Society Needs To Better Address The Problem Of Loneliness

   Is it me, or is loneliness something that most people don’t want to talk about? To be honest, I think the latter is often more true these days. It does seem to be a subject most people seem to want to avoid. But guess what? When you refuse to discuss it, those of us who are dealing with loneliness often feel that much more lonely.
   I think as a society we can and should do much better on this issue.
   Most everyone feels lonely from time to time. It’s part of life. But for some people, loneliness is much more intense and/or lasts for far, far longer. It can be terribly painful, heartbreaking, and even debilitating. As to why loneliness occurs in the first place, well, that’s something that can be quite complicated and a subject books could be written about.
   There isn’t room here to go into all of the causes of loneliness but here are a few factors that I think commonly come into play. Consider an individual who feels different from other people around them for one reason or another. It could be due to physical appearance, sexuality, gender identity, age, personality, the list goes on. Now think about how that individual feels when those around this person treat them as different, like they don’t fit in. Intolerance and prejudice can play major roles in this type of scenario making the individual feel terribly isolated and lonely. Things like depression, social anxiety, bipolar disorder, and others also can be factors as to why a person feels lonely. With regards to depression, the adage of which came first, the chicken or the egg, can be an apt analogy. This is because in some cases, depression may be a significant reason why a person feels lonely in the first place while in other scenarios, the loneliness is leading to the depression. And it can be a combination of both.
   The potential causes of loneliness are clearly wide and varied. Whatever the cause, it can feel heart-wrenching and brutal at times while being compounded by the fact that so many people in society don’t want to talk about it.
   So let’s change this. Society needs to acknowledge and address the problem of loneliness and the fact that it is much more common than most people want to admit. This in turn would help lonely people feel a little less lonely and realize that they are not alone in their struggles. It might encourage more people (both those dealing with loneliness and those who are not) to look at themselves to see how they could do better. It could also help motivate individuals to seek out help when they need it. And if more people would be willing to reach out to others showing kindness and friendship, that too would help alleviate the problem.
  So please think about this. Recognize the issue of loneliness whether it’s something that you have to deal with yourself or not. Try to be kind to others and more willing to consider offering your hand in friendship to another. They may need it more than you know.
  

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