If you’re asking, “what are the causes of loneliness?” Or “why am I feeling empty and alone?”
Then the first thing you should need to know is that it is not unusual for the human species to feel lonely and sad.
Since the human species is associated with social elements or to say that people are themselves social, then it will not be wrong to say that loneliness: is a harsh feeling given by society to its own people.
It is not at all such that a person pushes himself into loneliness only by being separated from society or not living in the community.
This lonely feeling comes into people’s minds when they visit a new place or city all alone. Loses someone close to them, goes through divorce etc.
The human race is linked to the nomadic human civilization. We are social animals, as Bessel van der Kolk puts it.
Primitive humans lived in herds or groups and used gesture language.
Being in a pack, they never felt lonely because there could be no question of lonesomeness.
If you’re always happy, how do you know there’s another feeling called sadness? Similarly, if you’re never alone, how do you know what loneliness is?
If one was unhappy in the herd, the other person knew why they were sad and how their misery could be reduced.
Embarrassment did not grow because nothing is hidden from each other, and where shame has not been produced, one can openly express their personal thoughts or problems to others.
Gradually, the power of thinking and understanding developed in primitive humans, and they started exchanging their ideas through painting.
Due to which they began to understand what they had to share with their flock and what’s not.
A sort of loneliness was born here.
In the earlier time, people worked as an organization. Each family was a group.
People used to present their problems to the head of the house. That problem or any sorrow could not lead that person to loneliness because he knew he was not alone.
Just as the primitive humans gradually came out of their group and started forming separate groups. In the same way, a joint family progressed towards a nuclear family where they began to feel that they were living a better and more developed life than before.
As primitive humans were divided into many groups.
Groups were transformed into many cultures, cultures were transformed into religions, and finally, religions were divided into many sects.
That is, contraction and individuality have always flourished through division.
Similarly, a joint family turned into many nuclear families, and in today’s modern era, the nuclear family has become even more limited and narrow.
Due to which personal privacy started increasing along with a family. And due to this personal privacy, instability took birth in the mind of the person.
Because of this self discomfort, the fear of embarrassment started spreading in a family.
And it was this fear of embarrassment that further fueled the man’s grief which he began to bear from within, and the loneliness gripped him in its arms.
The head of the household cannot tell his problem to any other person, and the youth cannot share his grief with any other of his age as there are only three people in the family.
On top of that, trusting other people has become an arduous task these days.
By all this, it doesn’t mean that a family should be huge. Or in a big family, a person may not feel lonely, or only the person feels lonely in a nuclear family.
Loneliness depends on whether the social needs of the individual are being met or not.
Whether the thinking of the person matches with the thought of his society or not.
If we look at the 2012 study done on Finns, it’s found that working individuals who live alone are at an 80% higher risk of developing mental health problems than people living with families.
In today’s modern era, it is not possible to take a large family along, and it will not be entirely correct to say that in a big family, a person will not have to work against the sentiments of the people.
In a large family, a lot of pressure is created on the personal needs of the individual.
In contrast, where people in a nuclear family do not face compulsion to do something, the rules are much stricter in a large family. Due to this the person becomes angry and starts thinking of his compulsion as his loneliness.
He starts criticizing himself personally. He begins to understand that there is no one to understand him. There is no one to support him in his grief.
But does the person have no means of erasing his sorrow or his problems or his self-criticisms?
On analyzing both the above things, it is understood that loneliness can become mutual in both places. People feel lonely even when surrounded.
Thus, it’s correct to say that whether you’re social or anti-social, you’ll experience this emotion or mood at some point in life.
One can be surrounded by his inner criticism in both places; he may feel that the whole world has rejected him.
The person starts wanting to be the object of pity and wishes to attract the people’s attention by showing his pathetic condition.
The person tends towards the wrong mood to get out of his inner critical voice. Due to being immersed in social media, drugs, alcohol etc., the person keeps on destroying himself.
He starts thinking that the only solution to his problem is to be completely away from social life.
This loneliness gives him mental damage as well as financial and physical. And the person reaches a state of depression where, in the end, he sees death as the only holy path.
Despite all of this, there’s one good thing about loneliness is that it’s a problem. And problems could be solved — no matter what it is, you can always solve a problem.
Either on your own or by taking help from someone.
But, if we want to get rid of this severe mental problem- loneliness -we must first understand its reasons, and through this article, we’re going to look at the most significant causes of loneliness.
Once you detect yours, you’re good to be on the path to overcoming your feeling of loneliness.
10 Signs of Loneliness
|Fear of Attending Social Events.||❌|
|Spending Too Much Time on Social Media.||❌|
|Feeling of Physical Pain in Loneliness.||❌|
|Talking Negative Things About Yourself.||❌|
|Feeling Self-Guilt Without Any Crime or Mistake.||❌|
|Being Afraid of Something Will Go Wrong All the Time.||❌|
|The State of Depression.||❌|
|Not Speaking to Anyone or Remaining Silent All the Time.||❌|
|Desire to Lie in Bed the Whole Time.||❌|
7 Causes of Loneliness
1. Death of Someone Close to Us
The first reason why we feel lonely among various causes of loneliness is the loss of someone close to us — permanent or temporary.
It is a state of loneliness that reflects the moments of a person going through a bad feeling.
In this particular situation, a person becomes very disappointed and distraught due to the loss or abandonment.
For example, the death of parents, close friends, and pets; the sudden end of our success, feeling self-guilt, and not fulfilling our set goals.
The problem of loneliness; settles in our minds in the absence of someone by creating a reflection of their memories.
We, then, only and only want to follow the memories of that person. This situation becomes more disturbing when we don’t have any work to do.
And why do we behave like that? Because with that person or thing, we’d developed a strong emotional and physical connection that’s hard to find with another human being or thing.
Moreover, we were also part of some habits that started our day. And when we lost them, we lost those emotions and habits as well.
Like if you’ve lost your pet, then with that, you’ve also lost the morning and evening walks. You lost hugging, kissing and feeding that animal that helped you feel love, compassion and kindness.
All these emotions are essential to help us feel alive.
But when someone goes away, we tend to feel empty and alone. There are other factors as well that make us feel lonely when we lose someone, such as we feel insecure and scared if that person was our protector or provider.
This bad situation pushes us toward depression, and we get lost in our imaginary world as if it was the only truth for us.
2. Sudden Change in the Environment
The feeling of loneliness always comes with not accepting a new environment.
When a person goes to another area or country for work, living, or education, he cannot accept the changed social and cultural environment.
The barriers of language and culture compel him to form new social bonds. Due to this, he experiences a social distance, and this distance causes him to feel loneliness.
And why that person doesn’t accept the new changes to overcome loneliness?
Because he was part of something that’s hard to leave behind. It’s hard to leave our old school, it’s hard to leave our parent’s house, and it’s hard to change our careers.
It’s not that we cannot accept change; we can do that very easily if we leave our old state – which is the hardest part.
And why is it hard to leave our old state behind? Because we were comfortable in it.
We were comfortable at our old school. We were comfortable at our parent’s house, and we were comfortable at our old job.
But change requires us to get out of our comfort zone. If you’re able to do that, you’re able to accept the change.
Once you accept the change, you’re on the path of transformation, which will eventually change you. Once you’ve changed, you’re part of a herd. And in a herd, you don’t feel loneliness — if you’ve chosen the right herd.
3. Being Introvert Person Is One of the Causes of Loneliness
Being too simple or having a very shy nature of a person almost makes social distance inevitable.
Sometimes a simple character is good in social interactions.
But, if that calm nature makes a person an introvert, then the person becomes isolated in every relationship.
Even if they’re not isolated, they feel hard to adjust to people in different situations.
When a person starts hesitating to talk to another person, the distance between that person begins increasing in society.
And not only in society but also in his kinship and even in his home.
People with introverted personalities are unable to adapt to the external environment. It is what gives them more joy to be by themselves.
But as age increases, so do the social expectations of that introverted person.
And then, even if that person starts trying to establish relationships, he makes inappropriate relationships, which later prove to be painful for him.
Because at that time, he did not have the understanding to identify people.
Or distance from society becomes a cause of depression episodes for him.
4. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
When a person is aware that he is living his life in loneliness, he is attracted to such easy measures by which he can overcome his loneliness.
But these measures push him even more towards loneliness.
If a person is available all the time to entertain himself on an online platform, then he does not know how lonely and depressed he is.
The person sees the virtual world as reality only.
A person uses the internet so much to forget his loneliness as if there is no one outside the internet for him.
Here, the intellect of the person starts being eroded. For that person giving up gaming and social media for even a moment feels like distracting himself.
Along with being irritable, the nature of the person starts becoming angry.
With excessive use of social media, a person starts forgetting his social environment.
For him, the virtual world becomes the only society. Who connected with him in the virtual world, liked his post, how many people followed or unfollowed him etc.
And the primary underlying reason for that person to do that is that the virtual world offers indefinite rewards such as likes on posts and winning a game.
These rewards further release dopamine in our minds that makes us feel better. So, no matter what, we don’t leave the couch, bed, or computer seat.
Because we’re getting our doses of dopamine from the internet, we don’t need the real world.
The person’s mind pretends to be happy and has a social personality by thinking about these virtual things.
For him, the importance of virtual things matters the most, as if he has no relation with the outside world. That person starts seeing society as a curse.
He assumes that society is working against his freedom every moment.
And thus, the person is never able to adjust to the real world, and on top of that, depression makes that person’s mind hollow.
Using social media is not a cause of loneliness; however, using too much social media is. To save yourself from fear of missing out, it’s a good idea to check out your Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat for a while.
It helps you get connected again with the people you care about because that’s why social platforms were first created for.
But, involving yourself too much with them increases the chances of always feeling lonely. There’s a direct association between social media use disorder and loneliness.
Also, one study suggests that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day can help you feel less lonely and better about yourself. It directly means that somewhere we’re mistaking the giants.
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5. Lack of Quality Social Relationships
Naturally or in a theoretical way, a person can have many friends, but can that person give equal time to all his friends with the same energy?
On a personal level, it’s not possible, which means that only a few relationships can be permanent and strong. And one can feel better in limited friendships.
But if all those close friends also do not get that person’s time after a specific time, there will inevitably be a distance in the relationship, and the person will start feeling lonely.
From a social point of view, it is always better for a person to establish limited but quality relationships than to have more connections.
If more attention is paid to the quality of the relationship in friendship, then the ties always become reliable and lasting.
With this type of relationship, a person never feels lonely, even in the worst of circumstances.
The feeling of loneliness experienced by a person in social relationships arises due to a lack of time. You can understand social loneliness very easily from the illustration given below.
According to the above picture, as the time of a social relationship increases, the quality of that relationship will increase as well as improve.
But if time is not given in that relationship, that relationship becomes limited to known only, and the person starts feeling lonely and sad or depressed.
However, the development of any relationship and keeping it energetic depends on the contribution of both the individuals towards each other in the social environment.
Be it emotional, social or personal. Maintaining quality in any relationship is a two-way street in reality.
6. Divorce Is One of the Main Reasons
With divorce or separation between couples, the feeling of loneliness naturally arises. It’s a popular reason among causes of loneliness.
There can be many reasons for divorce or separation between couples like; Physical harassment, mental harassment, indecent behaviour, non-fulfilment of physical needs, lack of income at home, etc.
But the feeling of loneliness in divorce is always born out of expectation.
Before marriage, people make many expectations and hopes of their spouse, which is natural and real.
But when these hopes are not fulfilled due to divorce, they keep on drowning in the ocean of despair.
People think of sharing future happiness and sorrows, but due to divorce, they see the break-up of a forming or formed partnership, which means that they are now going to be a single partner and only companion of their own.
This pain is enough to drive them into episodes of depression and loneliness.
Due to broken relationships, a person becomes a victim of bad habits, where he starts taking excessive intoxicants, misbehaves and getting angry with people, family or even relatives.
And as a result of this people start making distance from him.
It is not normal to be separated from friends and family that were all a part of your life, but because of divorce, you start to assume that they are all seeing your personal image differently.
This is probably true, too, and depends on the kind of society you live in and how advanced the education is there.
Because of this self-created feeling, you start feeling embarrassed and then the desire to be separated is born in your mind. And this desire causes loneliness as well.
When your children are also involved in the divorce, all these things are resolved under child custody.
If you don’t get shared or single custody of children, you start feeling incomplete without kids and miss all the moments you spent with them.
Here you see your life without kids as void. This type of incident also gives rise to loneliness after divorce.
7. You’re Feeling Lonely Due to Harassment
If people are being harassed physically and mentally, are bullied by someone, their emotions are being played with, they have been subjected to cybercrime, or harassed through the internet.
Those people break down badly, and it’s like creating a sense of insecurity in oneself. To bully, or humiliate someone; is like making a person emotionally weak.
This type of harassment drowns the person in embarrassment, due to which the abused person cannot even tell about their odd circumstances even if they want to.
Mental oppression caused by harassment compels the individual to remain isolated between society and loved ones.
This type of harassment first starts in school or even at home; after that, mental abuse can commonly be seen in universities, offices, and private and government institutions.
Where a person suffers a lot alone and experiences an awful feeling of loneliness for the first time.
In the modern era, there has been a change in the methods of mental harassment.
It has now become even more horrific and scary.
Earlier mental harassment was limited only to the victim’s embarrassment, but it has been made even more brutal through the Internet.
Where the oppressed person even thinks of ending his life because of his loneliness.
What Diseases Can Be Caused by Loneliness?
Well, if you’re looking for the answer to the question, “Can loneliness cause depression?” By now, you’ve already known about it.
Still, I want to make sure that based on the Finns’ study, it was found that individuals who were living alone were more likely to purchase antidepressants.
Therefore, somewhere it’s possible. Perhaps more than possible.
Besides this, you could also feel some other diseases because of loneliness that can severely affect your life.
- Anorexia nervosa – is an eating disorder that causes loss of appetite.
- Hypercholesterolemia – high blood cholesterol level.
- Emotional distress.
- Loneliness can also increase the risk of suicidal death.
- Heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Insomnia/Sleep disorders.
- Bipolar disorder.
- Other psychiatric diseases.
How Does Loneliness Affect the Body and Mind?
Apart from diseases, loneliness could affect your life on different emotional levels, making it hard for you to accompany people.
- You could feel sad and empty.
- You could feel Anhedonia which causes the inability to feel pleasure.
- Loneliness could cause a lack of energy which is Lethargy.
- You might find it difficult to concentrate.
- Being anxious is another effect on your body and mind due to loneliness.
- Sometimes you might experience chronic body aches and pains.
- It can lower your motivation and confidence.
- Some days you might experience difficulty getting up from bed. And some nights, you might find it hard to sleep. Or some other days might perhaps sleep too much.
- Feeling hopeless can also be the effect of loneliness.
- Consumption of recreational drugs and excessive alcohol.
So these were the causes of loneliness that affects and impacts our life in various ways.
A person feeling lonely undergoes several mental problems, as mentioned above. But, it’s not that they cannot overcome it. They can if proper procedure gets followed.
It will take time, but sooner or later, they’ll be able to overcome loneliness. And if they knew the reason for it, they’d be able to do that effectively.
Because of this article, I hope you can find out the reasons for loneliness occurring in your life. Plus, you would be able to treat them right before it becomes too late.
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