Research shows that about twenty percent of people “feel sufficiently isolated for it to be a major source of unhappiness in their lives.” An estimated half of them (one in ten people) feel seriously lonely permanently. Chronic loneliness affects your identity, affects your entire life and can even become an existential problem.
That cannot be without consequences and it doesn’t: Time and again studies show that sustained loneliness has a major impact on your mental and physical health.
People who feel lonely often or always experience life as less satisfying, valuable and meaningful. Various studies have also shown that loneliness affects blood pressure and the immune system, causes an increase of stress hormones and increases the risk of dementia.
People struggling with loneliness experience lower sleep quality. This makes them feel more tired during the day, which in turn affects their mental abilities, such as concentration and decision making.
Loneliness also correlates with higher alcohol consumption and a less healthy lifestyle in general. Perhaps even more worrying, there is a strong correlation between loneliness and depression and suicide.