In the UK approximately 9 million people suffer from the mental health issue of loneliness.
To put that into context, that figure is more than the population of London.
But no one’s loneliness is the same.
It can be caused by many different things and affect people in many different ways.
What is Loneliness?
The official definition for loneliness is:
“Sadness because one has no friends or company.”
But in reality, it’s much more serious than that.
If a person is suffering from loneliness, they may feel lots of different emotions.
Sadness is a clear issue. Not having anyone around means that you have to focus on yourself a lot of the time, and you aren’t always going to be happy.
Anger is also a known symptom. People become angry because they either don’t understand why they feel so lonely, or are trying to avoid feeling it and simply can’t.
Feeling trapped is another sign. This means that a person is inside their own thoughts, not caring about what’s happening around them.
But the symptoms aren’t just emotional; there are physical ones too:
Lack of Romance – Decreased interest in sex, romance, and love.
Muscle Tension – Loneliness can increase pain perception.
Memory Loss – Depression is linked to loneliness and can lead to forgetfulness.
Digestive Issues – The stomach might get cramp and you could have some gastrointestinal distress.
Headaches – Loneliness can heighten head pains and migraines.
Appetite changes – You could experience a loss or reduction in appetite and a lack of taste for food.
Weaker Immune System – Can cause chronic inflammation, and levels of norepinephrine in the body to rise, which can shut down immune functions like viral defence.
Sleep Troubles – Loneliness can cause either a lack of sleep, or too much sleep.
What Loneliness Can Lead to…
Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression. (Valtorta et al, 2016) (James et al, 2011) (Cacioppo et al, 2006)
In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland according to Samaritans.org
Loneliness is heavily linked to depression, and depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Who Suffers From It?
Men and women, girls and boys, even pets.
People often associate loneliness with people who are always by themselves, but internal loneliness is a thing too.
You could be surrounded by people, but mentally you feel alone.
What We’re Trying to do…
Our aim is to try and make people realise that they aren’t alone, despite if they feel it.
Check out our articles on the Vulnerable, the elderly, younger people, single parents, and what you can do to stop this illness from taking over your life.
If you need immediate emergency help, do not hesitate to call the NHS on: 111
Hi! My name is Daniel Ragusa and I am a Multimedia Journalist in the final year of my degree at Teesside University.
Sport Journalism, BA (Hons)
Since I was a child I’ve always dreamed of being involved in sport. Like many others, I wanted to be competing on the biggest sporting stages – however that didn’t exactly go to plan. The next best thing for me was being able to get involved within the sport, and that’s where journalism came in. I’m a proud Teessider, so being able to report on and work with Middlesbrough Football Club is a dream come true for me. I’ve won two awards at University, the ‘Ali Brownlee Sports Coverage Award’ and also the ‘Video Journalist of the Year award’. Every day that I get to work in this industry is a pleasure, and I’m excited for whatever the future holds following my graduation from University.
Software & Hardware Proficiencies
I am skilled using Adobe software, Open Media, Scheduler, Dira applications and iMovie. I’m very familiar with various pieces of radio hardware and can desk drive at BBC Radio Stations. I can also use professional cameras, as well as video cameras such as the AC-90.
Employment, Work Experience & Volunteering
I currently freelance for BBC Radio Tees as both a Journalist and a Broadcast Assistant. These roles involve producing content for all kinds of different shows, speaking to a variety of different people. I’m also part of the BBC Radio Tees sport team, where I work on a match day for both Middlesbrough and Hartlepool United fixtures.
I have also carried out work for Middlesbrough Football Club, Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, Tyne and Wear TV and Sky News. As well as this I also voluntarily worked for Stockton-based charity ‘A Way Out’ as part of their 2018 Christmas campaign, producing various amounts of content for them.
Despite studying a Sport Journalism course, I often delve into the wider journalistic world too. I have created pieces of work varying from politics to mental health. I love to play sport, something in which has increased my knowledge of the differing rules in each sport. I have a keen eye for graphic design, and also love music. Visiting different places in the world and photography are also huge passions of mine.