Coffee lounge
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Are you feeling lonely?

Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

Scope community team

Taken from The Guardian:
Almost one in 14 people aged 16 or over in Great Britain say they are lonely, up 40% since last spring, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Between April and May last year one in 20 people aged 16-plus surveyed said they felt lonely “often” or “always”, and that increased significantly between October and February this year to a proportion equating to 3.7 million people.

The deleterious effects of loneliness have increasingly been highlighted in recent years, with warnings that it can be as bad for someone’s health as having a long-term illness such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
The ONS found that areas with a high proportion of younger people and those with higher rates of unemployment tended to have greater levels of loneliness, with the effects in both cases particularly strong in urban areas outside London.
Vivian Hill, the chair of the British Psychological Society Covid-19 isolation and confinement group, said: “The pandemic has just brought it [the loneliness epidemic] into really sharp focus, and it’s exacerbating the situation. My view is that maybe we’ve learned a few things as a society, that human beings do need to be connected, and maybe our day-to-day going out into the world, going into our jobs or to our places of learning, once that [is stripped] away, it’s revealed the hollowness, the life experience of many young people beneath that – that it’s either a question of being out and about with your friends or completely alone.”
The ONS said living in a single-person household, difficulties with relationships caused by the pandemic, and not having anyone to talk to had contributed to experiences of loneliness. Areas with strong local businesses and adult education tended to have lower rates of loneliness, with local authorities in London particularly benefiting.
In December last year the UK government announced a £7.5m fund to tackle the epidemic of loneliness in England.

Hill said she would like to see a focus on “how do we structure and shape our society to be more supportive of more people’s mental health and wellbeing”, with an emphasis on bringing people together across age groups and those out of work, who may not have the same sense of identity and opportunities to meet others afforded by employment.

“Maybe give people a role and a purpose, a way of bringing them together and making them feel connected with other people,” she said. “Not in some kind of punitive way of you’ve got to go out [to] weed the park or sweep the streets, but just thinking about what offer might be made. Just to give people a chance to come together with other people and, on a voluntary basis, make those connections.”

Have you been feeling more lonely since the pandemic started? What do you think is the best way to combat loneliness? Do you think disabled people are more likely to feel lonely?
Online Community Coordinator, she/her

Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.

Replies

  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,678 Disability Gamechanger
    I sometimes feel lonely, but when I meet up with people, while I am there, I am always looking forward to it being over so I can go back to my own company if that makes sense! But after I've done it, I'm glad I did it.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone else experiences the same! I wonder if it's a confidence or anxiety related thing?
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,249 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi 

    Yes I often feel lonely I have my son at home but he just hides in his room and comes out for food most of time 

    I miss adult company and someone special to share things with 

    The pandemic has made this more an issue as family and friends have been unable to visit,  not being able to go out much to shops , restaurants etc where you mainly talk to others but surrounded by them 

    To combat it I come on here,  watch lots tv , talk on phone and text 

    I don't let it get to me I just go with it but can understand how it can affect others 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,379 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 9
    I used to be like that @66Mustang, I think it may be about confidence or shyness, perhaps with a little introversion, that kind of thing. I found it waned over a period of fifty years or so for me but I had it bad, I had selective mutism when I was a child and in to my early twenties. Some people would have thought I was weird because I literally couldn’t speak to them.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    I've experienced that too @66Mustang, but it definitely depends who I'm spending time around. I agree that it can be an introversion thing. If I'm around people who 'require' (for want of a better word) a lot from me e.g. a lot of talking, high energy etc., then I find myself becoming more tired and looking forward to spending some alone time. I'm still glad when I've done it though, so long as they're people I enjoy spending time around. However, I don't necessarily feel that with people who require less from me in that sense.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    edited April 9
    I agree that it's been much more difficult during the pandemic @janer1967, but I'm glad you're still able to keep in touch with people over the phone, and by visiting the community of course! Do you think you'll return to a similar social life to the one you had before the pandemic at any point? Some people seem to be expecting more permanent changes in the way they keep in touch with people. 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,249 Disability Gamechanger
    @Tori_Scope I'm hoping to get back to some more social element but my family all live away so rely on them coming to me and they obviously have their own busy lives 

    Also since last year my sight has got so much worse so I can't see much and being in wheelchair too means I can't go out alone and can't see anything anyway 

    I've got sensory team coming in couple of weeks and they want to discuss me getting out more so see what they suggest 

    Don't get me wrong I don't dwell on it I just take what life throws at me 

    I like going to hairdressers and nails doing always get a good chat 

    I also going to look into bring a volunteer for buddy support for lonely people 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    Good news about the sensory team coming to visit @janer1967 :) Fingers crossed they're able to make some suggestions to help you get out and about. 

    The social aspect of things like getting your hair and nails done can definitely be really important. I can't wait until I can get a trim! 

    That's a great idea :) Have you looked around for any local charities? 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,249 Disability Gamechanger
    @Tori_Scope

    Not looked yet been waiting till home schooling finished fingers crossed after easter toby might manage more than 2 weeks at school b4 isolating again 

    Been busy doing that and having all my eye treatment and getting divorced I've been a bit busy lol 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    Yes, that's fair enough @janer1967! Hopefully he'll be able to remain in school more consistently for the rest of the school year. 

    Just a bit busy :D There's no rush. I imagine more of those sorts of roles will be opening up once face to face activities are fully back up and running, as many people will still be affected by loneliness. 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,151 Pioneering
    I do love my own company, to do me stuff, and make a point of having me time. 
    I do get lonely from time to time, but sometimes other people can be an intrusion, and I can't wait for them to leave or for me to go home. I must be strange lol,
    When I was with my partner I'd say right tomorrow I need a me day, he could never understand it.

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,456 Disability Gamechanger
    Sad but very true, you can be in a room full of people who love you, and still feel lonely.

    I always feel lonely, i'm almost certain this stems from my childhood though.
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,883 Disability Gamechanger
    I would rather be on my own than feel lonely with someone there that makes me feel alone 
  • csno01csno01 Member Posts: 204 Pioneering
    leeCal said:
    I used to be like that @66Mustang, I think it may be about confidence or shyness, perhaps with a little introversion, that kind of thing. I found it waned over a period of fifty years or so for me but I had it bad, I had selective mutism when I was a child and in to my early twenties. Some people would have thought I was weird because I literally couldn’t speak to them.
    I have never heard of this until reading this post. 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,379 Disability Gamechanger
    @csno01, I was never spotted as having this at school probably because I could speak to adults but not other children, so I have never received treatment for what is related to social anxiety. I have to say it held me back for decades one way or another including in my education and sometimes I still suffer from it in certain situations. 
  • AwesomelorenzoAwesomelorenzo Member Posts: 108 Connected
    I have my family. No friends, but family.
  • miricleman0718miricleman0718 Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I'm always lonely, and before my accident I was healthy person like most people love going on holiday Thailand being my favourite place I went there on my own in 2017 just before Xmas and it didn't fail Impress. I'd love to go back one day but it's highly unlikely due to 14 hour flight. Besides that I'm still getting to grips with being on my own from my accident in 2018, I was in a on off relationship but like lookdo like 1000's of others being stuck in trying to keep the demons at bay. Luckily I've got a nice garden that's keeps my mind off everything otherwise think things would of been different, but lockdown like lot of other relationships seeing your partner's colours, well that was that and now on my Todd trying like others just to get by day to day and with help from certain family and friends/ neighbour who have been there to get me through everything 🤞🙏🙏👍piece out 😄...
  • csno01csno01 Member Posts: 204 Pioneering
    Ami2301 said:
    Sad but very true, you can be in a room full of people who love you, and still feel lonely.

    I only recently learnt about this phrase. Why is this the case though?

    I enjoy being around people although I like my own space as well. I also find that I have to be doing something most of the time, but never understood why.  Would this fall under loneliness boredom, or a combination of the two?

    Of course we need period of downtime to recharge. 
  • Caz_ScopeCaz_Scope Posts: 578

    Scope community team

    I suppose it's all about connection as well @csno01? As human beings, we often feel the need to connect. Though again, that can mean very different things to different people as well. 

    But yes, even if you're surrounded by people, sometimes it can still feel lonely if there's nobody in that particular space or group that you feel able to connect with. That might be the case if you're in a room full of strangers, or a room full of people that you know quite well, but you don't feel as though you're on quite the same wavelength as that group of people. 

    I'm not sure about your second question though. What do you think yourself? Do you feel as though that's loneliness or boredom, or like you say, a combination of the two?
    Online Community Coordinator (she/her)

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • csno01csno01 Member Posts: 204 Pioneering
    Caz_Scope said:
    I suppose it's all about connection as well @csno01? As human beings, we often feel the need to connect. Though again, that can mean very different things to different people as well. 

    But yes, even if you're surrounded by people, sometimes it can still feel lonely if there's nobody in that particular space or group that you feel able to connect with. That might be the case if you're in a room full of strangers, or a room full of people that you know quite well, but you don't feel as though you're on quite the same wavelength as that group of people. 

    I'm not sure about your second question though. What do you think yourself? Do you feel as though that's loneliness or boredom, or like you say, a combination of the two?
    Hi Caz,
    I guess it Could be a combination of the two. 
  • Boyden1964Boyden1964 Member Posts: 32 Connected
    I have been hit really bad in this pandemic as my husband collapsed and died right in front of me in our bedroom. What's the hardest part for me is he had a telephone consultation with GP that afternoon as he had a very swollen leg GP diagnosed an infection  in leg 8 hours later he was dead post mortem revealed a blood clot that had travelled to his heart. If this had been normal times he would of been seen by GP I can not stop thinking if he had been seen he might still be here. I have moved into the front bedroom as I can't go in there as it brings back painful memories as I had to do CPR until the paramedics arrived it's been 8 months since he died it's been very lonely not being able to hug family and friends and not been able to have a proper funeral for him. I am now looking forward to when we can meet up and have a hug and I can also arrange a memorial service for him as he had many friends. So I can finally move on and hopefully not feel so lonely.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    edited April 24
    I'm very sorry to hear about what you've had to endure @Boyden1964. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Have you considered accessing any grief counselling? It can be really helpful to talk things through with someone who understands.

    I'm sure the memorial will be lovely, and will give you some closure. I hope that you're able to hug your loved ones soon. Do you have any plans to meet up with them in the meantime? Are you able to keep in touch with them remotely? 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
Sign in or join us to comment.