What Does Chronic Loneliness Feel Like? 

Updated May 11, 2021

“Nobody chooses to be lonely” sounds like the lyrics of a song, but it is the truth. Being the life of the party does not exempt anyone from chronic loneliness. The feeling is complicated, not so easy to talk about, and unique to each individual. Here’s one reason why; a lonely teenager struggling to make friends has to deal with loneliness differently than a woman who recently lost her husband.

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Loneliness seems to be distinctive because the emotion has no single cause. What we may refer to as causes of chronic loneliness are known to be predisposing events. Researchers have defined loneliness as feeling lonely more than once a week. Therefore, loneliness may be a state of mind. Sometimes, it appears to be a sense of perception and, ultimately, a reality, but loneliness and chronic loneliness is one you can work through.

Contrary to what people have come to relate with as belief, loneliness isn’t the same as Chronic Loneliness. Chronic loneliness is not a state of having no one around you. Instead, it’s having them but feeling alone in the high buzz of daily activities and social engagements. Long-term loneliness resulting in an inability to form a stable connection with others, feelings of self-worth, exhaustion, and burnout are pointers to chronic loneliness.

Technology has continually employed digital strategies that promise to keep the World together with connections at the speed of light. Such platforms, including social media, email, and cell phones, continually launch innovative means to communicate faster. Hence, they increase social networking. However, despite this vast means of communication, the degree of chronic loneliness and social disconnection amongst humans has not been reduced. This shows that the correlation between the internet and chronic loneliness is controversial; some claims propose that internet users are happier, and others vehemently deny this.

While loneliness is not merely a geographical condition, chronic loneliness is capable of impacting our emotions.  Chronic loneliness could be a result of separation from the one(s) we love. Even amid couples with working relationships, it tends to be more painful for a single person chronically lonely.  ***

To be entirely sure, stillness, alone time, and chronic loneliness are not the same. Loneliness is a side on its own. When you’re enjoying alone time, you likely won’t have ongoing loneliness. At such times, the feeling of isolation is absent. Isolation and chronic loneliness often go hand in hand and predispose an individual to numerous health challenges.

Why Do People Experience Chronic Loneliness?

Feelings of Loneliness is a link to chronic loneliness and a connection to emotional responses. However, the reason people experience chronic loneliness is different and unique. For instance, you may feel it if you:

  • Change jobs or the environment.
  • Don’t have friends
  • The loss of significant persons at a young age
  • End a relationship (Divorce)
  • Lose your partner
  • Are you living alone for the first time?
  • Move to a new destination.

As you begin to live that, feelings of loneliness may set in. Sometimes, they are hard to shake off. Consequently, it progresses into loneliness and social isolation. It is almost always tricky to start associating with new people. The constant worry that you may not find a connection with someone new makes it harder to reach out at all.

Overwhelming feelings of loneliness are only a side of the coin of life. This is to say you’re not alone in these thoughts and feelings. Many people have made secure connections after struggling with chronic loneliness.

Triggers Of Chronic Loneliness

Chronic loneliness isn’t always environmental or situational. Research shows that someone from a family where members have struggled with loneliness may be susceptible. That is not to say that a person with struggling relatives is potentially predisposed. It merely shows what heredity and genetics can have such impacts—thus triggering chronic loneliness.

Can chronic loneliness lead to health challenges?

Loneliness can affect physical and emotional responses to circumstances, and this is also never voluntary. Over time, feelings of loneliness, if left unchecked, lead to chronic loneliness symptoms. Research shows that loneliness can affect health in many ways.

Cortisol hormone, the body's stress hormone, tends to become elevated due to chronic loneliness. This is a leading cause of inflammation, excess, weight gain, insulin resistance, and more. Another scientific investigation has also established a link between loneliness and slow recovery from illnesses, high blood pressure, sleep disturbance, substance use and ultimately abuse, criminal activity, and other conditions.

Diagnosis And Possible Treatment 

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Experts report that loneliness and social isolation, even chronic loneliness are not as specific and exact as we talk about them. They (experts) have elucidated the many ways by which a person might be affected both physically and emotionally. In the event of uncovering such symptoms, an online session could be of tremendous help. Even though there is no direct diagnosis for chronic loneliness, access to support and helpful resources will go a long way.

Treatment 

One-on-one interaction with a licensed therapist is a traditional and effective way of combating any situation liable to affect anyone's mental health. You deserve all the help you can get, so; you may opt for this.

Indeed, online therapies are gaining popularity since the World is more technologically inclined than it used to be. You may wonder if you’d be interacting with real people, and that’s understandable. You’re lonely, and you’d prefer to share your feelings of loneliness with a person, not an android. Again, that’s logical and valid. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), online counseling is as effective and resourceful as in-person therapy.

If you’re looking towards therapy, the licensed mental health professionals at ReGain can help. You work through the challenges. A lot of persons have gone past chronic loneliness and are doing well for themselves.

Exercise And Sunshine

While online therapy is an excellent option for treatment, it is not the only treatment. If you struggle with loneliness and isolation, getting some exercise and sunshine can help. Serotonin, a sleeping hormone, improves your sleep, helps moods, and makes people generally happier. Sunshine promotes the secretion of the hormones and, conversely, your feelings of loneliness.

Support Groups 

We have established the fact that chronic loneliness is a natural and emotional response to change. With the right help, everything is set for a turnaround. Joining a support group helps. Listening to other people talk about their challenges will help ease your symptoms, so will receiving support.

Adopt A Pet 

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Having a pet around is what experts refer to as animal-assisted treatment. Anecdotal evidence provided by volunteers reports that having a living creature around eases the symptoms. Research goes further to suggest that having a pet around you kicks off companionship. The thought and consciousness of another living being around you will foster your feelings of connection. A pet will also increase your chances of meeting new people and getting out more. According to reports from the Centers for disease control and prevention, health benefits people derive from pet ownership include lowered blood pressure.

Before It Escalates

Loneliness and isolation are feelings that linger. The following can help you keep it in check;

We all have our moments.

Yes, we all have our lonely moments. Long-term loneliness can present a person with the idea that their situation is unique and no one else can understand. Of course, the situation is individual, but we all have those little moments of loneliness—some more prevalent than others. A study found that only 22% of its respondents had never felt lonely. It suggests that four out of every five people have a similar feeling. So, you’re not alone.

Dealing With It

Chronic loneliness gets tricky because there are studies that report it as emotional. Therefore, it is easy to lean towards losing hope when you hear people talk about how they made it through. It gets harder when the tips don’t work for you as they did for the other guy. Stop stressing. We each deal with challenges such as chronic loneliness differently. Understanding your symptoms and needs will help tailor the options you choose. You’re almost there.

Expect The Best

Feelings of Loneliness have people expecting negative things because the fear of rejection is quite hard to embrace. Chronic loneliness can occur as a result of refusal so that a person anticipates such reactions. You can foster a positive expectation by relying on the positive thoughts that you’re capable of conjuring. This attitude improves social relationships and kicks off chronic loneliness.

Consider Picking Up New Hobbies

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New hobbies present great opportunities to cultivate new ideas and break out of the norm and chronic loneliness. In trying new things, you become open to developing friendships. While you may have plans to hide away, avoid being critical about it; instead, give yourself time to ease into the idea and move ahead slowly.


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