“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”
– John Donne, 17th Century.
Some people seek isolation, but few choose to be lonely.
Loneliness not only makes us unhappy, but it is bad for us. It can lead to a lack of confidence and mental health problems like depression, stress and anxiety.
People feel lonely for lots of reasons.
It can be poor health, illness, money, children moving away, feeling cut off from family and friends and the community, friends dying, a lack of access to transport, redundancy, loss of career, retirement or divorce.
Often it’s when people lose a sense of purpose and contribution. They also lose confidence. Bereavement is also a big issue – losing your husband, wife or partner can have a really detrimental impact on how people feel about the world.