It seems to go against conventional wisdom that living alone can increase the risk of psychological illness. But if you look at the statistics, it actually makes a lot of sense: people who live on their own are more likely to feel lonely and isolated.
Why is There a Growing Number of People Living Alone?
Our population is ageing, which is causing a surge in the number of people living alone. The baby-boomer generation is getting older, and elders are much less likely to be partnered.
Another one of the reasons is the increased opportunities for people to live on their own. People have more freedom to live wherever they want, whenever they want, and everyone has more choice over who they live with.
Other factors include:
- People marrying later in life
- More people separating from their partners
- Many young people moving to cities in search of work and experience
The Loneliness that Comes with Living Alone
When individuals move out of their parents’ homes, they no longer have a built-in support system. It can lead to increased anxiety and depression.
Moreover, people who have gotten a divorce may feel depressed and lonely as well.
Older adults who live alone may suffer from a sense of isolation and loneliness, causing depression to set in.
If you’re living alone, you may feel depressed and lonely. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can do something about it.
How Loneliness Can Turn Into a Major Problem
Loneliness is not a mental illness, but it can lead to or exacerbate other problems.
Loneliness can cause depression. When people live alone, there are fewer people around to help them get through tough times. Loneliness can be toxic to a person’s mental health, and the feeling is heightened when a person feels that there’s nothing they can do about it.
People who live on their own may have suicidal thoughts. Respondents who participated in a study on loneliness said they felt like they were no longer part of society.
They also felt that they were not an effective part of their family and were not important to other people.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
If you’re lonely, you will probably want to drown your sorrows in alcohol or drugs. You will have an urge to use these substances as a way to ease your pain.
This can lead to a serious problem because using drugs and alcohol will exacerbate your suffering.
If you feel lonely and isolated, you may want to avoid other people altogether. This can cause you to isolate yourself from the people in your life who care about you.
Don’t Let Loneliness Get the Best of You
There’s a growing number of people living alone, which has led to widespread stress and mental health problems. Loneliness can lead to depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and other problems. If you’re lonely and suffering from depression, it may be necessary to seek professional help.
Seek counselling services in Cambridge, Ontario. Chettiar Counselling & Associates offers support for managing anxiety, depression, anger management, and many more. We offer a no-cost phone consultation. Contact us!