Loneliness has been described and poetized since time is time. Human beings are by nature a social animal, but they should not want to attribute themselves to their social norms.
Therefore, loneliness can mean the freedom to seek one’s own path, but also the exclusion from the outside that a person suffers from non-compliance with social regulations.
In this sense, by loneliness we mean what happens when people live alone voluntarily or unintentionally, but we will focus more on feeling lonely or helplessIn other words, those who do not voluntarily choose to be or to feel isolated. The question we ask ourselves in the world of mental health is: to what extent can loneliness affect illness?
The impact of loneliness on mental health
Based on 2019 data, in Spain there are 4.7 million one-person households, including 2 million people over 65. In addition, different studies confirm that one of the greatest psychological conditions that this population suffers from is the feeling of loneliness.
On another side, many teens with suicidal thoughts or attempts expressed feelings of loneliness and misunderstanding as part of the problem. In addition, according to psychiatrist Diego Figuera, poverty and loneliness are the main psychosocial causes that favor the onset of mental illness.
Along with all of this, we also want to highlight what poets have written in a thousand and one ways: being alone involves pain, and prolonged, comforting pain leads to deeper insanity. Relationship with the development of a mental disorder? In the whole world.
The absence is the night, the dark night In what way one day offend the sky, which deprives us of its warm light? Nublos, by Fernando Celada,
The different forms of loneliness
Next, we will explain the different ways this feeling of loneliness manifests itself and how it affects us psychologically. In addition, we will tell how the company reinforces loneliness in its various messages.
To be or to feel alone
This difference shines when we take care of some people with emotional impairments in consultation. Money, social and professional success, stable partners, physical and aesthetic health … and yet, these are people who bow their heads and shrink when they express what they feel.
They may have learned to understand and capture the attention of others very effectively, but their problem with being vulnerable or allowing spaces for intimacy turns this great skill into an armor that, contradictorily, persists. .a devastating feeling of loneliness.
Although teamwork or collaboration is encouraged in schools, a message from the company in the style of “solving your problem alone, for if you are not weak”, “pair-is-tie” keep on going. -Se “,” the picture is the most important thing, learn to dress and see in the gym “… The only thing he achieves in this way is to continue to associate success and strength with loneliness itself.. Again, quite a contradiction with our social nature.
To this we can add the false illusion of community that is generated on social networks, with emoticons and likes as a symbol of admiration. Social skills for connecting with others and tolerance for the frustration of being alone are ingredients that are lost if we base social interaction on these digital platforms.
At the end, instead of being a community that watches a person on a screen (television 20 years ago), we are a person who feels watched by the community when there is only one camera. Yes, technology gives us facilities on a daily basis, but there are battles that we lose and we fall for the selfie.
On the other hand, there is the world of video games. Adolescents are spending more and more time playing in their bedrooms, connected with virtual friends to overcome the challenges posed by these games. The risk here is to use these relationships for leisure and not to create close security links. in which to trust the deepest secrets. Playing is healthy and fun, but the real world will always be life’s biggest challenge, and we need allies to overcome it.
When a person recognizes in himself this difference between being or feeling alone, it is when the feeling of freedom is generated, because he can choose the companies, and can do it according to his needs, without confusing the networks. for meeting and intimacy. Adolescents need their adult referents to teach them and remind them how to do it, look them in the eye, call them on the phone, go out, in short, learn to be present analogically, not so much virtually.
Loneliness as an element aggravated by other pathologies
If we add the loneliness experienced as rejection, abandonment and helplessness by the support network to the need for regulation and emotional balance, the result is physiological and emotional management problems closely related to different mental disorders, Both to directly cause its onset and to significantly worsen it.
This is the case with anxiety and depression, disorders very similar to a feeling of incomprehension that makes communication difficult. It is difficult to know what happened first, whether it was “the egg or the chicken”, in the sense that a misunderstanding can produce frustration, and this affects the asking for help, which generates a feeling. invasion or excessive demand among those who try. Help, intensify this feeling of incomprehension and therefore loneliness felt, over and over again, like an endless vicious cycle.
In other cases, such as bereavement or post-traumatic stress disorder, the lack of social support is one of the risk factors for the chronicity of the disease. This means that if after the traumatic event or the loss of a loved one there is no support, both in the form of messages and visits, the brain, the mind and the person end up s ‘collapse.
Continuous isolation can be seen in this context as a way to protect oneself from harm.Although it can also be seen as a way to accommodate a personal casket.
It is quite true that loneliness offers opportunities to test yourself, to discover yourself outside the comfort zone, to listen to yourself, to relax, to expand your limits … But we will always need a comfort zone to come back to, for someone to listen to us and watch us, challenge us, understand us. To paraphrase the film Into the Wild, “happiness is only real when it is shared”.