What other help is available?
‘After living a life full of loneliness, I thought nothing could change. But after I started therapy, I realised things can actually get better, despite the neglect, abuse and mental health difficulties I suffered with.’
You may find that, despite your best efforts, you are unable to get the social contact that you need or that you constantly experience feelings of loneliness that you are simply unable to resolve on your own. In these cases, a talking treatment, such as counselling or psychotherapy, may help. Talking to a counsellor, or a therapist, allows you to explore and understand your feelings of loneliness and can help you develop positive ways of dealing with them.
If anxiety about social situations has made you isolated, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may help. CBT is a form of therapy that focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life – your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes – and how this impacts the way you behave and deal with emotional problems. It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. It has been found to be particularly effective for anxiety-based conditions, including agoraphobia and social phobia.
If you want to try a talking treatment, your family doctor can provide the necessary information and refer you to a local service (See ‘Useful contacts’).