Melanie Mahanger, MA, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Lack of genuine social connection
Alone or Lonely?
Loneliness, a complicated emotion that typically occurs when one’s needs for social contact are not met, may be described as a feeling of emptiness. A person may be lonely when alone, but the state of being alone does not create loneliness.
With loneliness a person may have the belief that one has no choice in the matter and their feelings will never change. When one’s social needs and desires go consistently unfulfilled, feelings of loneliness may become chronic and debilitating and lead to a decline in mental health.
Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and substance dependency are found to be a common outcome of unaddressed loneliness. In our current social environment we can isolate each other with our dependency on technology.
Therapy is a way to challenge and modify any thought patterns or perceptions that are associated with or contribute to loneliness, such as a perceived lack of control over life or social situations. We can acknowledge that all humans need social contact and learn to show compassion for ourselves and others that struggle.