How Can Loneliness Affect Your Mental Health?

Loneliness is a psychological condition that does not necessarily refer to being alone but how connected to others you feel. This explains why sometimes you can feel lonely even though you are with friends or in a crowd.

Loneliness can be the result of multiple factors: shyness, anxiety, social anxiety, relational difficulties, illness or disability, divorce and separation, past negative experiences, trauma, work stress, lack of confidence or low self-esteem.

Persistent feelings of loneliness can result in physical and mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and addictions, as well as poor immune system and heart functioning.

Loneliness & Mental Health

Loneliness is widely interlinked with having an understanding of who we really are and what we are looking for in other people, as well as, with feeling confident to pursue the above two.

Here are some examples of how loneliness can affect your mental health and wellbeing:

  • Being afraid of getting intimate with others
  • Fear of social rejection
  • Going through a divorce, or bereavement
  • Dissatisfaction with a career choice
  • Being around people to whom you don’t feel connected to
  • Low self-worth

Loneliness has also been associated with several mental health conditions, and it can either act as a predisposing factor to developing a mental health disorder, or it can be a consequence of a mental health disorder itself.

Evidence shows that people who feel lonely are more likely to engage in alcohol and drug misuse, and to experience anxiety and depression. Loneliness can also lead to poor sleep patterns and disordered eating behaviours.

At EmotionMatters we have a multidisciplinary team who can provide you with a safe and supportive environment where you are able to share your emotions and feel better about yourself:

Psychotherapists – talking therapy to help you work through the underlying factors of your loneliness enabling you to create change

Nutritional Therapy – diet, lifestyle and health interventions to balance your body chemistry

Psychiatry – medical assessment and medication prescription for anxiety and depression