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Forest Road

Different Types of Loneliness?

There are three main types of loneliness that have been identified. These are interconnected and impact on each other:

Emotional or psychological loneliness – this is a sense of a lack of meaningful personal or intimate relationships in our lives. For example: Is there no one I can confide in? Does no one have my back or support me?

Social loneliness – this is a sense of being excluded from society as a whole. A sense of not being connection to those one does not have an intimate relationship with. For example: Am I feeling excluded because of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or not conforming to conventional beauty, achievement, or other cultural standards?

Existential or spiritual loneliness – a feeling of fundamental separateness from others and the wider world. For example: Does my life have meaning, purpose? Do I have anything to contribute to the world? It’s interesting to note here that the research suggests that a high proportion of young adults suffer from this kind of loneliness.

Loneliness is not a mental health problem. However, loneliness and poor mental health can worsen each other and as such, they are closely interlinked. Meanwhile, social connectedness is associated with better mental health.

As well as impacting our mental health, loneliness can seriously affect our physical health. I will talk more about the impacts of loneliness in my next blog.

Meanwhile - why not take a look at our short film on the Archway homepage to see how loneliness has affected Archway Friends - and how you can help!


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