‘I have lost all my friends because of my mental illness’

Should I try to reconnect with old friends, or just try and find new people?

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

Question: I am a woman in my 20s and after many months of being mentally unwell, I was diagnosed with a mental illness last year. I have lost all my friends because of this. Some I lost before I was diagnosed and that was probably because of my behaviour, others I lost after getting a diagnosis, and then I had to distance myself from the last group of friends I had as they partied too much which isn’t good for my recovery. I recently started a new job, but I am working remotely.

I feel really lonely and isolated. I would love to know how I can find friends again, possibly even reconnect with the friends I lost prior to my diagnosis – but they don’t know I have a mental illness as I’ve kept it quite private.

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