Is loneliness addicting? Or is it the opposite?
Have you ever felt the calm in your bedroom when it is past afternoon and everywhere in the light of dusk? That peace when you don’t want anyone to be around you, and you like being in the calm? But that isn’t the case with the addiction of loneliness.
What is loneliness?
Loneliness is defined by researchers as the feeling of loneliness more than once a week. Loneliness causes people to feel alone, empty, and unwanted. Lonely people mostly crave human contact, but their state of mind makes it more difficult to form connections with people around them.
Have you felt this way in your life? If yes, then you may remember that being lonely soon makes you feel comfortable in this state. You will often feel like you don’t want to be around people anymore, and you are okay in your safe place. You may feel the urge to reduce all kinds of human contact and like being alone. Many of us have experienced this at some point during quarantine.
Once such a state is reached, your loneliness soon becomes your safe place and can feel addicting. People contacting you can make you feel like they are attacking your peaceful world and can be stressful. Feeling stressed compounded by being lonely can cause significant health issues.
Is loneliness a mental health issue?
Having a mental health issue may increase your chances of feeling lonely. For example, a few people might have misconceptions of what certain mental health issues mean. Hence you may find it hard to speak to them about your issues. You may also experience social anxiety and often find it hard to engage in everyday activities. Such activities involving people may lead to a lack of meaningful social contact and cause feelings of loneliness. So while loneliness is not a specific mental health condition, it can compound other mental health conditions.
Feeling lonely may also negatively impact your mental state, mainly if these feelings have lasted a long time. A few researchers suggest that loneliness is linked with the increased risk of specific mental health issues. These issues include stress, depression, anxiety, sleep issues, low self-esteem, and increased anxiety levels.
What causes loneliness?
Loneliness has a lot of different causes. Some that may resonate are:
- Experiencing a bereavement
- Going through a relationship breakup
- Retiring and losing social contact you had at work
- Changing jobs and feeling isolated from the co-workers
- Starting at university
- Moving to a new area or country without friends and family
You may experience one of these challenges and various points in your life. Feeling lonely is something that we all may experience at some point in our lives. There is a way through it. Reach out to an Advocate today.
Wishing you The Gift of connecting,