Since the onset of this never ending, ever morphing virus took hold of the world, many adults have found themselves enveloped with loneliness. Clients are reporting deep feelings of emptiness and perceptions that no one cares how they feel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), three in five Americans (61%) classify as lonely. The CDC identifies Loneliness as an emotion that comes from a lack of social connection. To address the seriousness of anyone suffering from loneliness, the CDC created this brief pamphlet offering ways to educate individuals about the seriousness of these emotions and offer ways to combat this issue. See link below
Some of the key determinants of loneliness:
- A lack of social support and infrequent meaningful social interactions
- Diminished physical and mental health
- Negative feelings about one’s personal relationships
- A lack of balance in one’s daily activities. Doing too much or too little of any given thing
The impact on mental health from loneliness can be directly correlated to social media. Often, when we scroll, like, share, and click these images, we compare our lives to others. We view the lives of our friends, family, and even complete strangers as much more interesting than our own lives. This can lead to feelings of inferiority and an unstable self-image.
Let’s understand that being alone is acceptable, and at times, needed. Sometimes withdrawing to reset is the best medicine. However, feeling disconnected from others and feeling unwanted or unwelcomed is not healthy. These emotions can be clinical indicators of interference in functioning and can be properly assessed using mental health services.
Remember by facing these feelings without judgment, you remove any stigma or belief that limits you. Challenging negative thoughts and perceived perceptions of others empowers you to create the life you deserve. You also get an opportunity to confront distorted beliefs and thoughts and go on to enjoy a more peaceful and joyful existence.
Lauren White, LCPC, Licensed Psychotherapist