Loneliness and isolation

What is loneliness

We all feel lonely at times – it’s a natural human emotion and it can affect us at any age and stage of our lives.

Being or living alone does not necessarily mean you’ll feel lonely. You may choose to spend time alone and enjoy your own company. A lack of company can lead to loneliness, but you may feel lonely even when surrounded by people.

Loneliness is the feeling of sadness that can come from not having the social contact you'd like.

Loneliness can affect anyone, but some common experiences can make you more likely to feel lonely:

  • a close relative or friend has died, or you've lost contact with friends or family
  • a relationship has broken down
  • a loss of work or change of employment
  • you live alone
  • you've an illness which makes you feel isolated from others, either emotionally or because it makes it hard for you to get out
  • becoming a parent
  • you’re caring for someone and do not have the opportunity to socialise
  • you’re shy or have social anxiety
  • you’re feeling depressed