Hey guys, Welcome to another OddLearning post.

Today we are going to talk about Loneliness, and why it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

To start what is the definition of Loneliness?

Loneliness is a complex and unpleasant emotional response to isolation.

Everyone responds differently to it but our reactions can be anxiety, depression, panic attacks, irregular eating patterns, and more.

As humans we seek to communicate and connect with other beings, but for many of us, no matter how many people are around us, we are still alone.

I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.

-Robin Williams

The causes vary; there can be mental, emotional, social and physical factors. Loneliness doesn’t have a single cause so to prevent it or treat it depends in each individual.

Everyone can struggle with loneliness, as research has shown before many people, married, unmarried, couples, kids, veterans even the ones we see as successful struggle with it.

Some see it as mental problem, others as a psychological mechanism to motivate us to seek social connections. What do you think?

We experience loneliness for many reasons such as:

  • Lack of affection in our childhood.
    • Being left alone as infants
  • Lack of affection and understanding in our youth.
    • Blaming rash actions to age, not considering their feelings
  • Lack of friendships while growing up.
    • Bullying
  • Absence of meaningful people in our lives.
    • Loss of loved ones (This can also include people we admired, even if we never met them)
  • Breakups & Divorce.
    • This might cause withdrawal from their social circles to avoid anything associated with their sadness.
  • Homesickness.
    • Moving into an unfamiliar community
  • Postpartum Depression
    • Physical changes, dramatic drop in hormones, tiredness, and lack of support. All of those can make you feel alone, it’s a crucial time for mothers as without proper support it can lead to serious consequences.

Not only depression can be due to loneliness but loneliness has been found as a common symptom for chronic depression. They are always accompanied by each other.

Loneliness is seen as a social phenomenon capable of spreading like a disease. Our human nature allows us to be compassionate to others and sometimes we assimilate their pain to be more understanding, this can cause for certain feelings to remain and spread, increasing the amount of people experiencing the emotion, or in this case, the Loneliness.

What makes a person lonely is the fact that they need more social interaction or a certain type of social interaction that is not currently available.

We all have a social space to interact, it might be a reading group, or an online chat, but being overwhelmed by it can lead to feeling lonely. A psychological reaction to this is the feeling of shutting down and tightness in your chest.

Sometimes being alone can affect us positively, even if it tends to make us depressed and lonely, it can;

  • Improve our cognitive state.
    • Improving our concentration.
  • Reflect.
    • Analyze your actions carefully.
  • Growth experiences.
    • Spiritual growth.
    • Understanding of oneself.
    • Identity building.
  • Improve mood.
  • Creative & Artistic sense.
    • Many musicians find inspiration after spending some time in solitude.

This doesn’t mean that being alone or in solitude will make you more creative or inspire you, rather, it may influence you to engage in creative activities.

But you have to remember; “Too much of anything is bad”

Now if you are still reading this post, that’s great, we are glad because as loneliness is such a broad subject we needed to cover a little…yes “a little bit” before we answer the question;

Can you die from Loneliness?

The answer is…

-Yes-

โ€œThe greatest disease in the West today is not TB or Leprosy; It is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.

There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty, it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.โ€

โ€•ย Mother Teresa

Sadly, yes, you can die from loneliness. People that don’t have social support and feel alone have greater risks to suffer an early death.

Caused by:

  • Self-destructing urges.
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
  • Deteriorating Health.
    • Increase of cortisol levels in body, which prolonged can cause;
      • Anxiety
      • Depression
      • Heart Diseases
        • Stroke
        • Cardiovascular Disease
      • Digestive Problems
      • Sleep Problems.

Did you know that Loneliness can also affect the functionality of our immune system making us more vulnerable to sickness? This makes certain vaccines less effective, especially in young adults.

It has also been linked to help fasten the progression of diseases like HIV.

As we mention in previous posts, if you read the causes you can imagine what else Loneliness can have as a consequence…Suicide.

If you are feeling alone don’t take it lightly, it’s not easy to “get over it” because the causes for loneliness are also the solution. It’s not easy to reach out to someone when you don’t know who to trust, or when you don’t even know what’s making you feel this way. But even so I encourage you to seek help.

Pets can have a positive effect on our lives; I had a cat that helped me cope and didn’t realize it till later on.

Take Small steps. You don’t need to expose yourself to try to find a solution, but don’t give up before you try. You can start by greeting someone, or attending a group of your interest, every step counts to not be isolated and alone, ok?

 

If you need anyone to talk to or help you find resources close to you, please let us know, we will be glad to help.

-You are not alone-

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