Coping with loneliness is more difficult for some teenagers than it is for others. In fact, loneliness can be exceptionally difficult for those who’ve experienced trauma or loss in their past. It’s completely normal to occasionally feel like nobody understands what you’re going through and to struggle with moments of doubt, guilt, and fear. But for those who’ve been traumatized, these feelings often become a constant, repetitious melody. This leads to isolation and withdrawal. Consequently, feelings of loneliness become worse.
If you’re a young person who is coping with loneliness, or if you love someone who’s suffering, Red Oak Recovery® may be able to help. In the meantime, there are useful strategies for adults coping with loneliness that may be beneficial. To learn about our mental health and addiction treatment programs, contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.
Remind Yourself That Loneliness Is Only a Feeling
Loneliness feels bad. When you’re lonely, you may feel like everyone is having fun and enjoying life except for you. You may feel like you’re isolated and cut-off. But unless you live totally alone and separate from the outside world, this is only a cognitive distortion. It’s important to remind yourself of that often.
Probably, there are others living in your home who care about you. It’s likely you have schoolmates or neighbors who enjoy your company and who worry about you. Your lonely feeling may be a symptom of depression, requiring a depression treatment program. However, it’s important to call it what it is — a feeling. Feelings pass. They don’t last forever. Don’t call a fleeting feeling something that it’s not, or you’ll give it power. Don’t call it a lifestyle or assume that it’s going to be there forever, because it isn’t.
The more quickly you’re able to recognize that loneliness is only a bad feeling that will eventually pass, the sooner you’ll feel better.
Recognize That It’s Okay to Feel Lonely
Everyone is coping with loneliness to some degree. When it happens to you, remind yourself that it’s normal. Sometimes, when you experience tough moments, you may be too hard on yourself mentally. You may have that mean voice inside your head that tells you you’re dumb for feeling this way, that you should just buck up and carry on, that you’re weak or silly for feeling the way you do.
This is never true. Your feelings are important. They’re just as important as the feelings others have, and calling them insignificant or wrong just makes you feel worse. You’re allowed to feel lonely, inadequate, or sad. Everyone does. Be especially nice to yourself when you’re coping with loneliness, instead of being especially harsh.
Make an Active Decision to Reach Out
Reach out to others when you feel loneliness settling in. Talk to your parents or your teacher. Tell a friend or sibling that you’re coping with loneliness. Make an effort to be around others, even if it means simply sitting on the couch in the presence of family. If you can’t physically be with your friends, talk to them on the phone or in a video chat. Do things that put you in the presence of others who care about you, even when you’d rather stay secluded in your room. Sometimes just being an observer is enough to make you feel less isolated. We offer an array of treatment programs, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Meditation therapy
- Experiential therapy