Loneliness is something that every human may experience from time to time. It can come about for a number of different reasons and may even have no explanation at all. Loneliness isn’t something that discriminates and can affect any type of person at any point in their lives. However, for people living with mental health issues, loneliness may be something that worsens the symptoms of mental health issues. And, on the other hand, loneliness and isolation socially can also be a signifying factor of a developed mental health issue. In these cases, it’s important to further understand the impacts of loneliness and mental health issues in combination with one another. This way, people who are experiencing both can better understand how to manage these feelings and get help.
Loneliness can bring about a number of debilitating symptoms and even put people at a higher risk for developing health issues. For example, loneliness can actually lead to the development of mental health issues like depression. Loneliness can be caused by a number of things including major life changes like a loss of a job, divorce, or moving to a new location. But, no matter what the cause of loneliness is, being lonely can fuel a person’s desire to remain socially isolated. Thus, making symptoms of loneliness worsen and potential mental health issues to arise. When someone feels lonely over losing loved ones or a major life change, they are going to be sad. And, when people feel sad, they don’t have the energy or motivation to get out and make new connections or get out and be social with others. So, the cycle of loneliness and isolation continues – making symptoms of mental health issues get worse or even develop over time.
While any person can experience loneliness, there are demographics of people who are more likely to experience loneliness. And, therefore, more likely to socially isolate themselves from others and experience the negative health effects of doing so. These demographics of individuals include the elderly, people who have lost a spouse, immigrants, people in the LGBT+ community, people diagnosed with a life-altering injury or illness, people who have moved far away from their support systems, and minorities. It can be important to understand if you’re at risk for loneliness so that you can prepare yourself for what may develop as a result. And, set yourself up with supportive people and groups within the community, like group therapy and outpatient support sessions at a local mental health facility.
As mentioned, symptoms of mental health issues, like depression, can develop as a result of experiencing loneliness and social isolation. However, being lonely can also make it harder to get help. Even though it’s hard, the best thing to do when you’re experiencing the debilitating effects of loneliness is to reach out to others for support and gain a community of people who understand you and your needs. This can be accomplished by reaching out to supportive and compassionate mental health facilities that offer outpatient services, like Yellowbrick.
If you or a loved one is experiencing negative mental health symptoms as a result of loneliness, help is available. Find out more about Yellowbrick’s outpatient programs from our website and reach out for the support you need today.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.