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Loneliness is the Greatest Curse

depression loneliness Oct 29, 2018

Loneliness is the greatest curse 
And loneliness is hell on earth
They say it's all in the mind 
Well I'm sure that's true 
But knowing isn't a cure 
It don't help me or you 

- Roger Taylor 

As the lyrics suggest ‘it’s all in the mind’, and being realistic that is correct. However, it is all about perspectives.  If you take the photograph at the top of this post some people will see it as a tranquil, beautiful, peaceful scene whilst others will see it as isolating and lonely. 

There is of course no right or wrong answer,  it is all about perspective. 

Everybody needs to feel ‘love and belonging’ as it is one of life’s basic human needs. Unfortunately, most of the time when people feel lonely, they feel that they are missing this and possibly detached from others.    

In a recent survey of 55,000 people in a BBC Loneliness Experiment, it concluded: 

  • 40 % of 16 – 24 year olds felt lonely ‘often’ or ‘very often’ 
  • 29 % of 65 – 74 year olds felt lonely ‘often’ or ‘very often’ 
  • 27 % of over 75’s felt lonely ‘often’ or ‘very often’ 

People with higher scores of loneliness – had: 

  1. Lower trust in others
  2. Higher levels of anxiety
  3. Greater number of Facebook ‘friends’

Maybe one of the reasons for people’s loneliness these days is a reliance on social media. This of course is, or can be, a solitary consuming of time. However, loneliness is not exclusive to people who use social media.

Most people will experience loneliness in their lifetime and it is not just people who are on their own.  Many people who are in relationships feel lonely as some of their needs are being met but not necessarily all of them. 

‘Feeling lonely isn’t itself a mental health problem, but it can have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if the loneliness lasts a long time.’  

-   Matt Blow, Policy Manager at YoungMinds  

Loneliness isn’t a life sentence though and there are many ways to combat feeling this way.  

The top five solutions reported are: 

  1. Do activities that distract you or dedicate time to work/study or hobbies. 
  2. Join a social club or take up new activities and pastimes. 
  3. Change your thinking to make it more positive. 
  4. Start a conversation with anyone. 
  5. Talk to friends or family about your feelings.  

Now, theory is always easy and being realistic all of the five solutions listed above are going to require effort. For many though, this might be a harrowing thought as there are other issues going on that are causing the loneliness – anxiety, depression to name a couple. 

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