I experience two different types of loneliness, one when I am alone and one when I am surrounded by people.
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When I am alone, I begin to miss the presence of the people who I am used to being around, mostly my husband. People being around you each day can be taken for granted and the lonely feeling can creep up on you without you expecting it when they are not there. Missing my parents and my brother since I have moved into my marital home has led to feelings of loneliness. I lived with my parents and brother for a very long time and took their everyday presence for granted because I just sub consciously expected them to be there everyday. This type of loneliness can greatly affect people during bereavement. When the loss of a loved one occurs, a great hole in your life maybe left behind, causing feelings of loneliness. Many factors of a bereavement can cause mental health problems, but loneliness is a big contributor to this. Even when you haven't lost an important person in your life to death, you can still go through a bereavement for those people that are not around anymore. It can be just as painful to deal with. When I feel alone it can consume my entire thinking, stopping me from thinking about anything or anyone else...You begin to overthink these feelings and can sink into a depression. This can lead onto problems when it comes to self-help, you don't want to leave the house, you don't want to meet new people, you don't want ANY people.
Another kind of loneliness I feel is when I am surrounded by people. I can feel lonely in a room full of people whom I know love me. These feelings of loneliness are often caused by my mental health. I feel that no one around me can be experiencing what is going on around them as I do. I am locked in my own head with the 100mph thinking and a voice that comments on EVERYTHING ! it never shuts up! I know that the people around me cannot see or hear the same things and I begin to feel lonely in my own little world. Other people cannot possibly understand. This leads to me withdrawing and not paying attention to anything else apart from what I am feeling. I watch other people around me enjoying themselves and feel a million miles away from them. This increases feelings of depression and anxiety as I feel alone, almost like I am having an out of body experience, watching the people around me, but no where near them. I begin to feel disconnected to the world around me. When I feel this way I don't want to; leave the house, see other people, meet new people ETC.
As you can see the cycle of loneliness is closely linked. Depression and anxiety feed off loneliness and loneliness feeds off depression and anxiety. So if there is anyone you know that this relates to in any way, have patience, they are not being difficult. They are just finding it hard to break the cycle. It could be a recent bereavement, moving house, a partner returning to work or mental health which has kick started the cycle, so time, patience and gentle guidance is the way forward.