the market." Sheesh! Because of his chronic depression (which I didn't recognize when I married him), he eventually knew that I was being pulled down into hell with him. I didn't want to go! Then I got accused of 3 affairs that I NEVER had. He was so insecure that he probably couldn't imagine that anyone would WANT to be with him. I offered to do a lie detector test but HE refused, saying that they're inaccurate. I offered to get a tattoo of his name on my behind. Fortunately the artist refused to do it for the reason that I wanted to "prove" my faithfulness. Our marriage ended the same month as our 30th anniversary.

Was he boring? Yes and no. He was an interesting person to talk to but he rarely talked to me. His lifestyle was boring. His constant headaches and ridiculous sleeping patterns were boring. The fact that I had to suggest anything we did was boring. He could not see any beauty in the day.

With all that said, I don't think the pendulum swings both ways. People are intrinsically charismatic, yes, but I don't think they are 'intrinsically' boring. I think problems (in his case-depression) MAKE you that way. To me there is SOMETHING interesting about everyone. I would be interested in WHAT you read. Fiction, non-fiction, scientific, etc.? Bet we could get a conversation going on your answer.

Your ending sentence is of prime importance. You are fighting cancer. That's not an easy journey. Often the meds make you sick and you're already weak from treatments.
It's hard to keep going at times, I'm sure. That's enough to make anybody depressed.

Your statement; "Every person who's ever lived (no matter how short a life or how long) has had a day in their life when on that day, the last good thing to ever happen to them did; and the older you get, the more likely it is that that day has already come & gone." bothers me. It reeks of hopelessness and depression. I can understand how you must feel (many of my patients had cancer) but, even if "happy" is not do-able, you can NOT loose hope. There is no magic cure to always be joyful, but there are moments that make life worth living.

I read a Christian book (I think it was called '1000 blessings'). The author had a boring writing style, she wrote the same phrases over and over but the main theme was to look for a blessing every day. I tried it. There are a lot of them out there.
Ever noticed how the sun filtering in the window hits a piece of glass or mirror that would make a tiny rainbow? How about the smell of the outdoors after the rain. A kitty wrapping it's tail around your leg? This really sounds so "cutesy-poo" but, if you LOOK for things (as though you were going to record them in a book), you can have "moments" of happiness...enough to get ya' through the day. It's like a little gift just for that moment.

I don't know the extent of your infirmity with the cancer but you can even do this bedridden. The smell of your favorite perfume, reading something new from your favorite author, leaning back on a freshly fluffed pillow, etc. I try to savor the moment for as long as I can.

I hope that you can have your moments of blessing too.
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Blessings come in small packages so be sure not to overlook them.
I am disabled either temporary or permanently, I don't know which yet, but I refuse to accept the worst.
Since there are many things I can no longer manage easily I am constantly amazed at the kindness of total strangers.
Just yesterday a young woman helped me at the gas station. i couln't get the new machine at the pumps to take my credit card. She smiled asked if I needed help and came over to do it for me.
You have a very serious disease and I am sure it is dragging you down. How can it not, but remember the little things and come here often. there is a great group of people here ready to befriend you.
Get up early in the morning and watch the sun rise then do something nice for a shut in neighbor. You may never make a really close friend but you can still make friends wherever you are. I have lived in many places and always found one good friend usually because people reached out to me.
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You do sound very depressed, have you always felt this way? Or has this gotten worse with the cancer tx?

I struggle with depression, everyday is a new challenge. Sometimes I wake up and wish I didn't have to "do" another day. I am on medication and have been for years. Lately, I have begun to simply accept that life is what it is...whatever I make it. I stopped living for my husband, trying to make his life awesome, b/c he didn't care or notice. I spend more time on myself, my grandkids, and the very few close friends I have. People would describe me as bubbly and outgoing, when in fact, I'm terribly shy.

I guess it's fake it till you make it--or something like that. Therapy has been amazing for me as I peel back the layers of my (extremely abusive) childhood. I'm getting better, but don't know if I will ever be "well".

One thing I do, everyday, no matter what, is to do an act of service for someone. Small or large, doesn't matter. I am not looking to change the world or anything, but each day, looking for some act of kindness I can perform helps lift me for a few moments. Sometimes that's all a day needs. Sounds hokey, but it does help.

I would check with you dr. I know quite a few people dealing with cancer treatments and most of them are on antidepressants.

Come back, chat, vent or whatever. There's a ton of us here in the same boat.
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Family and friends are great, but, you never can rely on them for your own happiness. That's why I think it's important to maintain as good of a relationship with yourself as possible. If you like yourself, loneliness isn't a problem, imo. And if you can be your own cheerleader, you worry less about what others have to say. No man is an island, but, to me, having peace with yourself, makes you attractive to others.

As we age, it seems that so many of our friends have their own issues, divorces, money issues, adult child problems, medical problems, career issues, etc. If we can support each other and keep those bonds strong, it's great, but, that's not always the case. When I see how things have gone for others, I start to feel like I've been pretty lucky. Life is really full of surprises and you really never know what others are dealing with behind closed doors. 
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Officerripley,
There's no information on your profile. You mention that you're older and lonely. The groups and organizations you've joined haven't ended in forming friendships.

Medications aren't helpful in forming friendships. There won't be any "magic" pill. It takes giving of yourself and letting others into your life.

So, why don't you tell us about yourself? :)
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To me, you sound more depressed than lonely..
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Sunnygirl1, Great answer! No one can make another person happy. Be your own best friend.
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Officer, some people are social butterflies and some are wallflowers. I am of the wallflower type, I rather be at home then out at some very loud restaurant.

I read where you tried volunteering. I've been doing weekend volunteer work at a local regional hospital for decades. I work the front information desk. I've had the same desk mate for the past 7 years, and we sit and "gossip" for our 3 hour shift. It is like therapy for us but without the large cost and without the drugs :) And we go back to our homes with a big smile.

I know I want to eventually downsize into a 55+ community where I am around more people closer to my age. But my sig other won't budge. I may have to move on my own... come on cats, let's pack.
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Well, officer, I'm kinda' in the same boat as you are.

Our Similarities;
* Married
* Don't have any long term friends
I have 2 occasional "friends" WHEN they are available. Two long term friends "cut me loose" (5 yrs. ago and 1 yr. ago) for unexplained reasons. They've both called back to reunite but I don't want THAT type of friend.
* I don't have "hobbies" either- (this board for info) but I like to cook.
* liberal/progressive
*Don't like the outdoors either (as in hiking, camping, etc.)

Our Dissimilarities (is that a word?)
* I have a son. (We don't talk.)
* I'm a Christian. (Some days that's harder to be than others.)
* Both sexes should be treated the same, IMO. (No differences (except anatomically).

I have had to learn to deal with the fact that I'M going to be my friend. I sure can't count on anybody else to fill that roll. People are notoriously unreliable and let you down.

It also isn't easy because I live in Tijuana, Mexico. So, even though I speak Spanish, it's not easy to start forming friendships at 61 years old in a foreign country. I did better when I lived in Puerto Vallarta. I was retired when I lived there. I had to go back to work 5 years ago (long story) but I'm looking ahead to retirement (4 years left), definitely moving to another location in Mexico (maybe back to PV) and having time to make a new friend or two. I also want to teach English as a second language.

Are you retired? If so, have you thought about a tiny (10 hrs a wk) job? Often friendships are formed in the workplace.

Do you have a pet? I have 3 dogs and 4 cats. They are a great comfort to me. I really don't know what I'd do without them. No one loves you like a pet.

I suggest that, since you love to read, it might be a good idea to read/make tapes for "Books on Tape" for blind people or those who would want a taped book. I don't know how to go about doing that but I'm sure Google would have info.

We've got to be responsible for making our own happiness, officer. Others will always disappoint. Find something you love or have passion about (animals, kids, sick people, old people, plants, etc.) and go for that.

I'm not going to panic (like I did last year) that I don't have a bunch of girlfriends. I have acquaintances that I talk to once or twice a year. I guess that's good enough. Their loss.

Good luck to us. 
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