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Kinds of loneliness

Loneliness is a negative feeling, tinged with sadness, causing suffering to the human being. At times, loneliness can be a temporary state, often having external causes, such as a separation or a move. Yet there are other kinds of loneliness.

The human being has a fundamental need to be in contact with other people. Children and adults endeavour to establish lasting personal relationships, as everyone feels the underlying need to be loved, appreciated and supported. Not all relationships, though, necessarily fulfil this need. It happens that one, while being surrounded by several people, may nonetheless feel lonely.

It is also possible for some people to be unable to accept anyone’s proximity. Sure they have the need to be in contact and have close relationships, but in spite of being around people, they feel lonely.


Contemporary society is marked by the fact that more and more people do not want to bind themselves “just like that”. Families move around, the village community dissolves, the elderly see many people who were always close pass away one after the other. Our modern lifestyle, the frantic pace of our days, planned till the late hours, leave less and less space for contacts and leisures.

If the contemporary human being loses the ability to live in a community and entertain contacts with his close ones, loneliness can become chronic over time. People draw increasingly back and react with irritation when they have to deal with others. Some are loners, some become depressed: isolated people often lost all faith in themselves. They can hardly imagine that another person might be interested in them and do not feel worthy of being loved.

What can you do?

Moments or periods of loneliness are part of life. How such moments are lived changes from person to person. For some, like artists, loneliness may be an inspired phase, but when these phases last too long, they risk turning into a calvary.

Overcoming loneliness requires a lot of strength and time. A first step is to acknowledge one’s state of loneliness and feel the desire to leave it behind. You need to be brave to get over the fear and go back to look for contact with other people after a long period of isolation.

If you find yourself in this situation and are suffering because of your loneliness, the first step may be to call SOS Détresse. You can just tell us how you feel, so you will have already moved closer to another person.

To quit isolation it is important to become your own best friend!

So do not judge yourself. It is already hard enough to be lonely. Think about what you can do for yourself, even if you feel lonely.

Sure, it is important to re-engage with other people, but this requires exercise.

Have a go in every occasion, while shopping, in the bus… Talk to other people about your daily life!

A psychotherapy may help you with your wish to reconnect to other people. In therapy you may also explore the reasons for your loneliness.

There are ways to get away from loneliness, but the first step to break it is up to you!

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