#22 Severe LonelinessBy: Fred | March 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
There is no greater sorrow than to recall in misery the time when we were happy. – Dante
Feeling “down in the dumps” from time to time is a member of the human experience. The sensationis unpleasant, but tolerable, because we know it will pass. But, some people are more likely to depression, experiencing more bouts of depression that last longer. Duration and intensity are critical factors in determining the difference between “normal depression” and a condition that often spirals out of control. Depression is a batch of symptoms, and can be thought of as symbolic communication, that there is something wrong in aperson’s ability to maintain a secure psychological balance.
The spectrum of Severe Loneliness ranges from The Super Blues to Suicide.
SYMPTOMS AND COMPLAINTS
- Feeling sad, lonely, depressed.
- Excessively self-critical, worthlessness.
- Diminished self esteem.
- Unexplained weariness or weeping.
- Tired, no energy, Feeling tired, energy less, exhausted.
- Changes in sleep patterns; i.e., insomnia, craving too much sleep, or none at all.
- Changes in eating patterns; eating too much or too little.
- Weight loss.
- Feeling empty, lifeless.
- Disinterest in everything and everyone.
- Concentration problems.
- Vague complaints about physical symptoms, e.g., headaches.
- Agitated behavior.
- Manic behavior.
Some theories suggest that clinical depression is a biological problem. Eating and sleep problems are often used to support the biological theories, in that people with depression often respond to anti-depressant medication. Recent studies using non-invasive scanning show that the brains of people experiencing depression show significant variations in the absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine. These findings lend credibility to the biological bases for depression.
The psychological theories are centered on the proposition that depression is anger directed inward. If you fail to measure up to some internal standard of what you believe you should be, some internal mechanism notes your failure and begins to let you know.
Psychologists have created dozens of approaches designed to manage this epidemic of loneliness. Approaches vary, but fall into four different categories.
Improving social skills. Some researchers argue that loneliness is mostly the result of lacking the interpersonal skills required to establish and maintain relationships.
Enhancing social support. Many lonely people are victims of life-altering change. These approaches offer professional advice and counseling for the bereaved, relocated elderly people, and children of divorce.
Increasing opportunities for social interaction. Using this approach, if people are lonely, give them opportunities to meet other people.
Changing negative thoughts. Recent research found that, over time, chronic loneliness increases our sensitive torejection and hostility. Lonely people immediately think the worst, about everything.
Long-term severe loneliness isn’t about awkward behavior, or being the victim of circumstance, or lacking social opportunities to meet people. With some people, the problem is body chemistry. For others, it is compound anger turned inward. Drugs can be effective for the one group, and breaking negative cycles can be effective for the other.