Web of Loneliness

New thinking about a chronic state of being

Is Loneliness Just Another Form of Depression?

So the next time you, someone you know, or a client, comes in and says they feel sad, one should really stop and wonder why exactly they feel sad. If it is that that sadness is related to a lack of social connections or a sense of belonging, then perhaps loneliness is the real problem and not depression. They may actually not be depressed at all. Read More

Loneliness

Isn't loneliness a need for social appreciation? Regardless of the hypothesis that sadness is a driver of depression and the catalyst is being lonely, doesn't the inherent meaning of being lonely insinuate feeling insubstantial in the face of peers?

I see loneliness as stemming

I see loneliness as stemming from a lack of connection, however this does not necessarily equate to a social connection.
For those that believe themselves to be seperate entities loneliness can be a heavy burden to bear, unless the individual is totally disconnected from their emotions, much like a psychopath is.
For those that know (based upon profound experience), and perhaps those that believe as well, that everything is interconnected then it is impossible to be lonely. Isolated, yes, depressed, yes, but lonely - never.
The way that we view ourselves within the world, independent, co-dependent or inter-dependent, totally changes our relationship with people and the world around us, and additionally changes how we perceive our needs/wants/desires.
In an interconnected world I can spend many solitary days amongst nature but never feel lonely. It's nice to have real life human interaction at times, but there is never a need for social appreciation, but more of a requirement to have occasional contact with like minded-peers. Ones that recognise that isolation is equally as important as having human contact.

Lonely and Depressed

Thank you for bringing up this issue. I've been lonely and depressed for several years now, with the loneliness really feeling like the source of the depression. I've found that this is especially frustrating, since the usual response to telling someone you're lonely is the suggestion that I would be able to find someone if I were happier. I'm depressed because I'm lonely, and I'm lonely because I'm depressed.

I'm currently on my fourth therapist, and I think part of the reason therapy hasn't helped is that no effort has been made to treat my loneliness. How, exactly, does one treat loneliness?

Hi, I'll let you know some

Hi, I'll let you know some things that have helped me eradicate the loneliness altogether and also helps manage my depression. I'll try and keep it brief - when I was at my lowest ebbs I'd stopped walking my dogs entirely, but a counsellor I was seeing at the time got me to think long and hard about what I enjoyed when I was a child - the answer I came up with was playing in the fields, spending time in the country. So I started forcing myself to go out for solitary walks, fortunately I live very close to an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) - which made me feel a bit better. Then I got an urge to take photographs (you could say it was my intuition speaking to me), I'd never ever been artistic or creative previously - but when I'd taken a few photos I was totally amazed by how beautiful they were. Several other urges followed, drawing, painting, writing and whilst it took a while to listen to my intuition I started doing these things too.
But one of my primary drivers was and still is nature - because of this urge I now have an interest in foraging, herbalism, mycology and nutrition - I've picked my own wild foods and mushrooms and made my own herbal medicines with the wild herbs I taught myself to identify - I didn't join any groups at all but felt an inner drive to teach myself and went along with it.
As well as getting deeply connected to nature I was fortunate to have what I will refer to as a mystical experience, which also raised my interest in spirituality - I was raised an atheist and never previously had any interest in any religion whatsoever - after trawling through many different religions both exoteric and esoteric I still haven't found any specific religion I would adhere to - but varied writings from various religions, from ancient greece to heretics to the orthodox bible - from those who say there is one god to those who say there are many gods - some of these writings make a lot of sense, whilst others seem to be totally ridiculous, I pick and choose what resonates with me.
So I would highlight nature and 'spirituality' as being pretty dominant factors for me - however additionally I spent much time reading about psychology and mental 'illness' too - trying to understand myself, why I felt the way I did and learn what was 'wrong with me.' Learning to know myself was pretty shocking at times, required brutal honesty and to question everything very deeply. I asked myself Why? as many times as it took until I reached an answer that felt right, that resonated with something within me, that made sense.
I decided that above and beyond anything and everything else I wanted to know the truth - whatever the truth was - it's been very hard work, very difficult at times, slow going. When I started searching for the truth it felt like I was walking on a greasy tight rope over a fiery pit - but I couldn't go back, I just had to keep moving forwards.....things are very very different now, I feel like I am living as opposed to robotically existing.....
I'm not certain this will help, but perhaps there may be something in here that you can use.....all I can add is that if you want to stop feeling lonely then you need to make friends with yourself, enjoy your own company and don't try chasing happiness, it will find you, when you find you. best wishes.

Do you treat it or solve the problem?

Our society is obsessed with treatment. We talk a pill for just about everything, including sadness and depression. There is no pill for loneliness, at least not yet.

To help, we would need to know more about your current situation. What are your hobbies and interests? What type of geographic area do you live in? What do you like to do? Do you work best in small groups or large gatherings?

Loneliness is the step towards being undepressed

Being lonely is looked upon as a negative situation but for today's stronger female minds, it is actually a tonic to do something unique to show one's talent. Loneliness can be seen as a peaceful time during which one can relax, do something creative, or join some healthy groups to do something wonderful for others. At least, there is no one to stop you in doing something good for the world. :)

Confusion

Solitude is not the same as loneliness. Loneliness is the phenomenon of having an unmet desire for interpersonal affection. This is different from simply being alone. If you are feeling relaxed, peaceful, creative or confident, you are not feeling lonely.

Yes!

Yes, you are right! However, what I was saying here is that one needs to just change the vision. If we are feeling lonely, we can transform that time into solitude :)

This loneliness “drive” is

This loneliness “drive” is linked to the need to belong, a need that has been argued is along the same lines as physical needs such as the need for food or sleep (Baumeister & Leary, 1995)

You can see this most plainly in the "social misfits" who join the army and turn into incredible soldiers. Once they are integrated in and have a banner to fight for, a lot of the "weird" kids do very well. Give them a cause to champion and they will work their butts off to protect it.

Gang member youths talk about the gang being a family to them.

There is a lot of isolation in our society.

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Sean Seepersad, Ph.D. is the President/CEO of the Web of Loneliness Institute, Inc., adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut, and author of The Lonely Screams.

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