Recognising signs of loneliness

Loneliness can be defined by constant or unrelenting feelings of being alone, separated or divided from others. Social isolation symptoms can vary among individuals, but something we can all keep an eye out for.

Loneliness symptoms come in different forms, we've listed some of them below...

Time alone
Time alone may sound like an obvious symptom, but sometimes this can often go missed, especially as everyone around us has busy schedules. It's important to note that there are some individuals who do enjoy their own company and it is a good idea to be mindful of that also.

Negative thinking
People who have feelings of loneliness often can have very negative thoughts and are more likely to become annoyed by small things and will often bring up bad experiences regularly. This could be because they don't have anyone close often enough to laugh about things with, so instead, they fester about it and a small negative can become large and a big part of their daily thinking. You may find that if you do speak to a person who is displaying signs of loneliness that they're not as happy as you would expect, especially when you're sharing good news with them try not to take this personally or get angry with them over it, think about how you can help instead.

Attached to material things
A common symptom of someone who might feel lonely is they might turn to retail therapy as a way to help them as this gives this individual someone to look forward to in their day. They may end up spending a lot of money on things they don't really need or have things replaced that really do not need to be replaced, for example, a new car or kitchen after only a few years with no real need behind it. It could be that they are missing the excitement or social contact with tradespeople, and other people in general.

Everyone's experience is different
Loneliness is hard and different for everyone remember there are some individuals that genuinely do just enjoy their own space and company, and that is perfectly fine. However, if you do notice some worrying signs of loneliness, please contact their friends and family for further support, reach out to the individual and if you are really concerned for their mental wellbeing, get further medical advice