Loneliness and isolation
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Do you feel disconnected, but want to overcome it – to reconnect – and be open to new relationships?
Feelings of loneliness can be debilitating and lead to isolation, anxiety and depression. The longest study on human happiness identified that positive relationships the biggest predictor of health as you age.
By addressing the underlying causes of loneliness, getting counselling and adopting simple changes to your lifestyle and habits, you can break the downward spiral and find more meaning in connection.
To some extent, loneliness is a part of the human condition and is unavoidable as our circumstances change.
For some however, loneliness can happen far too frequently, impacting their mental, emotional and physical health.
Loneliness can contribute to anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, stress, memory and heart problems, addiction and even suicide.
Symptoms of loneliness may include:
- Low self-esteem and viewing yourself as unworthy, unlikable, unattractive
- Lacking confidence and emotional energy to pursue relationships or nurture existing ones
- Socially awkward and unable to initiate social contact
- Pessimistic about finding companionship and supportive relationships
- Social withdrawal - isolation validates fears of rejection and negative thoughts
- Negative emotions (i.e. frustration, bitter, angry, envy, suspicious, jealous)
- Self-harm and / or suicidal thoughts
- Struggling with anxiety and depression
- Disrupted eating and sleeping patterns
- Developing unhealthy habits to cope (i.e. overuse of alcohol or drugs)
Feelings of loneliness and isolation manifest for many reasons, usually during times of transition and change.
For others, loneliness may be caused by thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, imperfection and shame. It is not always a reflection of what is happening in their lives, in fact, they may have a great deal of social contact. Their loneliness occurs secretively and silently within them.
Loneliness can be caused by:
- Death of a loved one; a break up in a significant relationship
- Physical isolation (i.e. moving to a new location, divorce, becoming a new parent, retirement)
- A childhood hurt or trauma (inadequate care or connection, abuse and/or neglect)
- Illness, change of health impacting lifestyle and social connection
- Experiencing stigma due to your gender, race, disability, health condition or sexuality
- Spiritual or personal growth – changing priorities, sense of purpose and feeling less connected to others
- Excluded from social activities due to financial or mobility constraints
- Societal changes, such as loss of community and sense of belonging
- Social media is a great tool but it can have a negative effect.
- Comparing other peoples’ happiness (perceived or otherwise) can emphasise feelings of loneliness
Loneliness may feel like a chasm, but it can be overcome. Speaking with a counsellor or psychotherapist can help you reconnect with yourself and others.
We provide support for all ages - children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to your situation but our counsellors can:
- Provide a safe space to talk about your loneliness and explore how it affects your life.
- Help gain perspective of its origin (i.e. you may discover your loneliness is caused by a past hurt, or something you experienced in childhood).
- Talk about habits you use to cope (hiding away, drinking alcohol, sleeping).
- Help you overcome toxic relationships, self-defeating behaviours and negative self-assumptions that exacerbate loneliness.
- Encourage you to value yourself and think of yourself as a whole person.
- Help you resist the urge to isolate and become assertive – to put yourself out there!
- Help challenge your negative inner critic with self-affirming messages.
- Support and offer strategies to help you recognise your strengths and move forward.
We offer strategies and techniques that empower small changes, which in the long run, will help overcome the loneliness and move towards connection.
Homeopathy can also offer emotional support alongside counselling, or as a first step if you’re tentative about opening up to a counsellor. For a remedy tailored to your needs, we recommend that you meet with one of our homeopaths for a consultation.