Search engines receive many questions about feeling alone and loneliness. In this page, we provide short answers to some of the more commonly searched ‘how’ questions.
For fuller answers, we encourage you to explore the website.
Becoming lonely is a result of you feeling that you are missing a meaningful social connection with one or more people. You might be socially isolated from others and so have little opportunity to connect; or you could be amongst others and still feel the absence of a quality relationship.
Physically, loneliness can lead to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, high stress-sensitive hormone cortisol, and altered gene expression. Mentally, loneliness can lead to social anxiety, depression, paranoia, dementia, and obsessive compulsive symptoms.
Loneliness is an overwhelming persistent painful feeling of emptiness and numbness. It is a feeling of being discarded, unloved, or unwanted. Sometimes you know you are loved but you still feel no-one “gets you”. Those who are lonely may feel lost with no sense of direction.
Loneliness is linked to mental health as a cause and a result. It can lead to social anxiety, depression, paranoia, dementia, and obsessive compulsive symptoms. Conversely being mentally ill can increase loneliness. Preventing or early intervening loneliness reduces the chances of becoming mentally ill.
Loneliness affects your way of thinking, the way you perceive the world. Becoming lonely can socially isolate you, and cause you to become emotionally isolated. Loneliness can impact one area of your life – such as being bullied – and spill over to other areas – such as not being able to easily be amongst new people.
Being lonely affects seniors significantly. Each passing year more quality relationships are lost as a result of people moving away, or dying. Their own functional decline makes it harder to connect outside their home, and the stigma of loneliness means many elderly feel their pain and sadness is something to endure.
You can prevent loneliness by
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