Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 – Loneliness

Back May 10th, 2022

Mental health is complicated because it’s about how we think, feel and act, and this is always changing. When our mental health is good, we may enjoy being around other people and we feel able to take on challenges and new experiences. When our mental health is not so good, we can find it much harder. We all have good days and bad days, but negative thoughts and feelings can start to affect your daily life and stop you from doing the things you enjoy, such as connecting with others.

Loneliness isn’t always about being alone. It’s a state of mind where the human contact we want is out of reach, leaving us feeling empty and disconnected. The causes and solutions for loneliness can differ from person to person, and when left unaddressed, it can negatively impact our physical and mental health.

Loneliness can leave us feeling sad, stressed, tired and apathetic. It can also interfere with sleep and has even been said to weaken our immune systems, so it’s important to take care of ourselves when we’re feeling lonely.

We can all feel lonely sometimes for many different reasons, including at times of difficult change in our lives, such as relationships or friendships ending, or because of a close death. Sometimes, we can feel lonely even if we are around lots of people or have lots of friends.

It can be hard to find friends who “get us” or can relate to our experiences. Social media can make us feel extremely isolated, especially if we are being bullied or feel disconnected from the “perfect” lives we see. Even if we have many followers, it can feel like everyone else is surrounded by friends and loved ones and having a good time; this can make things feel much harder when we are feeling alone and not sure who to turn to for support.

Seeking help is often the first step toward getting and staying well, but it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn to. You may even find you isolate yourself when dealing with anxiety; cutting yourself off from family and friends. It’s common to feel unsure and to wonder whether you should try to handle things on your own.

Sometimes the beginning of getting help can be making sense of what you are going through by reading about it online. Getting informed may help you to collect your thoughts before you take the next step of reaching out for further support. Getting help as early as possible is a good idea if you’re worried about your mental health. The sooner you get help and treatment, the quicker you’ll start to recover.

Blog by Gibson Lousiela and Schnel Hanson, members of the Anxiety UK Participation Group

You are not alone – this Mental Health Awareness Week connect with others who experience anxiety. Anxiety UK encourages its members to connect with each other and share thoughts and feelings. You can connect with other members via our online members’ message board found in the members’ area of the website. Or why not join our online support groups? These provide a safe space to connect with others experiencing similar thoughts and worries. Find more information here: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help/anxiety-uk-courses-and-groups/