We live in nuclear family units, often living large distances away from our extended family and friends, and our growing reliance on social technology rather than face to face interaction is thought to be making us feel more isolated.
It means we feel less connected to others and our relationships are becoming more superficial and less rewarding.
Another myth is that loneliness is typically associated with being alone, but it also effects people when they are surrounded by others and well-connected socially.
This is because loneliness is about the quality rather than the quantity of relationships that we have, so a person may have a lot of friends but still find that their needs for social contact are not met. This question has not been an easy one for researchers to answer, as common sense approaches - such as increasing opportunities to make friends - do not always result in reducing a person's loneliness.
They need support to change their view of themselves, and how they feel others will react to them.
Over the winter I moved from New York City to Portland, Ore. Upon arriving, I rented a house and happily went out in search of "my people." I went to parks, bookstores, bars, on dates. Social isolation impairs immune function and boosts inflammation, which can lead to arthritis, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
Certainly where people feel lonely because they are social isolated, ways to reconnect, when found, can be used by the person to reduce their loneliness.
In a recent study, loneliness was reduced in older people in residential care when they were given training in social media use so they could remain in contact with family and loved ones.
A recent study of Facebook users found that the amount of time you spend on the social network is inversely related to how happy you feel throughout the day.
There are a number of myths regarding who experiences loneliness.
Certainly all of us feel it from time to time, but it is commonly known that loneliness particularly affects the elderly who may be socially isolated due to decreased mobility and loss of friends and partners.
About a decade ago, my mom was going through a divorce from my step-father.
Lonely and desperate for connection, she called a cousin she hadn’t talked to in several years.
Once social and upbeat, I became morose and mildly paranoid.