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  • Writer's pictureAsia Hardin

Understanding Loneliness & Solitude

It may seem obvious, but feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health.

But why is that?

One of the primary factors is in how loneliness can raise stress levels.

And it doesn’t discriminate. Anyone, regardless of age, can experience feelings of loneliness.

The type of loneliness can vary, though. For instance, the needs of a younger person who moved to a new city may struggle making friends vs an older adult who is now struggling after their partner has passed. 

Loneliness vs. Solitude

Even with a support system, solid friends and family ties, you can still feel lonely!

But let’s be careful not to confuse this with solitude.

Loneliness is the feeling of isolation resulting from  involuntary separation.

Alternatively, solitude is voluntary. It’s a choice to isolate because you prefer the company of only yourself at times. 

Solitude is often also balanced with an ability to still manage some healthy, albeit limited, social interaction with others.

When it’s not our choice- when loneliness is at play, what might be the cause?

There are different answers depending on one’s unique life events or experiences:

  • Going through a break-up

  • Becoming a parent 

  • Moving to a new place  

  • Changing jobs

  • Transitioning to a new school 

  • The loss of a loved one

If you’re facing your own battle with loneliness, one of these reasons or otherwise, remember to seek support in this tough, but temporary, time.

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