We may all encounter loneliness at some point in our lives. It’s a fleeting emotion that many people experience occasionally in particular circumstances. Others, though, could experience loneliness constantly or a lot of it. Seeking Online Counseling from the counselor would be beneficial.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at what it means to feel lonely, who could be affected by it, and what resources are available to help people get rid of it.
What is it?
A “subjective, unwanted experience of loss of friendship” is how loneliness is described. It is a sensation we experience when our need and need for interpersonal ties and connections are not satisfied.
Since everyone’s experience of loneliness is unique, there is no universal definition of what it means to be alone. One person’s definition of loneliness may not be the same as another’s. While some people may regard this to be loneliness, others may be comfortable in their own company and choose not to make social ties with others.
Being alone is different from being lonely. Even if they are surrounded by close friends and family or in a relationship, some people can still feel lonely. People who don’t feel heard or understood by those around them frequently experience this. In isolation, your contacts may be counted, making it an objective state. You can be lonely in a busy environment, but you won’t be socially isolated, is one approach to explaining this discrepancy.
It’s common to confuse loneliness with being alone. But making the decision to be alone is a good thing. It’s a deliberate choice that can be peaceful, reviving, and therapeutic. There is no choice but to feel lonely. It results from a sense of isolation from other people.
Loneliness includes two types: social and emotional. When we miss the presence of one specific person, such as a spouse, brother, or best friend, we experience emotional loneliness. When we don’t have a large social network, we experience social loneliness (a group of friends or colleagues, for example).
Loneliness can be situational, meaning it only occurs occasionally, such as around the holidays or on weekends, or it can be chronic, meaning a person feels lonely all the time or most of the time.
Life involves social connection, and it is in human nature to seek love and support from others. When this is gone, you may feel incredibly alone.
There are numerous factors that can contribute to loneliness. Although it may not always be visible, some of the most frequent causes are:
- Losing a family member
- Relocating far from family and friends
- Lack of enjoyment or satisfaction in your work
- Having health issues that prevent you from leaving the house or engaging in social activities
Since loneliness is a subjective feeling, someone might be affected by it in a variety of ways.
Who does it affect?
Even though it is increasingly more prevalent in young adults, it is crucial to understand that everyone can experience loneliness and that we are all susceptible. Whatever the reason, it is a painful, intensely personal feeling.
More than two million seniors (75 and older) are single. Additionally, almost 500,000 senior citizens will go a week or longer without speaking to anyone. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that loneliness is a major problem among the elderly. This is frequently caused by growing older, losing companions, and getting weaker and less mobile.
People who are divorced or widowed run the danger of feeling lonely. They thought their companion would be with them forever, but she has left. They are alone for whatever reason, and this isn’t how you expect to feel, especially as a young adult.
You may have relocated away from your friends and family for a new career, and now you find yourself in a strange place where no one knows you. Making friends can be difficult these days. Even if you spend weeks making new friends, they won’t make good companions.
Being lonely is frequently stigmatized, especially among young people. Young individuals who experience loneliness frequently endure their suffering in quiet, perhaps because it is typically linked with the old or at least perceived as being slightly more acceptable.
The leading cause of death among teenagers is self-harm, which is mostly a result of the stigma around mental health and a lack of resources. Since they are unable to discuss their problems, they turn to self-harm as a means of coping with their emotional agony.
Impact on Mental Health
Although loneliness in and of itself is not a mental health issue, chronic loneliness is very closely associated with mental illness and unhappiness. Recently, we discovered that the impacts of loneliness and isolation can be as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and are more detrimental than obesity.
It may spiral out of control. You could feel that you have nowhere to turn or that you are too afraid to talk to anyone or ask for help because of stigma.
According to additional studies, loneliness can increase the risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and stroke as well as mortality risk by 26%.
Speaking with a counselor or therapist can be helpful if you’re experiencing loneliness. You may have a sense of support and connection. You can feel validated by talking to a professional; it’s OK to feel this way, it’s not your fault, and support is available.
Long-term loneliness raises the chance of contracting some diseases and can cause a number of mental health issues, including anxiety and despair. It’s not easy to have a mental health issue, and it’s even tougher to deal with it on your own. Contact a skilled expert if you feel alone or like you have no one to talk to. Feel free to seek Counseling Online from the counselor for more information.