When The Telegraph reported that Britain is the ‘Loneliness Capital of Europe,’ with some of us feeling we have no one to turn to in times of need or crisis, it made me (Jess) feel sad and angry.
Here we are with a burgeoning population and a myriad of ways to ‘connect,’ and yet society and relationships are more fragmented than at almost any other point in History.
There are many reasons for this of course and, like other Western countries, we live in an increasingly ‘individualised’ culture.
Statistically, however, it is both the old and young who feel the loneliest among us. Ironically, these are also the groups least likely to ask for and seek help or support.
Many of us feel lonely some of the time but unfortunately, some of us feel lonely most of the time.
One of the hardest things about loneliness is the isolation it brings. Feeling so alone and disconnected can often lead to low mood and depression; even suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it can be hard to find a way out of such despair but, as we regularly see in our Brighton counselling practice, it can be useful to explore these feelings with an objective listener.
The counselling relationship can provide a sense of emotional scaffolding within which to make sense of difficulties and identify useful ways forward.