Understanding Loneliness

What makes us happiest in life? Some people may point to fabulous fame and fortune. Yet hands down, surveys show that friends and family are the real prize. Even though our need to connect is innate, some of us always go home alone. You could have people around you throughout the day or even be in a lifelong marriage, and still experience a deep, pervasive loneliness. Unsurprisingly, isolation can have a serious detrimental effect on one's mental and physical health.

Recent posts on Loneliness

“I’d Rather Not Be a Recluse”

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in How To Do Life
The latest in a series of profiles on reclusive people.

Genetics Play a Role in Social Anxiety Disorder, Study Finds

A new study has pinpointed a genetic link between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and a serotonin transporter gene called "SLC6A4."

Social Media Exacerbates Perceived Social Isolation

A new study reports that heavy use of social media is associated with increased social isolation.

A Profound Need for Our Traditions

By Saul Levine M.D. on February 28, 2017 in Our Emotional Footprint
Our traditions enhance and bolster our lives, enable us to commune with family and friends, bring stability and meaning to our lives, in times of serenity and in times of turmoil.
Martin Pilote flickr

7 Types of Loneliness, and Why It Matters

By Gretchen Rubin on February 27, 2017 in The Happiness Project
It’s important to realize why we feel lonely, because only then can we see how we might address it.

Gaining a Window on the World

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 26, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Can modern telecommunications solve the problem of social isolation in seniors? A new innovation by Swiss researchers making staying in touch easier than ever.

Why Millennials Are Lonely

By Caroline Beaton on February 23, 2017 in The Gen-Y Guide
Mysteriously, loneliness appears most prevalent among millennials. I see two compounding explanations.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Helping Your Adolescent Cope with Significant Loss

Parents can teach their adolescents how to make their way through significant loss when it occurs.

Feeling Friendless After Separation

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in The Friendship Doctor
Advice on dealing with separation from a long-time partner.

National Single Awareness Day Comes but Once a Year

By Frances Kuffel on February 14, 2017 in What Fat Women Want
Maybe it should be called National Single Undying-Gratitude Day.

What Adults Did to Me at Birth: A Baby’s Point of View

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on February 12, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
You civilized people don't know what you are doing to babies. Here's my story.

Living with Loneliness

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Anxiety Files
Being alone doesn't mean that you have to feel miserable and lonely. Develop a strategy to cope with your feelings of loneliness and free yourself up to live independently.

Staffing Shortage Underserves Long Term Care Residents

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
There are simply not enough staff to supervise the daily activities of long-term care residents.

Break Free From the Monotony of Online Dating

By Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST on February 01, 2017 in Modern Sex
Is online dating bringing you down? Try pushing yourself further out of your comfort zone, and give yourself the gift of self-growth and new outcomes.

Thank God the Holidays Are Over: Coping With Diabetes

How can I enjoy social gatherings if I have diabetes? Holiday gatherings can be stressful for men and women coping with diabetes.

It's Time to Talk About Tinder

What are the advantages and challenges of online dating for persons with disabilities?

When There is Nothing to Say

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on January 08, 2017 in Obesely Speaking
Witnessing the transition from a place in time to a place in eternity.

Commit to Mental Wellbeing

Do you want motivation and inspiration on ways to commit to mental wellbeing for yourself, your family, your community? Check out these amazing programs from around the world.

Is an Elder You Care About at Risk for Depression? Do This!

Research has confirmed the potency of this remarkable antidepressant.

Can You Ever Affair-Proof a Relationship?

When we hold our partner responsible for taking away our loneliness and making us happy, she will be likely to feel turned off by our efforts to coerce attention from her.

New Year’s Eve Survival Guide for the Heartbroken

New Year’s Eve is the loneliest night of the year when your heart’s been broken. The whole world is counting down the minutes, but you’re dreading it. So what do you do?

The Schizoid Personality

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on December 20, 2016 in Life After 50
Are you alone and depressed because you alternate between yearning to be with someone and feeling taken over by them?
Mayur Gala

Language of Love

By Stephen Gray Wallace on December 16, 2016 in Decisions Teens Make
For many people, young and old, the holiday season may ring in—or at least exacerbate—a sense of loneliness.

Social Media, Loneliness, and Anxiety in Young People

By Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. on December 15, 2016 in Why We Worry
Even with a good-sized social network, users face added stressors and feelings of disconnectedness.

Why We Need Each Other

Emotional connectivity remains a core part of being human. We need each other for our psychological survival.

Is There a Gene for Loneliness?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on December 14, 2016 in The Squeaky Wheel
Our genes can predispose us to being lonely--here's how.

Dreading the Holidays?

Holidays can remind people that their family is dysfunctional, or uncaring or nonexistent or that it’s been a really hard year.

Loneliness Is Coming to Town

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on December 11, 2016 in Social Lights
5 ways to ease the holiday blues

Why Zip Codes Mean More for Health Than Genetic Codes

By Jamie Littlefield on December 08, 2016 in Placed
If 80% of our health is shaped by where we live, what can we do about it?

10 Things to Try When You’re Feeling Lonely

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on December 07, 2016 in Turning Straw Into Gold
Anyone can feel the pain of loneliness; here are 10 ways to ease the pain associated with it.