WHAT IS LONELINESS?
- Feeling alone and isolated for long periods of time
- Having no one to talk to or go to for support or enjoyment
- Being around people but still feeling alone or isolated
Loneliness is a normal emotion. It can be temporary, or it can be so overwhelming that it makes it difficult to get on with your everyday life. If you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing because of loneliness or isolation you can talk to someone at CALM.
There are lots of stereotypes around loneliness, but it’s much more common than you might think. 9 million people in the UK report feeling lonely some or most of the time. People often assume that only older people get lonely, but it’s something that can affect everyone, no matter of age, gender or background.
Loneliness isn’t about how many friends you have or who laughs at your jokes. You can be surrounded by friends and family and still feel lonely. Humans need social connection. Studies have shown that without it, we can even suffer from mental and physical illness. Loneliness is our bodies’ natural response to a lack of human connection – a warning sign to let us know we need contact, just like hunger tells us we need food.
Feeling lonely can be especially difficult if you don’t know how to find the social connections you want or need. But there's help out there, and loads of ways to move forward.