Depression and Isolation on the Other Side of the Glass

June 17, 2024 Dawn Gressard

I've found that depression and isolation go together. I was responding to a comment on Jennifer Tazzi's blog post "What to Do When Depression Feels Like a Glass Wall" from several years ago. Her post inspired me to write about isolation and derpession because I could relate.

Jennifer provided three helpful tips for reaching past the glass wall: taking baby steps, openly communicating with your doctor or therapist, and being completely honest. However, I want to not just reach beyond the glass but break it. So, how do I break the glass of depression?

Be Honest to Fight the Isolation of Depression

Yes, this was a tip already mentioned in the other blog post. However, I want to take it a step further. When feeling depressed, we tend to isolate ourselves, whether it's in the literal sense of staying in bed all day and night or in terms of communication by turning off our phones and computers so that we don't have to answer anyone. Regardless of how you isolate, we all tend to do it. Being honest doesn't only mean being truthful when you're depressed; it also means being honest as a preventive measure.

When someone asks how I'm doing, my initial response is "fine" or "good." I might say, "meh," or, "okay, I guess," when I'm not well. And when I'm really struggling, I tend to respond with, "taking it one day at a time."

Only a few people know that if I give one of the alternative answers, something is wrong, and we need to talk about what's happening. These few people know because I told them. I can wear a mask like the best of them. Yet, these are my cues to those I've told that I may need to talk without me actually having to say it.

In the future, if you find yourself answering questions or speaking differently, telling someone you trust before things worsen is essential. This way, you will have someone to ask you a meaningful "How are you?" when needed, and you can fight the isolation of depression.

Fight the Isolation of Depression with Our Inner Strength

It may sound contradictory, but some of the strongest people I know are living with depression, just like me. I look at my 20-year-old son, who lives with depression and general anxiety. I wish I were just a quarter as strong as he is when I was 20 or even today. Previously, strength and depression were not words I would have used together. It seems almost like an oxymoron, to be honest.

However, I look at it this way: how strong do I have to be to bring myself out of depression? How strong must I be to not give into the darkness and stay there? How strong do I need to be to not slip into a depressive episode when life happens? Lastly, how strong must I be to continuously use my coping skills and go one day at a time?

I'll tell you. You have to have mental strength equal to the physical strength of The Rock or Andre the Giant. I am proud of my inner strength because thousands of people would not be able to live my life without giving up.

The Isolation of Depression Can Be Defeated

In the end, the glass may still be in place, but its thickness diminishes as we share our stories to allow others to understand some of what goes on in our minds. Our continuous journey of recovery and chipping at the glass is a testament to our strength and ability to truly not be alone when life happens. Be honest with those who you trust the most and keep the lines of communication open with peers who are also living with depression, much like those at HealthyPlace.  

I would love to hear your thoughts or strategies for breaking through your glass of isolation and depression.

APA Reference
Gressard, D. (2024, June 17). Depression and Isolation on the Other Side of the Glass, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Dawn Gressard

Dawn Gressard is a freelance Veterans Affairs benefits, mental health wellness, and suicide prevention writer and a trainer of a peer-supported suicide prevention and crisis intervention program. Find Dawn on X, Instagram, LinkedIn, and her personal blog.

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