There’s a big difference between being lonely and being alone, and one of those has more consequences than the other. While most people enjoy a little alone time on occasion and others enough being alone for a very long period of time, being lonely is a completely different feeling, and extended periods of isolation can have some severe consequences on your mental health.
Of course, there are a lot of health issues that loneliness can cause as well, but for this article, we will be focusing on mental health issues.
1. It Adds To the Depression
The clinical definition of depression states feelings of severe despondency and dejection, and whenever we feel dejected and without hope, it is because we are often lonely or feel like no one sees us or cares. If we are dealing with sadness and depression, and don’t have anyone to talk to or even anyone to go and see about all of it, then we can feel even worse.
Fixing depression takes a lot of different approaches, but one of those approaches is connection. Whether you are talking to a therapist or chatting with an old friend, being able to talk to someone about these feelings that you are dealing with is a very good idea.
2. It Raises Stress
Whenever we are alone we often feel fear about our situation, especially if we are in a new city or new environment. If you feel like you are just shuttling between work and home all day and not interacting with too many people, then you might start to feel stressed about where you are.
It can be very scary not knowing where you are or living in a new city and then seeing all the other people with their lives together, so you don’t want to be alone.
3. It Makes You Envious
One of the biggest problems with isolation is that you start to get angry at all the people who have relationships, friendships, and other activities that you might want to do. Most of us don’t choose to be lonely, and whenever we see people who are happy we start to self-doubt ourselves and also get envious of what they have.
Envy makes everything worse, as we don’t put any effort into making friendships or reaching out to other people, but instead, we choose to focus on simply feeling bad and stewing. That is never healthy.
4. It Stunts Your Social Growth
Whenever we are isolated for a long period, we can sometimes pick up habits and tics that can be annoying to others. You also get closed off and can forget how to have normal conversations with people. This can cause a lot of problems whenever you go back out into the real world and start to talk to people again, as no one has corrected you on any social skills that might be lacking.
5. It Can Make You Feel Alone
As common as that phrase might seem, you do need to realize that sometimes feeling alone can lead to a very dark place. It can make you tell yourself lies and also things that you would never believe otherwise, and you can have a very dark spiral happen that can be tough to climb out of. No one wants to feel so alone that they decide to leave the world, and that’s why you need to be aware of these consequences.
Find Some Connection
Therapy, getting a support animal, calling up a family member, anything that you can do to get some connection, you need to do it right away. That’s the best way to avoid the consequences of loneliness.