At different stages in life, one may experience feelings of loneliness and/or isolation.
Though these concepts are often related, they are not one and the same. Loneliness is a feeling of not being as connected with others as desired. Loneliness can occur even while being surrounded by people. Robin Williams said “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up surrounded by people who make you feel all alone.” According to a New York Times article, loneliness is most prevalent during teenage years, then again in the oldest old.
Individual and group therapy is a safe space to explore these feelings of loneliness.
Unfortunately, recent findings are correlating loneliness with earlier deaths, increased stress hormone cortisol, and is often a risk factor for depression. Perceived loneliness contributes to cognitive decline and is a risk for dementia. Often feelings of loneliness leads people to other behaviors such as unhealthy eating, smoking cigarettes, and lack of physical activity. Fixing loneliness is not as simple as surrounding oneself with others, it is important that these interactions provide a sense of meaning. Both individual and group therapy is a safe space to explore these feelings of loneliness.