Learn Different Types of Loneliness and How to Cope with it

Edited by Debbie, Charmed, Anonymous, Maria Sharon Ubando and 10 others

Loneliness strikes anyone regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, status, job or belief. It comes to a certain point when we just feel so melancholic. All of us have had our own shares of loneliness once in our lives. More often than not, we know what makes us lonely and there are also instances when we just wake up and feel so down and depressed. We feel that something seems to be missing.

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"Why is she happily married and I'm not?" "I came here first, but he got the promotion." "Why I am lonely and single, am I not attractive?" "There seem to be no one who wants to be friends with me so I hang out with my dog all the time." "He seems so have moved on and I am still miserable."

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There are many factors that cause one to be lonely: depression, loss of job, loss of someone beloved, relationship break-ups, death of a pet, poor grades, failure and the list just continues. You may know some people around envied by a lot for their fame, success, beauty, brains and money and you will be surprised with their revelation of deep loneliness. Do all of us really have to go through this? Is there anyone out there who has not experienced loneliness?

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Loneliness can also be fatal. It could surprise you but it actually can. Too much of it can be compared to physical stress. Disconnecting yourself from the society that leads to loneliness can be a triggering factor for some damages on a person's immune system. The bad effect of loneliness to the body can be compared to having fifteen cigarettes daily or even alcohol abuse. In a study done, it has shown that older people who self-confess that they are lonely has 45% risk of dying. Loneliness can also speed up the level of cortisol, a stress hormone. Studies also show that getting isolated socially or better said the loneliness caused by social isolation may cause stroke and heart attacks. A lonely person's restorative capacity slows down due to disrupted sleep. Thus, the body and brain are not able to recuperate from stress or sickness quickly making the body even weaker.

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Is loneliness an inevitable thing? Can't we really stop it from coming and just be fine and happy?

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Different Types of Loneliness

  1. 1
    Psychological Loneliness.
    When a person has gone through traumatic experiences, he could suffer from psychological loneliness. When a person has maybe been a victim of sexual abuse. The bad event keeps coming back to her mind and can bring loneliness to her and sometimes hysteria. When one is under this kind of loneliness, he or she tends to break apart from other people around them. Most of the time, individuals with this kind of loneliness cannot be fully understood by other people.
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  2. 2
    Interpersonal Loneliness.
    This kind of loneliness is experienced by people who have lost someone intimate and significant from a relationship like in a marriage, friendship or intimate partner. This is the most common type since all of us loses significant people in our loves at some points. When this kind of loneliness strikes and not a sturdy support system is available, this can lead to a deeper kind of depression. Recently widowed, a guy who has been cheated on over his best friend, a mother losing her first child or even an old single woman losing her long time best buddy pet; all of them needs someone to talk with and understand the kind of loneliness they are going through.
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  3. 3
    Intellectual loneliness.
    Real talk; smart or intellectual people are often seen alone. This is not because it is their choice but it seems like they see themselves out of sync from the norm. They have different views to everything which an average mind can't just adapt. When they wanted to convey something and the normal mind cannot get convinced, this brings them loneliness; giving them the feeling that they are feeling completely away from the others.
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  4. 4
    Cultural loneliness.This type of loneliness occurs when someone has the feeling that he or she can't fit in to a society with a different culture which is different from hers/his.
    This can happen to people who have decided to migrate to a new country.Loneliness in marriage may take place in between spouses where the other party was raised in a different culture.
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  5. 5
    Cosmic or Existential loneliness.
    When people has the knowledge that he is dying soon, he or she feels deeply lonely. Facing your death can be depressing. During our dark times, we feel so alone. We think that no other people can be of help to you. That no one can make us feel loved and happy but God. Yes, it is during this time of one's life that he or she thinks that it is only GOD one can turn to. This would explain why people facing death suddenly turns religious and prayerful.
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  6. 6
    Social loneliness.
    Getting ostracized is the main reason for this type of loneliness. Getting rejected by people or a group you have once loved and hang out with could cause depression. If your friends whom you have been so closed with were able to reject you, how much more for those who don't know you. Future rejection also becomes a fear for you.
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Coping With Loneliness

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  1. 1
    Socialize.
    If you have intended to be a social outcast, it is time to see the world again. Meet friends that you have not seen for a long time. Spend more time with them and you will be surprised at how fast your recovery is. Do the old things that you did with them. You may also want to host a small get-together party as a starter.
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  2. 2
    Get a Pet.
    If you are feeling lonely and you are not really the social butterfly type, you may want to have a pet. Some studies have shown that people who gets low support level but have deep attachment to pets copes with loneliness and depression easier. The most recommended animal to pet is a dog. They are loyal, easy to love and love back in return. When you walk your dog, you also get higher odds of meeting new people.
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  3. 3
    Live with other people.
    If you are lonely and single, you may want to idea of moving back home and live with your family or get a roommate. Having a strong support system during this time is very needed so you can cope up easily. When you feel really lonely, having someone to talk with, makes you feel a little better. Just the thought that someone is always ready to listen make you feel that you are not alone. Living with someone is also beneficial to lonely older adults who have some health issues.
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  4. 4
    Active solitude.
    This sounds like a paradox; you get active to enjoy solitude. For some lonely people, they feel like they want to do some activities to feel better. Some activities like reading a book, exercising, listening to music or writing a poem keeps their minds busy for the time being. These activities can pull your mind away from loneliness and results to a more positive and creative you.
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  5. 5
    Look on the bright side.
    It is always good to stay positive in the middle of loneliness and struggles. Sometimes it is easier said than done. Besides, the mind is so powerful that it can do what it wants to do. Stay away from the thoughts that make you feel lonely and remember that there is someone out there who has bigger battle than what you are having but still finds simple things to smile about.
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Loneliness Among Children

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Some of us envy a child's life. No pressure at work, no depression due to relationship breakups, no financial worries. Though children are universally gregarious, they also experience deep loneliness. They too get depressed. They too have their own issues that when not given proper attention may lead to long-term negative effects while growing up. So what makes children lonely?

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  • family issues (parents' divorce)
  • new school environment
  • new neighborhood
  • lost of something dear to him
  • lost of someone significant
  • lost of a pet
  • social rejection (includes school bullying)

What Parents Can Do to Help a Lonely Child

  1. 1
    Give Advice.
    When your child tells you something like getting rejected by the other children in school, do not brush him/her off. You have to listen and ask the child how he feels about it. Give advice on how this can be handled and what he should do next time. When he feels bad getting rejected in the baseball team, you may want to tell him to join other clubs of his interest. Keep encouraging until he's got the right motivation and is able to cope up with loneliness.
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  2. 2
    Spend more time with them.
    Sometimes just the parents' presence relieves loneliness in children. Children become lonely when they do not have someone to turn to when they need some help. They get rejected by other children and parents aren't around; who else can he turn to? If you need to work on weekdays, be sure to allot weekend for the kids. Make use of the time to ask him about his school, friends and many other possible issues he may be having.
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  3. 3
    Get professional help.
    If the child's loneliness is leading to depression, it is better to seek a child specialist. While your role as a parent with his coping up is important, seeking professional advice would make it easier for you and your child.
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Loneliness/Depression in Animals

Just like human, animals feel lonely too. Dogs are among the animals that get depressed. Between cats and dogs, the latter gets more depressed than the former. Cats are not social animals like dogs and they can live alone. So long as they are fed. Some of the reasons why our canine feel lonely is when:

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  • a companion dies
  • the owner dies
  • new pet in the house
  • moving to a new home
  • new baby/partner ( dogs get jealous when the owner has a new baby or gets married)

You will know if your dog is depressed when:

  • change in appetite- your dog would either eat less resulting to weight loss or too much eating that leads to weight gain.
  • changes in sleeping pattern-the dog may either sleep longer than the usual or gets disrupted sleep
  • he/she becomes inactive- your dog does not enjoy the activities that you both enjoyed doing together. Dogs also refuse to interact with the other dogs around him or with the other members of the household.

Questions and Answers

Why am I lonely?

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Each of us have felt lonely at different points in our lives. This is indeed a familiar feeling or state of mind for every individual although the definition of loneliness varies from one person to another. Our biological makeup, day-to-day experiences, relationships, health, and environment certainly shape our emotions and overall state of well-being. Asking yourself and acknowledging that you are lonely is actually a good start to getting the right answers. There is no one-size-fits-all reply to this question. As much as every person is considered unique, that goes precisely the same to the reasons for such feelings of loneliness. The state of being lonely is not the same with being physically alone (although this could lead to that in one way or another). Try this analogy: A person can be happy and contented doing solitary work or enjoying some activities alone, such as reading a good book or fixing a stool while there are those who can get really lonely or isolated even in a crowd or a party packed with people. There are different causes behind that nagging feeling of loneliness. Medical experts point out that this is deeply rooted in genetics or family history while some say this is primarily linked to an individual's level of self-esteem. A kid could have an entirely different set of variables from being lonely in comparison to an adult or an elderly person. A woman could be battling different issues from that of a man or a gay individual. There are definitely a lot of causes surrounding the "blues" that you could be having. It could be fleeting or temporary or could even cause other long-term diseases or could possibly aggravate to depression or other psychological disorders.

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Being lonely is regarded to be an emotional or psychological state of mind. This is a feeling of being isolated, unwanted, or a generalized perception of emptiness. Here are some of the common causes of being lonely:

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  • Rejection or failure. This is a state of emotional lethargy that most people can relate to at different points in their lives. Kids could feel that they could not cope or measure up to school standards, unable to fit in to groups or society, or fall short on parents' expectations.
  • Separation from parent or divorce in the family. Nobody ever wins in a divorce or separation in a family. This is indeed a very difficult decision wherein the children are most affected. Many children feel that they are to blame for the divorce and become withdrawn or dysfunctional in school or society.
  • Death of a loved one. Death is a part of life indeed, but is one of the most trivial and painstaking phases of the cycle. If one suffers the death of a loved one - parents, grandparents, children, sibling, friends, or a doting pet - it becomes an agonizing phase which may feel like you're stuck in limbo. This could take months or even years of recovery before anyone becomes fully functional again. Sometimes the state of loneliness experienced with deaths in the family could progress further to depression.
  • Moving to another home. People create a sense of attachment in a home, especially when you have spent years in that home building relationships and memories while growing up. The history of a home or a neighborhood will make it entirely difficult for you to pack up things and go. This is most commonly felt by children or teens that have to move to another place away from the things, people, and routine that they have been accustomed to for years.
  • Conflict between family or friends. Constant conflict or quarreling in the home or directly having misunderstandings with a family member can make you feel lonely. A simple argument or feeling misunderstood by a close friend could affect someone to the point of making one feel hurt and lonely.
  • Stressful demands of school or work. The fast-paced scenario of day-to-day grind, whether you are in school at work can leave you burnt out or stressed which can trigger feelings of loneliness. When you feel like you do not have anything else to do but work or study all week, it can be hazardous to your lifestyle and overall health. All work and no play makes one dull; so-to-speak.
  • Breakups or cheating in romantic relationships. Love is said to make the world go round and round. Most depression and suicide cases stem from heartaches caused by break ups or cheating in relationships.
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Reasons for feeling that lonely sting do vary from one individual to another. Even the simplest trigger factors can make one feel lonely at times. It could be a sad song heard over the radio that could remind you of a past flame or lack of sleep and plain exhaustion that could make you feel tired and blue. Loneliness is a natural and common state of mind. Everybody gets to experience it more times than usual depending on how much pressure buildup you can accommodate in your life. It helps to be able to talk about it with a support group like family and friends. Cry or shout if you must. Expressing your loneliness in productive forms or activities can help you deal with it effectively. Remember that time would never stop and wait for you. Go on and sulk, but is able to bounce back and move on with life. Loneliness is a state of mind that you can take control of before it takes over your entire life.

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My friend told me two months before she died that she would die within the three days or so which she predicted to be in the middle of Dec.?

I am quite vexed by these coincidences

It can be a mere coincidence as people make predictions quite often in their lives. Psychologists also have found out that people can program themselves for a certain action or even be programmed by others. For example, when someone predicts your future, he or she programs your brain to be obsessed, even at the subconscious level, on this idea and realize the mechanism of the program as soon as the time comes. This is neurolinguistic programming. She could also have something from a doctor whom she had visited that let her know the date. Humanity has also a lot to discover in the field of medicine and science.

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My Perspective on Life if I was this type of person?

Acceptance of What is and realize there is nothing you can do to change it, so just drop it and rather focus on what you do have. For example - I Am Extremely Grateful I was able to type this so others may read it to. I am grateful that everyone who hears this and reads this can. and just be honest to people around you. if its friendship you are looking for its friendship you will get. it seems really simple to do but it does take work, but I promise you the rewards and light and love you radiate to those around you. we can change the world by just choosing to do so. GOD is Love and Love is GOD that's why they are called the COMMANDMENTS and not the Suggestions!

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Is there a specific type of loneliness when most of your immediate family has passed away and you may have people in your life who are close, but still feel psychologically isolated in some way?

Mom and dad passed away and also feeling stuck in a relationship.. I have tried: Tried to leave my partner for someone else, therapy, keep in contact with family overseas.. I think it was caused by: Becoming entrenched in my long term partnership.

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