Although the word “loneliness” is used very commonly, only since resent it has been acknowledged that this is in fact a psychological disorder that can turn out to be a very dangerous one if not treated properly. Most of the time in ordinary talk loneliness is confused with being alone, but it has far more deeper meaning than that.
Loneliness is actually a state of mind and not a state of solitude. Solitude is a way of life when one, very consciously, chooses to leave all people behind and live by himself in seclusion.
Opposite to this, sometimes being lonely occurs even when you do have everyone around you, your life seems full and intense, it might look like you have everything you’ve ever wished for. But when you are lonely, you feel empty inside, you feel like you are left to die slowly and alone.
Many of us think that loneliness is an ordinary, everyday feeling that a person can have and it is true sometimes, when you feel that no one understands you.
But the difference here is that if it’s an everyday feeling, the thoughts that you are alone go away rather quickly and don’t come back until another situation triggers that same emotion.
When this happens you might call a friend to come over or you can talk to your parents, or you just grab a book and you are full again with yourself, your hopes and love for the future.
Although loneliness does have the same symptoms, it is followed with a strong feeling of being unwanted, being rejected by the society, by your family, friends and partner. It’s a state of deep sadness and not-belonging.
This kind of sadness exactly makes loneliness so dangerous and chronic, because it doesn’t go away, it just gets deeper and deeper.
This becomes a very real state of the mind, an awful reality where the soul is literally dragging its body behind and has absolutely no reason why it should continue with this life on Earth.
Exactly this is the moment when suicidal thoughts rise up inside the mind of the lonely person. This is the moment when he/she believes that they won’t be even missed.
So you see, loneliness is when you can’t find any reason why should you stay and endure the pain that comes from not having anyone to help you, to hear you.
Despite the medical studies loneliness is not a genetic disorder. As I stated above it is a state of mind, a state of consciousness that has nothing to do with genes or any part of the physical body for that matter.
Further, it is a psychological disorder, meaning the state of the mind was once in order and somehow, in some period of time it became unbalanced. Thus, loneliness is caused by something, some event, some person that has triggered such a deep pain, an everlasting sadness that has gone beyond repairing.
Knowing all this I hope now you’ll know a little better to distinguish loneliness from simply feeling alone and from the usual sadness. If you can understand loneliness than you can help yourself or someone else to recognize this unnatural state of mind.
Because if it is not recognized and acknowledged it cannot be treated properly can cause or evolve into further psychological and health problems like:
- Depression (major depression or persistent depressive disorder),
- Low self-esteem that can trigger suicidal thoughts;
- diminishing cognitive performances;
- Compromise the whole immune system;
- Increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or heart attack;
- Increases the symptoms of developing dementia in early middle age or Alzheimer disease by decreasing the ability to think and learn;
- Altered brain function;
I will emphasize this once again – if no help is given, this disorder can grow really bad and really fast. It can easily turn into major depression that will require years of work on the Self, or it can push the person to developing a progressive dementia since the one who is lonely doesn’t have any need to read, to study, or to think even.
Lonely people don’t just turn away from society, they leave their Self too. This is so because as the disorder progresses the person doesn’t want to think, because thinking means remembering, all memories are simply too painful for them.
They remember that no one cares, no one asks how they feel. They feel like an extra part, a sick part of humanity that needs to be removed. So they literally try to remove themselves from everywhere and if not treated correctly they can easily take their own life.
Here is some advice on what a person who suffers from loneliness should do:
- They must recognize their condition, their state of mind as unnatural;
- Must understand what the consequences from loneliness could be;
- They should respond to this disorder (maybe by developing quality relationships with people with common interest);
- Hope for the best, not the worst – which doesn’t mean that one should become a forced one optimist, but only realist and opportunist, because life does give us enough chances to change our life. But we all have free-will, which on the other hand gives us the right to take or to dismiss that chance.
So, please be careful when you judge the condition of someone who suffers from loneliness, it’s not a very nice state to be in. Therefore, be a good friend to someone who is lonely, you might just save their life.