…and welcome back to my blog.
Following on from my last post, this is the first in my series of reasons people come to counselling – and I’m starting off with feelings of isolation and loneliness.
We are social beings – this means we all need social interaction and relationships. To lead a healthy and fulfilling life we crave close interpersonal relationships. Literally from the moment of birth our very survival is dependent on others for care, developing bonds and relationships.
And while we need to develop these bonds and relationships, people will have different social needs – do you prefer a small number of close friends, or do you need a large group of people in your life to feel satisfied?
What happens when you aren’t satisfied with your social relationships?
This is where loneliness and isolation can play a part.
What is the difference between loneliness and isolation?
Loneliness can be categorised as feeling sadness and distress of being by yourself, being disconnected from the world, while experiencing feelings of emptiness, helplessness and hopelessness.
Isolation is where individuals are separated from others.
Being alone however doesn’t necessarily mean you are lonely, while you can be surrounded by others yet still feel lonely – perhaps you don’t feel close, understood or cared for by those around you?
Feelings of isolation and loneliness therefore relate to the gap between our desired social contact/intimacy and what we actually have, or to the perceived quality of our relationship.
These feelings can arise from a multitude of reasons:
- Being away from home
- Relationship issues with friends and family
- Relationship break-downs
- Being bullied
This can result in feeling like an outcast, and thus finding it difficult to build meaningful relationships.
Such feelings of loneliness and/or isolation can be stressful and impact our wellbeing, resulting in:
- Feeling unmotivated
- Loss of confidence
- Poor sleep and/or eating
- Substance dependency
It is in these times that counselling may help to lessen those feelings of isolation and/or loneliness. To perhaps work through the root causes, to establish a meaningful therapeutic relationship, in order to help repair existing or develop new meaningful relationships.
Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:
be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships