Loneliness Quick Survey

William Howatt Ph.D., Ed.D.
© 2014

Loneliness can be twice as unhealthy as obesity1.

Fame and fortune will always be trumpeted by the human need for family and friends. Sadly, many people who are in long-term relationships go home at the end of the day and still feel an intense sense of loneliness. Loneliness can be described as a painful emotional response that results from a chronic sense of feeling isolation and/or lack of meaningful companionship. White reported that roughly 10% of North Americans are coping with chronic loneliness that is more common than depression. But different than depression, it is less understood, and over a period of time loneliness can negatively impact a person’s psychological and physical health2. Factors that influence the onset of loneliness can be social, mental, or emotional. Some common risk factors that can result in feeling alone are: living alone, being single, divorced, never married, poor health, and injury causing isolation. Some experts suggest that loneliness is a psychological reflex, suggesting that for persons who are feeling isolated the key to feeling better is to connect with others. This may be true; however, many people who are alone have developed habits and lifestyle choices. To engage requires new habits, confidence, choices, and actions.

This tool is meant for education purposes only – it is not a clinical assessment tool.


1 http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/feb/16/loneliness-twice-as-unhealthy-as-obesity-older-people