The Treatment of Loneliness

The Treatment of Loneliness

It’s so important for us to find connections in our lives. Friendships, romances, and sexual relationships can all help with our sense of feeling connected.However, even when you have these things, you’re likely to have periods where you feel disconnected and lonely.

It’s true that some of us are more extraverted than others, and thus draw more energy from the company of other people. However, isolation and loneliness can and do happen to everyone. Whether you’re introverted or extraverted, there are going to be times in your life when loneliness hits hard. So how should you cope with this? I’m here to give you some information and ideas to help you through this feeling as it takes ahold.

Some research is showing that Americans are experiencing greater and greater levels of loneliness. This can be for different reasons. Social media can give an illusion of connection, but it often falls short. In fact, some suggest that it even makes us feel more lonely. I pick on social media here because there are a few reasons for this sense of loneliness.

  1. Comparison. It’s natural with so many images to compare ourselves to others. What’s even worse is what we compare ourselves to isn’t even usually very authentic. People post the best moments, the best angles, the best filters, etc. This can set a tone. Your perspective can easily shift to imagining what it would be like if you had what these other people had on social media. In these situations, it doesn’t even matter if it’s real. The damage is already done.
  2. FOMO. The fear of missing out. A feeling that you should be doing something or engaging in something more than what you’re currently engaging in… or not. It’s OK to be still, without participating in something. However, when people curate information, it can look as though they’re constantly engaged with amazing, new experiences. This can lead you to experience and internal dialogue that asks you “what’s wrong with me?” Of course, nothing is wrong with you. You’re just living a normal life. But the question can already set off a chain of insecurities.
  3. Identities. Who are you? This is not that easy of a question to answer. Social media can make it seem as though identity is equivalent to authenticity. This often comes down to economics. This is why so many people say they “just want to be happy.” “Be” is the important word here. As if happiness is who you are. It’s actually just another feeling. Anyway, when you see people appear happy with their social media identity, it can leave you craving that identity.

These triggers of loneliness often exist outside of social media as well. I can’t just pick on social media. However, our online world is important to consider when thinking about loneliness. Rather than taking away from your busy life to spend time with others and connect, you (like the rest of us) may opt to text, view the lives of others online, and maybe even call friends and family. In other words, so many people are at a distance.

Can I cure my loneliness?

I’ll cut straight to the chase. You can’t really cure a feeling. Because feelings will come and go. However, we can “treat” the feeling by focusing on how you treat yourself when you’re experiencing it. The worst part of loneliness is usually how people degrade and treat themselves. This makes the feeling even worse and can take you from having a short, term passing feeling of loneliness into a more consistent state of depression.

Normalize it and learn about it.

Loneliness isn’t something that just certain people have, while others somehow opt out. We all experience it. Obviously, the intensity can differ for all of us depending on what we’re going through. At the same time, it’s important to know you can talk about it, because others have experienced it as well.

One of the most problematic things that comes with loneliness is punishing yourself for simply having the feeling. You can treat yourself as if it means something bad about you, such as you’re unworthy or you’re abnormal. Trust me, you’re not defective. This is just a passing feeling. It represents a lot of different stuff for all of us. You can figure out what it means to you rather than about you. When this feeling arises, what is going on in your life? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you treating yourself well? What did you learn about this feeling while you were growing up? There are countless things you can ask yourself. The bottom line is you’re normal for feeling it.

The cure for loneliness isn’t necessarily being around others.

First of all, it’s critical that you give up the idea that you can cure feelings. They come and go. Instead, you can treat it with things that are resourceful to you, such as connections and self-kindness.

It’s natural that people would think that because “lonely” sounds so similar to “alone,” they would try to cure it by being around other people. Thus, it can be really confusing when you’re around others and you continue to feel lonely. In fact, sometimes it can even feel more isolating when you’re around others.

I’m not suggesting you avoid other people. I just want you to be aware of the dynamics of what you’re feeling to help you make a treatment strategy that may better help you. Overall, being around others can often be a good distraction tool, if nothing else. But an even better treatment is to work on connections. Feeling that you’re seen, heard, and understood is a great treatment strategy. It’s also important to have a sense of understanding of others as well. Empathy is a critical part of connection. When you show up for others, you put yourself in a place where you can experience a bond and connection.

Dealing with inner dialogue.

Our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can really do a number on us. This is extremely true when we’re dealing with loneliness. Unfortunately, you can’t just make your inner voices go away. Instead, you must practice separating what they say from true meaning. Every single one of us lives with insecurities. These voices inside ourselves will often use those insecurities to try to protect us. Unfortunately, they can get out of control when we treat them like they’re factual.

Rather than treating the dialogue as if it’s true, remind yourself that these things appear to protect you. Share them with friends who you trust. You’ll be surprised that they will either reaffirm you or tell you they deal with similar beliefs. This can also help to make you feel less isolated.

When to consider therapy.

You have the option of just participating in therapy when you need help learning more about your feelings and inner dialogue and want a therapist to help you identify these things and confront them. You may also want to consider therapy when the loneliness becomes so persistent that you start to experience intense levels of depression. A therapist can be a useful member of your treatment team to help you feel more on stable ground.

Feel free to read more about our services or contact us today if you’re looking for help with any of these things.


Recent Posts

When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed/Activated During an Argument

When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed/Activated During an Argument Personally, and professionally, I’ve noticed that seldomly do we find ourselves able to argue without our emotions getting the best of us. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Becoming activated or flooded during a conflictual conversation with a loved one or our partner


Overcoming Avoidance to Heal Your Sexual Problems

Overcoming Avoidance to Heal Your Sexual Problems One of the biggest culprits that can prevent you from making changes is avoidance. It’s easy to get all-or-nothing about how you want sex to happen. People have ideas of sex working for them, which is fine… until it isn’t. What often happens


How Sex Addiction Can Affect Your Partner

How Sex Addiction Can Affect Your Partner Sex addiction can cause relationship, career, and personal issues. It is obvious that people who are dealing with out of control sexual behavior need to build a plan and support system. However, individuals and the therapy field often forgets about the consequences that


Porn Addiction Information

Porn Addiction Information With the rise in popularity of the internet, behavioral addictions have become even more common. Whether it be computer games, online gambling, cybersex, or pornography, it can be difficult to understand what is going on in an individual’s body, mind, and heart. Watching pornography, meeting up with

compulsivity porn usage numbing tool

When Porn is a Compulsive Numbing Tool

When Porn is a Compulsive Numbing Tool If you read about compulsive porn use, there’s a lot of information that takes the discussion about problematic porn use to the extremes: it’s either always a problem or it’s never a problem. Like most things, the answer of whether or not it’s