While being around other people, even ones that you may have a close bond with, it is still possible to have immense feelings of loneliness and the inability to feel as though one fits in. Therefore, whatever environment someone may be in, the feelings of loneliness can still be present within them. These intense feelings of loneliness are also extremely common among teenagers in today’s society, which can result in self-isolation as well as depression.
Throughout many studies, there appeared to be a few common themes seen among teenagers that correlate their loneliness with depression. The results from these studies show four themes, consisting of one’s withdrawal from society based on their poor mental health, the “non-disclosure of depression contributing to social distance,” the desire for one to connect with others but being unable to do so, and lastly the “paradoxes of loneliness and depression” (Achterbergh). These results show that the teenagers who are struggling with loneliness and depression tend to act in similar ways where they disengage with society and those around them, leading to the worsening of their depression (Achterbergh).
Although loneliness is a complex topic in general, it is important for the people that do not experience these levels of loneliness and depression to put in the effort to understand and support those that may be dealing with issues such as these. As people grow and mature, their minds can change just as much as their bodies do which can be incredibly overwhelming for anyone, regardless of their age (Belhumeur). Therefore, it is crucial to support those around you since the state of one’s mental health can never be determined just by looking at someone and those dealing with loneliness and depression often hide their mental illnesses behind a smile.
The feeling of immense loneliness is something that no one should go through, let alone by themselves. However, it is not always easy to branch out and ask someone for help when one is struggling, which is why it is crucial to spread awareness of the many aspects of mental health, whether good or bad. By doing so this can help people that are dealing with depression and loneliness, possibly convincing one to get the help that they need in regards to their own mental health.
Achterbergh, L., Pitman, A., Birken, M. et al. “The experience of loneliness among young people with depression:” a qualitative meta-synthesis of the literature. BMC Psychiatry 20, 415 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02818-3
Belhumeur, Lorry Leigh, et al. “Understanding Teen Loneliness and Social Isolation.” Western Youth Services (WYS), 10 July 2018, https://www.westernyouthservices.org/loneliness-isolation/#.