Do you need to talk to someone right now? Do you feel alone and lost?
Some of us literally have no one to vent to, but feeling alone isn’t defined by how many people are physically surrounding you. You can feel isolated at a party, at work, or even out with friends. Your family is supposed to be there for you, but many of us experience the opposite.
Sometimes it feels like you don’t have anyone you can talk to without judgement, and that just compounds your feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. When everyone else seems to have an outlet, you desperately need to find yours.
When you’re lonely for a long time, the need to talk to someone eventually becomes pressing, even desperate – and for good reason. You may be surprised to find that prolonged loneliness has profound physical implications.
If you really need to get something off your chest right now, you can take a shortcut: an online peer support chat.
Studies show that individuals who are more isolated tend to have more active white blood cells. This causes chronic inflammation, your body’s defense to an attack. Those who are lonely are also more likely to be depressed – it’s a chicken/egg scenario, but this may also relate directly to inflammation.
This might be part of why it feels so hopeless to be alone. Loneliness has ancient origins, imbedded deep in our genetics. Those who were left shunned from the pack were often unable to survive on their own. Even today, we crave social interaction and belonging for this reason – feeling connected helps your health, and may even help you live longer in modern times.
In a society that idolizes popularity, talking about feeling alone feels like outing yourself. When you scroll through your feed and see everyone out with friends and posting about their gatherings, you start to feel like the only one who needs a listening ear. In reality, many people feel lonely and are searching for someone to talk to (you can find someone to talk to right now, at Supportiv).
Some individuals are afraid to admit they’re in need, in part because of social media. They fear being judged as weird or unlikeable by their peers. There’s a deep-seated societal belief, that if you don’t have friends, there must be something wrong with you. This adds to the cycle of self-consciousness that might be keeping you from sharing in the first place.
Sometimes we need someone to talk to just because we’re scared to be open with those actually in our lives. You may not feel comfortable talking to friends about what’s on your mind for many reasons. Perhaps you’ve been hurt in the past when you shared your problems. Maybe your friends don’t understand the specific struggles you experience.
Noticing why you’re hesitant to open up may help you figure out a better way to reach out for someone to talk to.
The first struggle is finding someone to talk to. Once you’ve made a connection, it still may feel strange talking about depression and loneliness with someone you know.
While no friend will have all the answers, they’re likely to at least validate your feelings. If you still feel apprehensive but need to talk to someone, start small by expressing your feelings broadly: you’ve had a rough day, or you’re scared for the future. When you feel more comfortable, you can bring in more details and talk about the more difficult feelings, too.
If you want to jump straight to the meat, or really need to get something off your chest right now, you can take a shortcut: an online peer support chat, where anonymity takes away your apprehension, and technology helps you find someone who will get it.
Feeling less lonely begins with reaching out, in any small way you can. We believe you’ll be able to let it out soon.