How to identify loneliness

We live in a hyper-connected world and yet, a lot of us find ourselves lonelier than ever. Many
people describe loneliness as a feeling for a need of social interaction that isn’t met or expectations
within a relationship that isn’t met. Loneliness is not just the case of being physically alone, but it is
the feeling of being alone, whether you are in a crowd of people or with an unsupportive partner.

You may ask yourself if there is a cause for loneliness, but it cannot be written down to any specific
symptom or indicator. It can sometimes occur because of a sudden or big change of circumstance in
your life. This might include living arrangements, financial struggles or the death of a very close
loved one. There are, however, 4 very distinctive types of loneliness: emotional loneliness, social
loneliness, chronic loneliness and situational loneliness. These aren’t necessarily the only types of
loneliness, but these could classify as a baseline. Let us get a little into each of these types of

Emotional loneliness comes from within the person that suffers from emotional loneliness. This
person will find it difficult to improve their situation without looking at the root of the problem and
trying to solve it. This behaviour could have been caused by their past experiences or events.

Social loneliness is typically experienced by people who might have issues or problems in a social
situation. The root of the problem with social loneliness may be a result of low self-esteem that
makes the person start doubting their capacity to interact within his or her social circle. The other
two causes may be because of shyness or social awkwardness.

Chronic loneliness is the term that is used to describe someone who has been lonely for so long that
it has become a norm to them or a way of life. Once this solitude becomes part of their lives, it gets
difficult to break the cycle.

Situational loneliness could result from being in a circumstance that is life changing, for example
moving abroad where you don’t speak the country’s language fluently and where developing new
friendships are difficult. It can also be very common for stay-at-home mothers or fathers with young
children, as well as those with a physical or mental disability that have difficulty being out and about.

Loneliness is treatable through therapy, through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or even just
reaching out to those closest to you and those that you trust.