Can we talk about isolation?

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Today my bf tells me about his need for isolation. I only saw him for one hour this morning but tells me the reason he needs to isolate is that it's painful to be around anyone.

Does anyone else share these feelings?

This is very common if they are stressed and usually they will pull away from those closest to them first as those people require more energy due to the emotional involvement.
Hi CCurry,

When the world is overwhelming, that's the first thing I need to do. I think Nicolette is on target. Those closest to you take the most emotional energy to be around.

I think I like being on my own because it's easy, I don't have to cope with other peoples crap and they don't have to put up with mine. Apart from that it's easier to be alone with your thoughts when they are running around your head, out of control, than having to pay attention to other people.
Wattle makes a good point, its easier for me to just be me when I'm alone not having to worry about how I'm going to affect someone else.

There are days when I get really bad and I need my alone time. I push my husband away because, I just need to cry and be sad and listening to anything he says takes just too much concentration - its tiring. Its overwhelming. I feel like I'm drowning. We end up fighting because I'm easily frustrated by him. Its better to let me isolate instead of having us both hurting.
My C has let me know that he is beginning to struggle with the holiday blues (happens every year). He gets very depressed and angry. When that happens he isolates in his house for about a week. He just stays in his chair and sleeps through most of it. Doesn't eat much and barely keeps himself hydrated. When he comes out of it, he is still fragile so he gets lots of TLC and quiet surroundings from me. My heart goes out to you because I know how it worries me so when my C does this and I wish I could be there to comfort him.
Yes, I do share these feelings. Sometimes it is nice to have quiet all around me, with no need to interact with the world or other humans. Things become less complicated and I can re-generate. I am fortunate that my partner understands this, and just leaves me to it when I'm feeling that way.
As a sufferer and survivor of child abuse, I sometimes feel the need to be held, yet can't stand to be touched. It is hard for others to understand that and it is hard to explain why I feel both ways. This indicates a time when I need to be alone and I believe most sufferers have a time when they need their space to sort through things. I wouldn't take it too personally, as it represents a healing time, just like an injured dog will isolate itself from others, people are no different. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.
Those of us who suffer with all this tend to just get overloaded. By that, I mean overloaded by everything. The feeling comes from every direction and is not caused by any one thing or any one person.

Our cup is just to full and we need some very quiet, alone, calm and isolated down time. When we get to this point ANYTHING/ANYONE around us suddenly becomes an irritant. This is the time we begin to get nasty and lash out. We don't really want to do that, so we isolate.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on a little better.
I often need to be alone but as it's just not possible in this house I tend to go out walking/running. When I can't get that isolation to try and keep control of myself I end up snapping and argueing which soon gets rid of the last bits of control I was holding onto.

I can sympathise with what LH777 says, sometimes you are desperate for physical contact but at the same time can't stand to receive it. I would imagine its very difficult for people who's spouse/partners are sufferers as they want to help but literally can't do anything.
CCurry, I totally agree with many of them here. I like to be alone because it gives me so much inner peace and I am very happy with that. When I am around people, I have to think for their feelings and mine. I am usually very tired with others, even my close ones. I think it's perfectly all right to be isolated for a while, even for a week. We all need personal space and time, and being isolated is the perfect chance for it.
Hi CC,

I, too, need isolation or frequent withdrawal if I feel either overwhelmed from being with people, whether I am close to them or not. It was worse in the past. Now it's become a lifestyle, a choice, a habit if you will. People or situations can be overwhelming and never know it. Depends on the individual and what overwhelms them. For example, for the past few Christmases, I found it very stressful being with my family members because everyone looked and behaved happy and were in a party mood. Whereas I was had just undergone a major crisis in my life when 50 years of repressed feelings of happiness and terror surfaced. It was hard for me to be in that environment and I couldn't wait to be alone.

But there can be various factors why people need space.

One can be to remove themselves from triggers, one to recuperate from stressful social interaction, and in others, it is an anxiety disorder called Avoidant Personality Disorder or AvPD (also called anxious personality disorder). It's hard to know where to draw the line without a professional assessment but to qualify for AvPD, you must satisfy a set of a general personality disorder criteria at the same time.
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