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Saturday, November 11, 2017


Loneliness is often a word that is overlooked.  In my experience, people will self-diagnose themselves as being depressed when what they are is lonely.  Depression is a clinical mental health mood disorder that should not be taken likely yet the word is used very flippantly and many do not realize what they are actually saying when they say they have it.  Loneliness is different.

What does loneliness feel like?  Some would say even in a room full of people they feel totally alone.  Others might say they don’t have anyone in which they can trust their deep feelings.  Yet others might say it feels like no one really cares.  With the onslaught of social media connections, you might wonder why anyone would feel lonely.  Social media is exactly that “social”.  There is very limited “personal” in “social media”.  Participants share what they want to share and can garner hundreds if not thousands of friends/followers.  Although they may have hundreds of friends and/or followers, none of those people may be someone they feel can be trusted.  Perhaps you can relate to this.

Loneliness can also occur within families and relationships.  Let’s first talk about relationships.  We are busy people.  So busy that we do not find time to really connect beyond a superficial level.  Have you been at home with your partner and spent practically the whole day and not said more than 100 words to each other?  Sometimes couples/friends hang out or share space and time and never truly connect with each other.  Conversations are minimal.  One or the other seems to be preoccupied with his/her technology.  Still others may be unavailable for and to you but very available for others.  This might also include spending limited time with you and not effectively communicating with you about events in your everyday lives.  Yet if asked, they would say your relationship is ‘great’. 

Families may be used to seeing you as “the strong one”.  This seems to be where they have parked you and any demonstration of emotion or less than what they deem “strong” prompts a comment something like this “Don’t worry you are always the strong one”.  As a result, we feel like they are not interested or won’t understand or being emotional is equivalent to weakness and we shut down which compounds the loneliness. 

There may be others in your life in which everything is always about them.  They don’t call to check on you – unless they want to talk about themselves.  They may ask how you are doing and listen to you for a couple of minutes but then the conversation seems to always switch to them.  Sound like anyone you know? 

Having other emotions and feeling lonely does not make you weak.  It makes you human!  You have the right to be heard.  Contact us at Release Counseling and Consulting, we are eager to “hear from you”.