Isolation and a lack of meaningful social interaction often create a feeling of being lonely. Loneliness is not just a feeling that easily passes with no risk to health or mental wellbeing. Rather, it can increase the risk of many health concerns, not only mentally and emotionally but physically as well. Using coping skills and instituting actions that can prevent loneliness from occurring can help to stave off these harmful effects.
Mental Health Risks of Loneliness
The effect that loneliness has on the mental health of individuals is profound. It increases depression, can lower memory and processing, and can slow the rate of learning new tasks or ideas. These can add to the increased feelings of failure and depression, and each is likely to worsen as depression worsens.
People are social by nature and built requiring social interactions with loved ones and friends in order to maintain their mental and physical health. As social interactions decrease or the quality of those interactions becomes less positive and enjoyable, there is an increase in feelings of loneliness and isolation. This sense of isolation is detrimental to many of the processes of the brain, including memory.