Here's what you should know about this 'epidemic' so you can effectively help it.
Most people have felt lonely at one point or another, sometimes due to a lack of strong relationships and other times because of a certain position they find themselves in. Whether these feelings come from a trauma or a specific situation, they need to be addressed and solutions need to be talked through.
Today, loneliness hits teenagers and the elderly the hardest, but it is not uncommon to other age groups. And no, not all loneliness is the same. According to Psychology Today, there are 7 types of loneliness that arise from different life situations and cycles. They are called ‘new-situation,’ ‘I’m-different,’ ‘no-sweetheart,’ ‘no-animal,’ ‘no-time-for-me,’ ‘untrustworthy-friends’ and ‘quiet-presence.’
What should you know about loneliness?
- Building a social network is the best way to prevent and protect against loneliness, according to Amsterdam's Municipality.
- Improving one’s self-esteem can help someone feel the confidence to build relationships and become less lonely.
- A one-off deed will not be enough to get someone out of loneliness. A change in structure needs to happen in order to improve someone’s condition.
- Loneliness can lead to other problems such as depression, alcohol addiction, sleep disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
- Learning to make and maintain meaningful relationships is among the top long-term solutions to loneliness.
Though there may not be one cure to loneliness that is plain and simple, the above facts are a good starting point when trying to help. Joining organizations that fight loneliness through activities and programs is also a good way of learning more about the problem and its effective solutions.
Teenagers and the elderly are the demographics most affected by loneliness. You can click here to find volunteering opportunities around the elderly or here to volunteer with young people.