Many people these days find it quite difficult to connect on a deeper level with others. Unfortunately, people who have been through traumatic situations find it even harder. Research indicates that trauma may make one more susceptible to feeling lonely. So connecting with people is especially hard when experiencing both trauma and loneliness.
Loneliness can lead to several unfavorable psychological and physical conditions.
Additionally, the adverse effects of trauma are like those associated with loneliness. Feelings like anxiety, depression, and suicidality are common to both isolation and trauma. Traumatic events are usually life-threatening or stressful events. Trauma can include abuse, the death of a loved one, crime, or even a natural disaster, etc. It can cause your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to change. It can feel like the whole world changes after the event. Trauma shows up in a myriad of emotions, and loneliness is usually one of these emotions.
Loneliness is isolation and disconnection from one’s community. In a couple of ways, society contributes to these feelings resulting from trauma. People dealing with this kind of pain get labeled as victims sometimes. Some hate the label because they feel people may see them as weak or gullible. A person who suffered abuse by another person sometimes chooses to remain quiet about it. This is especially the case if their community dismisses the issue. Also, if the traumatic event occurred when the victim was alone, it could be very triggering to be alone—driving home the feeling of loneliness.
People also begin to lose their trust in others as they find it hard to communicate and connect with people.
Being alone and being lonely are two different things. Choosing alone-time to reflect on our lives and come to grips with a situation is healthy. Isolation for a prolonged time does the opposite. Some people are open to talk about their trauma and loneliness while others are not. Wounded people have more difficulty trusting people because of all they’ve experienced. They might not even believe they deserve care or love, not to mention the fear of getting hurt again. All these could lead to them isolating themselves and becoming lonely.
Navigating a traumatic event already leads to a host of negative emotions. Many people who experience trauma also have PTSD. Adding the feeling of loneliness causes even more pain. It is imperative to have people you can confide in, but they must be the right people. Connecting on a deep level with another person is crucial. Not sharing how you feel can exacerbate the feeling of loneliness. Whenever you need someone to talk to, GeboCall Advocates are ready to listen. Doing this connective work will make it easier to develop meaningful, lasting relationships.
Wishing you The Gift of Healing,