We all experience loneliness at times. Because loneliness is a personal experience, each person’s loneliness will be unique. As it is mental health awareness week, let us try that no one in our family goes through a phase of it. Talk to them, take care and enjoy.
The feeling we get when our personal need for rewarding social contact and relationships is not met is a standard description of loneliness. However, loneliness is not always synonymous with being alone.
Others may find being alone a lonely experience, while you may choose to be alone and live happily without contact with other people.
You could have a lot of social contacts, be in a relationship, or be a family member and still be lonely – especially if you don’t feel understood or cared for by those around you (visit our blog post on 5 ways to deal with loneliness).
Is loneliness a form of mental health issue? Let us try to eradicate it in this mental health awareness month.
Although loneliness is not a mental health issue in and of itself, the two are closely linked. Being lonely is more likely if you have a mental health problem.
Some people, for example, may have misunderstandings about what specific mental health problems entail, making it difficult to discuss your concerns with them (visit our blog post on tips for dealing with stigma).
Alternatively, you may have social phobia (also known as social anxiety) and find it challenging to participate in everyday activities that involve other people, leading to a lack of meaningful social contact and feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness can harm your mental health, especially if it persists for an extended time. According to some studies, it is linked to an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems, and stress.
What causes loneliness?
Loneliness has a variety of causes that differ from person to person. We don’t always know what it is about a situation that makes us feel alone.
Regardless of their social situation or how many friends they have, some people experience deep and constant feelings of loneliness that come from within and do not go away.
There are a variety of reasons why people feel isolated. You may lack self-confidence or feel unable to like yourself or be liked by others.
Certain life events may make some people feel lonely, such as:
- Going through a bereavement
- Going through a breakup with someone
- Retiring and losing work-related social contact
- Feeling isolated from your coworkers after changing jobs
- Beginning in university
- Relocating to a new city or country without the support of family, friends, or community.
Thinking about what makes you feel lonely might help you develop a solution.
This year 2022, we’re focusing on the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to combat it during Mental Health Awareness Week. Follow us on our social media platforms, and let’s make people aware of mental health.