I have met plenty of patients who are dealing with their burdens of the world alone. This can be very overwhelming to a person who does not have a support system. The former surgeon general , Dr. Vivek Murthy has brought the topic of loneliness to the public consciousness due to its effect on people’s overall health.
You may have a co-worker, neighbor, classmate, teammate,or even a family member who is privately suffering in silence. Many people are struggling with:
- Declining health
- Failing relationships
- Uncertainty with their finances
- Physical and mental disabilities
- Unforeseen problems
- Personal loss and grief
- Not feeling fulfilled
- Academic and employment issues
Despite, how connected our world is through social media, there are people who still feel alone and its having serious effects on their mental health. Not feeling like you have someone to talk to or vibe with can make a person feel as if they are on an island on to themselves. You may be asking, why don’t they talk to their co-workers, classmates, or community members. It is not that easy. People have different barriers that prevent them from opening up and feeling safe to confide in others.
Lonely people may feel:
- Ashamed of their problems
- Not accepted or part of a group due to age, race, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic status
- No one can understand them
- They are broken or toxic and no one wants to be near them
- Their problems may be a burden for others
- They have burned to many bridges
- They are the only person in the world with their problem
Loneliness knows no boundaries. This feeling can effect the most wealthy and famous to the poor and unknown. It comes as a surprise to the public when they hear about their favorite celebrity struggling with a personal problem, which may be based from loneliness, and not being able to reach out to anyone.
Loneliness is not limited to mental health disorders such as PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Alcohol Use Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Patients fighting cancer or living with diseases such as HIV may feel alone when they have no outlets or do not see progress.
We have to look out for our fellow community members and help those struggling with loneliness. Simple things you can do are:
- Ask how they are doing?
- Invite them to join you or your group for a meal.
- Invite them to your social function, place of worship, think tank, or study group.
- Invite them to exercise (walking in community or going to gym) or watch a movie
- Genuinely compliment their work.
- Ask how you can take something off their work load
If you are a person suffering from loneliness, you can consider:
- Volunteering with local non-profit organizations
- Joining a local chapter of your industry association
- Go on meet ups to meet new like minded people
- Become a member of your local place of worship
- Reach out to friends and family members
- Participate in activities that you enjoy
- Get a pet that you can take care of
If your loneliness has impacted different areas of your life, it may be best to seek a consultation with a mental health professional for further assistance and guidance.
We at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions are hear to assist you, if you like to know more please call (703)955-0916 or email email@example.com
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