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Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant feeling in which a person feels a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. The causes of loneliness are varied, but it can be affected by social, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors. It is a natural phenomenon, since humans are social creatures by nature. Loneliness has also been described as social pain — a psychological mechanism meant to alert an individual of isolation and motivate her/him to seek social connections.
• 1 Common causes
• 2 Typology
o 2.1 Emotional vs social isolation
o 2.2 Transient vs. chronic
• 3 Distinction from solitude
• 4 As human condition
• 5 Rates of loneliness
• 6 In modern society
• 7 Effects
• 8 Treatments and prevention
• 9 See also
• 10 References
• 11 External links
People can experience loneliness for many reasons and many life events may cause it, like the lack of friendship relations during childhood and adolescence, or the physical absence of meaningful people around a person. At the same time, loneliness may be a symptom of another social or psychological problem, such as chronic depression.
Many people experience loneliness for the first time when they are left alone as infants. It is also a very common, though normally temporary, consequence of a breakup, divorce, or loss of any important long-term relationship. In these cases, it may stem both from the loss of a specific person and from the withdrawal from social circles caused by the event or the associated sadness.
The loss of a significant person in one's life will typically initiate a grief...