Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Have you ever been in a crowd and still felt lonely, but on the other hand felt really good when you are on your own? This is very normal since loneliness does not mean being alone while practising social isolation, but loneliness is located in the individual, it is how a person feels. Emotional loneliness is lack of trust, thus is can be felt amongst a good social network. It happens when relationship experiences with others do not match the desired social connections.
Loneliness can be occasional, long-standing or chronic in nature. Although it is not a mental health issue, loneliness can lead to emotional and physical damaging effects such as social anxiety, poor nutrition, depression, social stigma, fatigue and dementia. Factors triggering loneliness include aspects of the situation, the characteristics of a person and cultural norms/values. Psychological aspects (behaviour, thoughts and feelings), together with demographic and social factors (living situations, gender, family circumstances, status, identity and social roles) have a strong impact on loneliness. Thus, considering LGBTIQ+ community members experience additional challenges, it is easier to fall into a lonely state.
Let’s say that life in general is not always easy to LGBTIQ+ individuals, but Covid-19 really made it worse for everyone. If most people used to fight their loneliness and try to socialize before, this is currently very limited due to never ending restrictions. Most individuals especially those who are single or older, are nowadays further withdrawn from contacting others, thus experiencing more social isolation and loneliness considering most of their friends got hooked up in a relationship or formed a family of their own.
Lonely people tend to use denial or distancing as an attempt to self-preservation while silently suffering. This can be dangerous as it might lead to use of drugs, alcohol, work/school absenteeism or choosing to be in toxic relationships.
If you don’t speak with people, they do not speak to you. This is how life is. Thus, if you are experiencing loneliness try to open up with someone close to you, whom you can trust or seek for therapy even if it is difficult. Get out of your comfort zone through help when you feel ready to do so.
As an organization – Allied Rainbow Community (ARC) organises various types of events on a micro and macro level. Our aim is to support our community, assist individuals in making new friends and promote a safe space for everyone.
The Campaign to end Loneliness, (2020). The Psychology of Loneliness. Why it matters and What we can do. UK.