What You Should Know About Depression Loneliness

Updated September 12, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Loneliness is a complex phenomenon that can affect our mental and emotional well-being. When loneliness hinders your ability to relate well with others, then it can become a reason for concern. Unresolved feelings of loneliness may be one of the major causes of depression.

Many within the mental health community are discovering the impact of loneliness on depression and vice versa. While this article seeks to address some of the concerns surrounding loneliness and depression, it is important to understand that you can be lonely without feeling depressed, and you can be depressed without being lonely.

Since both conditions are not mutually exclusive, we will examine them separately and help you come to a broad understanding of what both entail when they come together. We will also give you tips on ways to help keep loneliness from turning into depression.

What Is Loneliness?

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Are You Feeling Lonely Or Depressed?

Loneliness is the condition and state of being lonely, especially when this results in feelings of self-disgust or sadness. Loneliness is often an unpleasant emotional response that stems from perceived feelings of isolation and abandonment. When you’re feeling isolated or lonely, you may crave a sense of belonging, the lack of which can lead to depression. 

Causes Of Loneliness

Research has shown that more people are admitting to being lonely at an alarming rate. Whether this phenomenon has anything to do with the increase in people living alone, or the rising cases of people feeling dissatisfied with their social circles, the leading cause of loneliness in modern society is still a subject of much debate within the health community. But there are some leading causes of loneliness, and they are as follows:


Due to feelings of inadequacy, many people may find themselves unable to connect with others. This may be a result of past experiences with rejection, abuse, neglect, humiliation, or the fear of societal stigmatization. People who feel unworthy of attention and affection might choose to limit or, in some instances, shun all forms of social interaction. 

Lack Of Social Life

It can be easy to choose the comfort of your own company when they aren’t better alternatives around you. Most times, people who are settling into new environments or who have to live away from their family and friends can experience a lack of social life, either as a result of a communication barrier, sociocultural differences, or the absence of common interests. 

The Absence Of Love


A research study discovered that people in romantic relationships are less likely to be lonely than single people. Romantic relationships are often a source of emotional intimacy, and the lack of a partner to provide emotional fulfillment can lead to loneliness. Equally, the loss of a partner through a breakup, long-distance, or death, can lead to a detachment from the wider world, with many preferring to grieve and heal in isolation. 

Mental Health Issues

Being lonely can cause you to exhibit depressive symptoms, just like how feeling depressed may result in wanting to be away from people; in a recent study, loneliness scores high among the leading causes of health decline. Depression is synonymous with having a pessimistic and somber outlook on the world, and chronic loneliness could lead to a state where such negative thoughts become internalized to the point of self-loathing.

When Loneliness Turns Into A Depressive Symptom

Though young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are more likely to feel lonely than any other age group, loneliness can be one of those inconveniences that do not discriminate. Anyone can feel lonely, but when you continuously spend long periods in seclusion, it may be indicative of a deeper problem. Those who are high up on the loneliness scale often exhibit some of the following depression symptoms:

  • Inability to connect with others on an emotional level
  • Lack of interest or desire towards social engagements
  • Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence
  • An overwhelming feeling of anxiety or paranoia when around people
  • A non-committed and individualistic attitude to life
  • An overriding sense of isolation when around people

What Is Depression?

Depression is more than just a momentary feeling of sadness in reaction to distressing life situations. It is a medical illness characterized by mood disorders or loss of interest in activities. The condition can affect your feelings, your thoughts, and your general well-being negatively. Depression is prevalent around the world, with more than 264 million people living with the condition. There are four common types of depression; they are major depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. While there is currently no cure for depression, there are many procedures that are effective for depression treatment. 

Causes Of Depression

Just like loneliness, a variety of factors can cause depression. Depression can occur in the aftermath of a health challenge, in response to the loss of a loved one, and sometimes it can be a function of an individual’s genetic makeup. Trauma can also increase the risk of depression. The use of certain medications and drugs has also been noted to be a contributing factor to depression. No matter the cause of your depression or how severe it is, never lose hope in your search for lasting solutions. 

Ways To Keep The Loneliness Away

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Are You Feeling Lonely Or Depressed?

There are healthy coping mechanisms for this condition. Finding a way to overcome loneliness might not be easy, and you may not be able to do it all on your own. There is no cure for loneliness, but there are ways it can be managed and treated. Here are some ways you can overcome loneliness and depression.

  • One of the most effective ways to keep loneliness from turning into depression is to reach out to friends and family whenever you are feeling lonely. Humans are social creatures, and having the support of people who care about your well-being could provide all the motivation you might need to overcome your loneliness. Make an effort to spend quality time in the company of others and allow yourself to enjoy every moment.
  • Get a pet. Another method to deal with loneliness could be by getting a pet, as pets can provide you with a feeling of companionship. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. The playful nature of these animals could prevent your loneliness from turning into depression. The thought of being responsible for a pet could also imbibe in you a sense of purpose.
  • Engage with your community. Volunteer to help with the development of community projects and make yourself accessible to others. This can enable you to meet new people, reduce your social anxiety, and build your self-esteem with every positive impact you make.
  • Join a support group. Being around people experiencing the same thing you are going through has the potential to make you feel less lonely. Find a group that suits you, one that allows you to be yourself and connects you with other people whose efforts can challenge you to be a better person.


Ultimately, depending on how difficult your situation is, you may need to go through counseling and therapy to overcome loneliness and depression. You can sign up for online therapy at Regain and connect with over 8,000 healthcare professionals who can help you on your journey to change the way you live and see the world. Online counseling has a lot of perks when compared to in-person counseling. For example, studies show it is more affordable, plus it is more accessible to people who may live in more remote areas or who have physical limitations preventing them from traveling to see an in-person counselor. Studies also show that online therapy is just as effective and, in some cases, even more effective than in-person counseling or therapy, especially when it comes to treating depression.

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