Loneliness and isolation
Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. It is often described as a form of social pain or a psychological mechanism that motivates one to seek social connections.
One often experiences loneliness when one lacks interpersonal contact and intimacy, in this way one can classify loneliness as the state of being separated from others. At the same time, there is not always a feeling of depression associated with this separation. Some may feel lonely even when they are with many other people, this is often associated with a lack of deeper emotional ties.
The causes of loneliness vary and include social, mental, emotional and environmental factors. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a feeling of loneliness for many.
Research has shown that loneliness is present in all walks of life, among both those who are single and those who are in relationships, those with successful careers or not. Most people will experience loneliness once in a lifetime, but some may feel this feeling all the time. This chronic loneliness meets the criteria for a mental illness and help should be sought.
What can I do myself?
It is beneficial to sit down to look over your social contacts and internet use everyday. Often what we see on the internet can affect us negatively. Go through social media and delete what does not have a positive effect on you.
Think about which hobbies or interests can stimulate positive experiences.
Many people can experience positive reactions to physical activity and being around animals. Seek out training or places where you can be with animals.
What can Eyr help with?
Eyr has skilled psychologists who can help you understand the feeling of loneliness as well as identify and challenge the negative thoughts that create depression.
The Eyr psychologists can offer both support conversations and tailoring a targeted course of treatment to you, where different techniques and strategies are used to master your challenges.
Our psychologists also work closely with our doctors and can refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Vivek Murthy, Vivek (2020).
Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Harper Wave. pp. 103–113, 255–62, 185–281, passim.
Lazare Mijuskovic, Ben (2012).
Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and Literature. iUniverse. pp. 60–69
The article is written and professionally quality assured by psychologist Cecilie Skupinska Løvset