From ArticleWorld

Being alone can be a positive state and, indeed, is something that most people need occasionally in order to renew their batteries. It is not to be confused with loneliness which is a feeling of alienation from the rest of humanity and a deep sense of isolation. Any meaningful communication seems impossible and this is a situation which is becoming more of a problem with time.

In the past, families were much larger and family ties closer so there were many opportunities for contact and communication with others. Nowadays, to take the example of the U.S., 24 million people lived alone in 1995 and it is estimated to rise to 31 million in 2010. Though to live alone is not the same as feeling lonely, the family unit is the first source of human contact.


Loneliness is first felt when we are left alone as babies. If nothing we do, whether it be gurgling, whining or crying, attracts any attention, then loneliness with a corresponding feeling of helplessness is experienced. Obviously, loneliness can be felt after the break-up of a relationship and death of someone in the family or a friend; but it can also be felt when one is surrounded by other people. City dwellers that are surrounded by millions of others are often the loneliest.

In addition, a feeling of alienation can be felt in a marriage or relationship where there is a lack of meaningful communication.


Chronic loneliness has been shown to be instrumental in leading to life threatening medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension and strokes. It can lead to depression and addictive behaviours such as alcoholism. Children can also be susceptible to loneliness and indulge in anti-social behaviour as a result.