How can being lonely affect your mental health?
Loneliness and social isolation can have a significant impact on your mental health. Studies have shown that people who are socially isolated experience more stress, have lower self-esteem and are more likely to have sleep problems than people who have strong social support. All of these things can have a negative effect on your general wellbeing.
Being lonely can also contribute to mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. Social isolation has also been linked to rarer mental health conditions like schizophrenia. If you are concerned that your feelings of loneliness are developing into a mental health problem, you may find it helpful to talk to your GP.
Sometimes feeling lonely can feel so overwhelming that you have suicidal thoughts. If this happens, remember that you can pick up the phone at any time of night or day and talk to the Samaritans. (See ‘Useful contacts’)