“Loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness and depression are all around you. It is too late to recognize them after a fatal suicide attempt. There is hope, help and healing for the depressed. Won’t you help save someone’s life today?”
Do you know of anyone in your sphere of influence who feels lonely for periods of time that you think are too long? Are you affected by feelings of loneliness, while at the same time consciously wishing that that was not the case?
If so, I have good news for you about something that is actually a very bad, unhealthy and potentially dangerous mental health issue. You’re Not Alone – Part 1 and You’re Not Alone – Part 2.
You’re Not Alone Part 1 because you are in the company of almost 50% of Americans, and admittedly, a slightly lower percentage of persons from less developed countries. You’re Not Alone Part 2 for at least two reasons. The first is that there is much that you can do about reversing your loneliness. The second is that if you choose to desire a personal relationship with God, He offers His presence with us at all times, so that even when we feel the result of lack of human comfort, God will provide a far more reliable and sustainable alternative.
Global health service company Cigna recently released results of a survey of 20,000 Americans age 18 years and older and found that 46.5% of those surveyed, reported always or sometimes feeling alone or left out. The same survey found that 27% of persons rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them.
43% reported sometimes or always feeling that their relationships are not meaningful (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others.
And to be clear, feelings of loneliness are not limited to persons who live alone. In fact, the same study showed that far less than half of persons reporting loneliness actually lived alone.
And like the trend in suicidal deaths and attempted suicides, the incidence of loneliness among younger people is increasing, and disrupting the stereo-type of loneliness being associated with declining years.
If you have not as yet seen my video on Suicide, captioned “Anthony Bourdaine… Cause of Death Unknown”, now is a good time to see it on my website – Doctorperspective.com. Loneliness is a major launching pad for depression… and persistent depression over a long period of time is a leading contributing factor to suicide.
Interestingly enough, on the surface, it may appear that the advent of social media means that more people, especially young people, are in touch with more people at any given time. True and not true. Social media, by definition increases mass communication and social isolation, but quite often is a disincentive to building meaningful relationships. You may have heard of people who actually go out on a date, and instead of talking to each other, are actually texting each other.
So here are a few suggestions. Theoretically speaking, if there are 2000 lonely people and 1000 of them found the other 1000, there would be no more lonely people left. At the personal level, stop waiting for someone to come and brighten up your life. Instead, go and brighten up someone else’s life. Given the amount of lonely people in this world, finding one will never be a problem. And remember, it’s not your responsibility to find them all. All you have to do is to find the one who will help you address your challenge with loneliness.
At the root of one cause of loneliness is the “give versus receive syndrome”. We are by nature receivers, takers, getters and even grabbers. I address this subject in one of my flagship presentations – To Be or Not To Be… Sucker or Suckee. Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive. When you develop a mentality of giving and sharing and helping, there will always be a welcome from those who live to receive. But in the act of giving you will find rejuvenation and new meaning to life. And for you, loneliness will be a thing of the past. For with God within you and beneficiaries around you, You’ll never be alone.