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Loneliness
Posted 9/18/14
Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental or emotional factors.

Research has shown that loneliness is widely prevalent throughout society among people in marriages, relationships, families and successful careers.[1] It has been a long explored theme in the literature of human beings since classical antiquity. Loneliness has also been described as social pain — a psychological mechanism meant to alert an individual of isolation and motivate him/her to seek social connections.[2]

People can experience loneliness for many reasons and many life events may cause it, like the lack of friendship relations during childhood and adolescence, or the physical absence of meaningful people around a person. At the same time, loneliness may be a symptom of another social or psychological problem, such as chronic depression.

Many people experience loneliness for the first time when they are left alone as infants. It is also a very common, though normally temporary, consequence of a breakup, divorce, or loss of any important long-term relationship. In these cases, it may stem both from the loss of a specific person and from the withdrawal from social circles caused by the event or the associated sadness.

The loss of a significant person in one's life will typically initiate a grief response; in this situation, one might feel lonely, even while in the company of others. Loneliness may also occur after the birth of a child (often expressed in postpartum depression), after marriage, or following any other socially disruptive event, such as moving from one's home town into an unfamiliar community leading to homesickness. Loneliness can occur within unstable marriages or other close relationships in a similar nature, in which feelings present may include anger or resentment, or in which the feeling of love cannot be given or received. Loneliness may represent a dysfunction of communication, and can also result from places with low population densities in which there are comparatively few people to interact with. Loneliness can also be seen as a social phenomenon, capable of spreading like a disease. When one person in a group begins to feel lonely, this feeling can spread to others, increasing everybody's risk for feelings of loneliness.[3] People can feel lonely even when they're surrounded by other people.[4]

Typology
Feeling lonely vs. being socially isolated
There is a clear distinction between feeling lonely and being socially isolated (for example, a loner). In particular, one way of thinking about loneliness is as a discrepancy between one's desired and achieved levels of social interaction,[1] while solitude is simply the lack of contact with people. Loneliness is therefore a subjective experience; if a person thinks they are lonely, then they are lonely. People can be lonely while in solitude, or in the middle of a crowd. What makes a person lonely is the fact that they want more social interaction than what is currently available. A person can be in the middle of a party and feel lonely due to not talking to enough people. Conversely, one can be alone and not feel lonely; even though there is no one around that person is not lonely because there is no desire for social interaction. There have also been suggestions that each person has their own sweet spot of social interaction. If a person gets too little or too much social interaction, this could lead to feelings of loneliness or over-stimulation.[6]

Solitude can have positive effects on individuals. One study found that although time spent alone tended to depress a person's mood and increase feelings of loneliness, it also helped to improve their cognitive state, such as improving concentration. Furthermore, once the alone time was over, people's moods tended to increase significantly.[7] Solitude is also associated with other positive growth experiences, religious experiences, and identity building such as solitary quests used in rites of passages for adolescents.[8]

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21 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 9/18/14
I have a waifu, she will never leave me.
Posted 9/18/14 , edited 9/18/14
Rarely.
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43 / M
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Posted 9/18/14
It got to me for a while when I first started living alone.
After a few years I got over it and now I find it hard to imagine sharing my home with other people.

I do have to make an effort to get out and meet people though, as if I don't talk to anyone for about 6 weeks, I start talking to myself...and yes, answering myself too.
Posted 9/18/14
Part of the human condition. You can be with someone and feel more lonely than if you are alone.
Posted 9/18/14
sometimes. usually only at night.

during the day/evening, i'm fine.
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21 / M / The Heroes Associ...
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Posted 9/18/14
I am sort of like a wolf. I enjoy being alone, but i also work in groups when the time comes for it.

However, i am almost always alone. Currently i work from home at my family business, so the only social interaction i have is with my family.

I am going away to university next September after a 2 year break after i graduated high school. Ill def try to be social there.

However.. i never feel sad about being alone. I enjoy my solitude because i have the time and ability to decide what I want to do.
Posted 9/18/14 , edited 9/18/14
I rarely get lonely, I'm a bit of a shut-in and I crave a lot of alone time, I scarcely leave the house when I don't have any responsibilities to deal with (college, work, household stuff) and I'm usually pretty avoidant of social interaction, although the house does start to feel a little empty when my parents are away for a few days, even though I rarely see them anyway because I'm always in my room. I'll probably feel it more once I have my own place.
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24 / M / Texas
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Posted 9/18/14
Mostly after cons.
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 9/18/14
yep
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24 / M / Houston
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Posted 9/18/14
A lot since I'm currently suffering through depression and don't have many friends, but I'm going to counseling for my depression and I have started to make new friends in college as a way to sort of reinvent myself be at I'm just tired of feeling worthless
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23 / M / Academy city
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Posted 9/18/14
I prefer to be alone.
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27 / F / Australia
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Posted 9/19/14
More than I like to admit... and sometimes even when surrounded by people. Thankfully there are a few close friends who remind me I'm human and I'm still here and that I am not invisible like I have sometimes thought I might be
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21 / F
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Posted 9/19/14
More than Lala would like to admit...
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M / Adelaide, Australia
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Posted 9/19/14
Pretty much most of the time for me. I've ruined a lot of friendships recently and I always feel that I have no one and that I'm alone.
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