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Long Term Effect Of Extreme Lonliness


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#1 Elisa

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:37 AM

This morning, I was just reflecting on a friend who has been in a situation of extreme loneliness for the last year. She lives alone (in a new city) and is trying to take steps to connect with people, but is just having trouble finding people to "connect" with. She does Skype with her friends from her old town (myself included), but everytime I speak with her, she mentions how abjectly lonely she is. It got me thinking about what the effects on her will be over time...any thoughts are welcome. :)


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#2 Eclogite

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:11 PM

I have no formal expertise in this area, other than having been alive for some considerable time. Some questions You might ask yourself (and in some cases her) might help towards a solution. Did she make friends easily in her old town? Is she naturally gregarious, or extremely shy? Have there been other events in her life, other than the move to a new town, that could have impacted on the way she interacts with people? Was she, for example, so showing any signs of depression, or boredom before she made the move? I presume she has a job in her new location. Is she unable to make friends among her workmates? What methods is she using to try to establish new friends? Does she have specific hobbies, or interests she could engage in their, either formally, or informally? Could she take night classes at college, attend the local church - if she is religious. Volunteer for charity work. Would any of this suit her? For sure, continuing loneliness will have a serious impact on her mental and physical health overtime - unless she is the type of person who delights in being miserable. I suspect from the tenor of your post this is not the case.
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#3 Under the Rose

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:14 PM

It is very kind of you, Elisa, to do some research on behalf of your friend. The fact that she shares with you that she IS very lonely is an indication to me that she has needs that are not being met. Humans are a herd species, by and large, albeit some are far more gregarious than others and your friend may be more on the introverted side of the spectrum.

All change is a form of stress for us, even change which we initiate ourselves as in moving to another town. The reason for your friend's move may give some insight into her current situation. Did she move by choice or was the move a result of circumstances beyond her control? Was your friend involved in various activities when she lived in your town? Are the two locations similar or completely different in scale, activities and culture? What age is your friend?

It can be quite difficult for a single woman to find her footing in a completely new location among strangers because there is that whole sexual thing to negotiate regardless of your gender preference, whether one is looking for a relationship or not. I could be wrong but I suspect it's a bit easier to relocate and integrate if you are male, though it is not my intention to generalize. (My brothers have relocated a lot through work and they have never complained of being lonely.)

It certainly is not healthy to be feeling lonely for extended periods as this could lead to depression or worse in my experience of living in remote regions where community members all kept an eye out for each other. Is it possible for you to go for a short visit and investigate for yourself what her new town and opportunities might be like?

If she moved and the move is not to her liking, is there anything to prevent her from returning to her 'home' town?

#4 Elisa

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 02:18 AM

Thanks so much for your comments, you both have some really good points. She moved to her new place to do her Masters and she knows it will be short term. Which actually also makes me wonder if she is trying to get out there and meet new people and even if she is "physically", if she is "emotionally", you know? There is also the sexual and gender aspect, which I know is a challenge for her. She was quite gregarious in her "old" life, so that's why it is tough to see her go through this time. Perhaps it is just a "growing" time for her....



#5 Fractal

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:09 AM

Is it possible she doesn't want to form friendships because she knows once she gets her Masters she'll be leaving that city and she doesn't want to get attached emotionally? If not, perhaps she could start with simply suggesting to a classmate they go out for coffee after class or some similar non-threatening activity. At least she'd have a little social interaction...

#6 Dumbass

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

I once went a week without seeing a single human face.
It gets to you that am sure of.
I could describe it as paranoia or it might feel as if...
you know what, I could describe it but I suggest you watch this infamous anime.
Its on netflix and goes really deep into the mind of introverts.

"Welcome to the NHK" beware though, its rather emotionally unstabling for a loner.

#7 Chemical

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 07:13 AM

I am not sure if this applies to everyone, but it happened to me. I lived alone for over 6 years in a city where it was almost impossible to make friends. Sometimes I felt lonely, but sometimes I really enjoyed being alone. What happened later is that when I started living with people again, I sometimes felt that I wasn't very comfortable with so many people around because I kind of lost that space I had before.

 

When I was living on my own, I had a cat to keep me company. I know that cats can't talk to you, but it helps somehow.



#8 tscience

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 05:53 AM

May be joining a discussion forum or starting a blog can aid to reduce the loneliness, most of the people don't feel alone if they are in use somewhere. Probably, if he is telling you same thing again and again, it means he want to spend much time with you.


Edited by tscience, 28 October 2014 - 05:55 AM.


#9 Foghorn

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 02:15 PM

As long as you never find yourself posting about loneliness on random forums, you should be ok.

 

My ex ended up with my brand new 4 door jeep, one of the first ever out in 2006.

 

Buck up dude, women are like men in that they are a dime a dozen. A tip though, get a puppy.

 

There is not a woman born who can resist the charms of a cute lil puppy.

 

Conversation leads to slyly checking out their dating status, followed by breakfast in bed. Trust me, helps if you can cook ;p

 

Oh, keep the puppy, might need it again soon lol


Edited by Foghorn, 30 October 2014 - 02:16 PM.

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