If you are feeling lonely or have friends, family and whānau who are lonely, our hearts go out to you and them… regardless of anyone’s age or life stage. With all the research into loneliness we now know that no matter what your life stage loneliness can have detrimental consequences. However understanding how loneliness might manifest itself, and how you can help, in different life stages is important. We have great empathy for babies, children, and the elderly who are not able to help themselves, and are reliant on others to help them become more socially connected. What’s more we are devastated to hear of loneliness in these stages of life through actual neglect or abuse.
Young people have very different issues… and we are saddened just how deeply youngsters feel loneliness. All too often their loneliness has been dismissed as unimportant as the list of all that they have in their lives is given… and they still are left unheard and misunderstood. This makes them a particularly vulnerable age group for loneliness and there can be lifelong consequences of leaving their loneliness unchecked.
Because most adults have choices (even if they aren’t desirable choices) and control over their lives, they often can overcome loneliness more easily than other life-stage groups. However the number of serious events that adults face put them into situations where sometimes they are not able to face up to the challenges easily, and they become increasingly lonelier.
Humans are strong and resilient in so many ways …and yet we can also be so fragile! When we feel like our world isn’t right we sometimes slump into loneliness, making our situation all the harder to deal with… especially without help. Sometimes we fall into unhelpful habits of thinking, and those thoughts affect how we feel about ourselves, and how we interact with others… sometimes without realising, we further our own loneliness.
Whatever your circumstance, we just want you to know that you’re not alone feeling like this… sadly, like you, there are many people of all ages who suffer from loneliness.
Our aim is to help get you to better understand yourself, others and the world you are in – to help you move from the very low loneliness you are in to a space where you feel more able to connect well with yourself, and other people.
We have written some pages on the more vulnerable groups being affected by loneliness in New Zealand for you to possibly identify with or learn more from. We also appreciate that everyone’s situation is unique so if your cause of experiencing loneliness is not on one of these life stage pages, or elsewhere in our “I’m feeling lonely” section of the website, we are still here for you.
So please look through these pages …and be in touch if you would like to consider further help from us, as an individual or as a group.
People feel lonely for many reasons. To learn more about life stage and lonely categories, select one of the coloured boxes below, or scroll down the “I’m feeling lonely” menu.