Loneliness is a common feeling that we all might have experienced at one time or another, but you might be experiencing a more severe, crippling form of loneliness that can make it harder to be motivated, or be social, and otherwise function in your day-to-day life.
If you are struggling with crippling loneliness, then you should know that it is never too late to start working on overcoming it and the underlying factors that contribute to such severe distress. If you are ready to start tackling your loneliness or you just feel like you need someone to talk to about your loneliness, then therapy could be a good option for you.
I am here to provide you with treatment for your feelings of aloneness and can help you take the first steps to overcome the loneliness you are experiencing.
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As I already mentioned, loneliness is an emotion that almost everyone feels from time to time. Whether it inhibits you emotionally, or physically, or both, loneliness is a human emotion that is quite common. However, if you want to identify if your loneliness is worthy of therapy, it is important to know exactly what the clinical description of loneliness is and what you might be feeling if you are plagued by loneliness.
Loneliness typically occurs when an individual is feeling unfulfilled in their social life. This could be due to a lack of company, social anxiety, uncontrollable events, loss of a loved one, and many other things. One can also feel lonely when surrounded by others. Generally, loneliness may feel like an undesirable way to live, and those who experience loneliness typically do not want to feel lonely anymore. Loneliness is painful.
There are a variety of reasons for possible loneliness, and if you are feeling alone then you should know that millions of people are going through the same thing. Loneliness is a common reason that individuals seek therapy.
Reasons for Loneliness
There is no one set reason for someone to feel debilitating loneliness. Loneliness could be caused by a variety of reasons. Many people report feeling lonely because of the end of a relationship or an inability to be social, but a wide range of people experience loneliness . Here are some of the most common reasons for loneliness that patients experience:
- Death of a loved one
- Ending of a relationship
- Being a single parent
- Being single
- Retirement or boredom
- Abuse or neglect survival
- Having emotionally absent parents
Loneliness is caused by a wide range of possible reasons, and is not limited to the causes on my list.
Loneliness can also be caused by a mixture of these factors that could worsen the experience of
loneliness that you are feeling.
Everybody experiences loneliness occasionally. Loneliness is a subjective emotion; no people will have the same loneliness experience. We experience loneliness when our demand for fulfilling social contact and connections is unmet.
However, being lonely is not always the same as being by yourself. Some people could isolate, be alone and have a happy life with little interaction with others. Or you can be involved in a relationship, have a family, or have a lot of social contacts, yet feel lonely, especially if those around you don’t seem to care about or understand you.
Why Do People Feel Lonely?
There are numerous causes of loneliness, which change from individual to individual. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to pinpoint what exact situation makes people feel lonely.
Some people may experience loneliness as a result of specific life circumstances, such as:
- Having lost a loved one
- Experiencing a breakup in a relationship
- Losing social contact with workmates and friends
- Switching jobs and experiencing alienation from coworkers
- Beginning a new life like college or marriage
- Relocating without family, friends, or existing community networks to a new place or nation
According to some research, people who reside in particular environments or are part of specific groups are more prone to loneliness. For instance, if you:
- Having no family or friends
- If you don’t get along with your family
- You may find it challenging to maintain a social life if you are a single parent or care for someone else
- Being a member of a minority group and residing somewhere where there are no others with their heritage
- Are prevented from participating in social events because of mobility issues or a lack of money
- Endure stigma and discrimination due to a long-term health issue, such as mental health issues or a disability
- Encounter prejudice and stigma because of your sexual orientation, race, or gender
- Having been the victim of sexual or physical abuse, which may be more difficult for you to build strong relationships with others
How Do you Know You Are Lonely?
Some signs can help you identify lonely people; therefore, if you notice them in friends or relatives, advise them to see a therapist, and the best one is Dr. Lynn Winsten of Berkeley.
- Lonely people last long in a hot shower
- Being addicted to binge-watching shows
- Spending too much on social media
- Hanging out with other lonely individuals
- Recent weight gain
- A feeling that you constantly have cold
How to Overcome Loneliness in 3 Steps
You may feel like every other person has someone apart from yourself. That could be because your loved ones stay miles away from you. You may have had episodes of thinking if you will be lonely forever. However, of significance to note is, loneliness is a red alert. It is telling you to reflect on your life.
As you remember and turn around the situation, here is what Dr. Lynn Winsten, an expert in this area, recommends.
Understand Your Loneliness
According to Doctor Lynn Winsten, overcoming loneliness begins with understanding it. Unless you know the problem, you cannot solve it. After understanding the problem, move to the next step, putting the issue in words. You can write or talk to a therapist such as Doctor Lynn Winsten.
Regardless of the circumstances, you must stop everything and face yourself. It would be best if you understood who you are and how good or bad you are. In addition, you need to be soft on yourself and nurture some compassion for your inner self. Be sure to give yourself enough time, but remember it shouldn’t take much time.
Know Other People
The last thing that Doctor Lynn Winsten recommend is knowing other people. After knowing who you are, come out and understand other people. Never mind if you have poor social skills, as they can be learnt and nurtured.
As you navigate this step, remember the following:
- You may make mistakes, but don’t give as it is normal
- Talk to all people you meet
- Start to take steps slowly to know people you meet along the way
Is Loneliness a Mental Disease?
Although loneliness by itself is not a mental health issue, the two are closely related. Your likelihood of experiencing loneliness may rise if you have a mental health issue.
You can find it challenging to discuss your issues with some people since they may not understand specific mental health issues (see our pages on tips for dealing with stigma). Or you can struggle to participate in everyday social activities due to social anxiety or social phobia, which could prevent you from making meaningful connections with others and make you feel lonely.
Your mental health may suffer if you’re lonely, especially if those feelings persist for a long time. According to some studies, loneliness increases the chance of developing mental illnesses like depression, worry, low self-esteem, sleep issues, and excessive stress.
Lonely people may feel alone and cut off from others. It is a complicated mental state brought on by personality features, mental health issues, life circumstances, and low self-esteem. Loneliness can also have detrimental effects on one’s psychological and physical well-being.
If you are experiencing loneliness and it is interfering with your quality of life, then you should know there are steps that you can take to combat this feeling and get to the core issues of what you are experiencing. This can be accomplished with the help of a professional.
I provide therapy to help clients gain insight into the causes for these feelings of loneliness and address the factors in their life that have led to these feelings and get relief.