Loneliness is more than physical isolation – it is emotional and social isolation. Feelings of loneliness overwhelm thoughts, even when other people are around.
Loneliness can occur as a result of a lack of close relationships and social interaction, or as a result of a lack of appreciation. In the digital age, where communication is seemingly active, people can still experience loneliness because quality, not quantity, is the key factor in relationships.
Loneliness can take many forms, from a momentary feeling of emptiness to long-lasting and depressing thoughts. It can be triggered by unexpected life changes such as moving house, the loss of a loved one or the absence of a lasting and meaningful connection (relationship). Loneliness is a deeply personal experience and what seems isolating to one person may mean the opposite to another.
Loneliness is not just an emotional condition, it has visible effects on both mental and physical health, such as depression or persistent feelings of anxiety.
Fighting loneliness involves building meaningful relationships with family, friends or professionals. Assuming that loneliness is a pressing human mental health problem, we can strive for a more inclusive society to help those in need.