Loneliness NZ

Loneliness Q&A: Why...?

Search engines receive many questions about feeling alone and loneliness. In this page, we provide short answers to many of the more commonly searched ‘why’ questions. For fuller answers, we encourage you to explore the website.


Why can feeling lonely be good for me?

Humans are a social species that benefits from working together. During our evolutionary history we had a greater chance of survival being in groups. Feeling lonely is a good reminder that you need to form meaningful connections with people you can trust and rely on in times of need.

Why is loneliness bad for me?

When left unchecked, loneliness can lead physical and mental health problems. High blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, high stress-sensitive hormone cortisol, and altered gene expression all can be the result of chronic loneliness. Loneliness can lead to social anxiety, depression, paranoia, dementia, and obsessive compulsive symptoms.

Why do I get loneliness?

You get loneliness when your personal relationships, if you have any, are not meeting your expectations – you need more quality relationships. This means you might need to find more people to connect with, or improve the quality of relationships of people in your life.

Why am I lonely?

There are various possibilities for loneliness. You might be socially isolated and need more people interaction; or you have unfulfilling relationships and are stuck what to do; or you have got into a habit of withdrawing physically or emotionally from people – not knowing how to connect with people around you.

Why loneliness hurts?

Loneliness hurts to let us know to take action for changing how we are connecting with people… if we are at all. Lonely people who are socially isolated need to find people to have meaningful interaction with, and people who have others already need to find ways of enhancing those relationships.

Why is loneliness a public health threat?

The fully adjusted effects of loneliness give rise to a 26% increase in the likelihood of premature mortality; for example from coronary heart disease and stroke. Societal changes have left us with fewer quality face to face relationships and an increased focus on individualism, affecting many of our relationships.

Why is loneliness hazardous to your health?

Loneliness is a trigger to tell you something is wrong in your life… you need to fix the social connections around you. So just as ignoring pain, thirst and hunger on an ongoing basis can lead to poorer health outcomes, so too ignoring loneliness brings ill-health.

Why is loneliness considered dangerous or deadly?

Loneliness does not kill a person in a direct way. Having prolonged loneliness does however cause your body to physically change. Physically, loneliness can lead to issues which can kill – high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, high stress-sensitive hormone cortisol, and altered gene expression.

Do you have any other questions?

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