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Mental illness and loneliness

Mental illness and loneliness

Loneliness is common among those living with mental illness.  And, mental illness reinforces loneliness and isolation. It’s a vicious circle.

There are several outcomes of loneliness.

It can lead to depression which prevents us from making human contact.  Depression increases with loneliness. 

If we have anxiety issues, a sense of low self-esteem keeps us from associating with others.  This discomfort of meeting people is also called social anxiety.  You may not feel like leaving your house or apartment or may feel as if you are not good at forming relationships.

With diminished social interaction, our stress levels increase.

Studies have shown that loneliness can also lead to eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

It is a contributing factor to substance abuse and addiction.  In fact, it is recognized as an essential risk factor in all stages of alcoholism as lonely people are more susceptible to alcohol-related problems.  Those who feel lonely before ever taking alcohol or drugs are much more likely to get addicted.

Finally, loneliness can be associated with personality disorders.  Several experts have suggested that emotional deprivation plays a critical role in the development of such disorders. This leads to a lack of contentment in interpersonal relationships.

So, you must try and stay connected with people.  The best way is to find common interests around which you can interact. It will lessen your feeling of isolation and can help alleviate the disorders mentioned above. 

Get in touch.  Take the first step.  You will feel good doing it as will the people you are interacting with!

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