Sometimes you want to be alone,
but other times being alone can be, well,
Loneliness has many causes, and can
be felt at any age. The feeling is usually
short–lived, but if it lasts over long
periods of time, it can cause physical
and mental problems – for both adults
“People who feel lonely may
exhibit a number of symptoms,” says
Donna Koch, the executive director of
Community Health in Alberta Health
Services’ North Zone. “For example,
they either don’t eat or they overeat,
which can lead to chronic conditions
such as obesity.”
Koch also says people who deal with
loneliness have poor sleep patterns,
interact less with others and stop doing
their regular activities.
These symptoms can lead to
conditions such as depression and
addictions. But it’s not a one–way street.
Depression and addiction can lead to
loneliness as well.
One way to effectively combat
loneliness is to build healthy
relationships with family, friends,
coworkers and community members.
A healthy relationship is built on serve
and return interactions: trust, respect
and mutual care. People in healthy
relationships share similar values and
interests and are able to change and
grow. They also communicate and feel
safe and happy with one another.
Healthy relationships can be built
(and loneliness beaten) in any number
of ways: you can join an outdoor club,
volunteer at a local school, food bank
or hospital, or play or coach sports. You
can also walk regularly with friends
or the family pet—not only are pets
affectionate, they can also connect you
to other pet owners.
If your loneliness becomes
unbearable, doctors and therapists can
help. Depression is a brain disease and
can be successfully treated.
And if you are concerned about
someone else’s loneliness, Koch suggests
checking in on them regularly while still
respecting their space.
One way to effectively combat loneliness
is to build healthy relationships
with family, friends, coworkers and