Isolation as diagnosis

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Oct 11, 2020

I have had social workers who feel like I must go to senior centers to make friends because I am 60. Because I do not do this and have many friends they diagnose me as isolated. I do not stay inside all day. Weather permitting I go outside, walking on the bus and getting groceries. I get to see people and make casual friends. This is isolation? have now started to take part in discussions on Mayo Clinic Connect. Mayo Connect is a wonderful resource for persons to make friends and receive support!

@lsittll I am so glad you have been able to connect and make friends here. It is such a great and diverse community that requires members like you to be engaged and participating. Did your social worker express why they label you as "isolated" other than not going to senior centers to make friends?

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@lsittll yes, connect has made my day so much better. Being able to connect with people who understand pain is so comforting

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I agree that Mayo Connect is wonderful at keeping us connected during this time of sheltering in.

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@amandaburnett

@lsittll I am so glad you have been able to connect and make friends here. It is such a great and diverse community that requires members like you to be engaged and participating. Did your social worker express why they label you as "isolated" other than not going to senior centers to make friends?

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@amandabarnett Thank you for responding to my post. The social workers feel that because I do not have close friends I am isolated. They do not consider casual friends as friends.

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@Isittll Yes, Mayo Connect is a great place to talk with others who are working through the same thing as us!
I find it interesting that a social worker would make that kind of a comment. May I ask what kind of social worker these are, in what setting? Are they withholding any services from you because of their diagnosis? Sure hope not!

I am an introvert by nature, and the idea of going to a senior center is not a favorite of mine. Besides, so many if not all around here, are closed because of COVID-19. It may very well be that a few of your casual friends may be close, in their definition.
Ginger

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@gingerw
Mayo Connect, especially this group I find, offers the best support that I need . The social workers are in a behavioral health clinic offered by the local Jewish Community Services. I am in an HMO (Medicare says I must be) so I go where it is convenient. I saw a very professional and knowledgeable social worker, but she was out of network. She never would have commented like this

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@lsittll

@gingerw
Mayo Connect, especially this group I find, offers the best support that I need . The social workers are in a behavioral health clinic offered by the local Jewish Community Services. I am in an HMO (Medicare says I must be) so I go where it is convenient. I saw a very professional and knowledgeable social worker, but she was out of network. She never would have commented like this

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@isittil May I suggest that you tell them about the interaction you have in this online forum, if the subject comes up again. You are content with the face-to-face interactions you have, and you avail yourself of the chances to get outside.

If you are by nature someone who is an extrovert, I could see them being concerned you are not getting enough stimulation by personal interaction, as that "refuels" many an extrovert. These long many months we have had with curtailing our lives as we knew it in 2019, I am sure the behavioral health professionals have seen a big uptick of anxiety and depression cases. They are trying to reach out and offer people a life-line to help them get through. We can't fault them for that, can we?
Ginger

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@lsittll

@amandabarnett Thank you for responding to my post. The social workers feel that because I do not have close friends I am isolated. They do not consider casual friends as friends.

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@lsittll That’s crazy. I am an introvert and this forum has been the best thing for my mental
health in years. People who can understand pain and offer suggestions as well as just sympathize means the world to me.

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@gingerw I tell my current counselor this. (I no longer see the one who diagnosed me this way). I have mentioned my interaction on Mayo Connect but I will say that I am involved in several groups, this one in particular. She asks me every week if I feel isolated.

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@lsittll

@gingerw I tell my current counselor this. (I no longer see the one who diagnosed me this way). I have mentioned my interaction on Mayo Connect but I will say that I am involved in several groups, this one in particular. She asks me every week if I feel isolated.

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@Isittll She might be using that as part of her assessment of you. My counselor asks certain questions each time, also. If it was me, and someone kept asking me that, I would gently ask them not to. "I answered you once, and it's the same answer each time. I find it irritating to hear that question repeatedly." But, as I said, that is how I would handle it. Her definition of loneliness and yours are obviously not the same!
Ginger

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@gingerw

@Isittll Yes, Mayo Connect is a great place to talk with others who are working through the same thing as us!
I find it interesting that a social worker would make that kind of a comment. May I ask what kind of social worker these are, in what setting? Are they withholding any services from you because of their diagnosis? Sure hope not!

I am an introvert by nature, and the idea of going to a senior center is not a favorite of mine. Besides, so many if not all around here, are closed because of COVID-19. It may very well be that a few of your casual friends may be close, in their definition.
Ginger

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I agree with Ginger. That’s a silly diagnosis.

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Thank you for your advice. I have come to realize that the previous counselor diagnosed me as isolated based upon my childhood years.

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