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Learning to Live with Loneliness

Updated on July 14, 2015

Loneliness

Its natural to feel lonely sometimes. However, there is a point when loneliness becomes extreme and can have serious repercussions. For some reason teenagers seem to suffer more from it.

Young mothers who spend much of their time caring for their children and isolated at home also rank toward the top. So do many older adults who perhaps have lost their spouse or longtime friends

It's becoming an epidemic. The problem is compounded when we keep our feelings bottled up. True, some may really have no one to talk to. But on the other hand some choose to be isolated. These are the ones who try to go it alone. They feel it's a sign of weakness to burden someone else with their problems.

There are many reasons people may be lonely, but sometimes it's their choice. They build a wall of loneliness as a defense mechanism against rejection. If they don't make friends then they can't be rejected or hurt. Attitudes such as these are usually found to be rooted in childhood. Loneliness doesn't have to be a permanent condition.

Everyone has times when they are alone for situational reasons, or because they have chosen to be alone. Being alone can be experienced as a positive, emotionally refreshing situation if it is under the individual's control.

Loneliness is an emotional state. A lonely person feels emptiness and isolation. It's more than just wanting company to talk to or do something with. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected, or alienated. People in this situation often find it difficult or impossible to interact with others.

Loneliness is an emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people.

Research has shown loneliness is widely prevalent throughout society. Among people in marriages, relationships, families, veterans and successful careers.It has long been a plague upon mankind since antiquity.

Six Types of Loneliness

1. Interpersonal loneliness: Losing a significant other, or intimate, relationship.

2. Social loneliness: people excluded from a group, or actively rejected.

3. Cultural loneliness: Those belonging to a different race or culture may feel they don't fit in.

4. Intellectual loneliness: A person who is intellectually superior to their peers may feel out of place trying to join in conversations with them. They just don't feel comfortable with these social groups.

5. Psychological loneliness: When a person has experienced a terrible trauma, they may feel there's no way could possibly understand how they feel.

6. Existential or cosmic loneliness: Experienced by those facing death or terminally ill.

Loneliness and being alone are two different things. Some may choose to live alone, or work where they do not often come into contact with others. Loneliness can seriously affect your mental health and physical well-being. It can lead to anxiety, depression and prolonged isolation. To stop feeling lonely, we first admit we are feeling lonely.

This can be difficult. Of course, the hard part is becoming more active. We may have to force ourselves to talk to people such as parents, family, or friends. Talking to someone can often help change our moods and open us up to willing conversation. If we don’t have a friend, talking with a pastor, teacher or counselor would be a good idea.

Whether you are lonely is not determined by the quantity of your relationships but by how you relate to the ones you have. You might be surrounded by people, but still feel empty and alone.

Most people would not be surprised to learn loneliness has a big impact on one's mental health as well. It increases your risk of clinical depression and suicide. Chronic loneliness is an even greater danger to your physical health. It's been linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke, rapid progression of Alzheimer's disease and the effects your immune system. Loneliness has also been associated with premature aging.

Many are alone and lead happy lives. We should investigate why, because many of us will be in the same situation someday. But Contrary to popular belief, the elderly are not the most lonely. It's younger people.

Many elderly have developed traits or habits that help them be comfortable with themselves alone. They have found ways to keep busy mentally. Many rely on good memories.

The young, however, can experience a wide range of moods, like someone with a bipolar disorder. They may be up one morning and down the next hour. Or up and down several times in a given day. They are often bored and restless to the point of being unhappy for no apparent reason.

When they are lonely, they blame themselves and resort to activities excluding any social contact, such as watching too much television.

Quotes about loneliness

Loneliness is not a fault but a condition of existence. Ivan Albright

It would do the world good if every man would compel himself occasionally to be absolutely alone. Most of the world's progress has come out of such loneliness. Bruce Barton

You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone, yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even going and coming. Emily Carr

People who lead a lonely existence always have something on their minds they are eager to talk about. Anton Chekhov

The time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Doug Coupland

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