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Loneliness and isolation

Feeling lonely or isolated sometimes is normal, and people do go through periods of feeling like this throughout their lives.  If the feelings of loneliness and isolation begin to take over, and turn into feelings of despair, or even depression, then this is more serious.

Image of a girl standing on her ownWhy do some people
feel lonely or isolated?

Someone who feels lonely or isolated may not actually physically be alone or cut off – they might be surrounded by other people and still feel like they are on their own. Some people can feel lonely and isolated because they:
  • are shy and find it hard to make friends
  • feel like they don’t fit in and feel different from other people around them
  • are being abused or bullied
  • have a disability or illness
  • are coming to terms with their sexuality
  • have lost someone they were close to
  • don’t get on with their family, or don’t see them very often.

How can I stop feeling
so lonely?

The most important thing if you are feeling alone or down is not to keep it all to yourself. Talking about how you feel to someone you trust will help them to understand, and means that they can support you.  It can also help you work out why you feel lonely – is it because you don’t have any friends? or is it part of another problem?  Loneliness can make us feel down and if you think you feel like this, you don’t have to suffer on your own.

If you don’t have anyone you can talk to, you can always talk to ChildLine on 0800 1111 – we are here for you no matter when you feel alone or unhappy.

  • How can I make friends?

    It might feel like you won’t ever make friends. There are things you can do to begin to gain confidence and get out and meet new people.

    Friendships are often built on shared interests, so think about what you like and enjoy doing and join a group or club to meet people with the same interests as you. 

  • I find it hard to trust people, what can I do?

    If you have been hurt by people in the past it can be hard to trust new people you meet.  You will meet so many people in your life that not every person will become a close friend. 

    When you meet someone new, give yourself time to get to know them properly before you trust them. Think about what you like about them - If you can’t think of many good things about them, or are not sure how you feel about them, this might mean that they are going to be just someone you know rather than a close friend.

  • I’m living in care and don’t see my family, who can I talk to?

    If you are living in care or away from your family, you might feel that you are completely alone.  It’s common from young people who do live apart from friends of family to feel like this. If you have gone through a stressful time, including moving out of your home, this can also cause feelings of sadness and despair.  There are people who can help you find ways to connect with other people and take positive steps to move forward with your life and not feel alone anymore.

    ChildLine is always here for you no matter what you worries are, you can call us 0800 1111 and we can help.

Other sites that can help

The Samaritans

Feeling lonely?

Don't know who to talk to? Speak to other young people on the ChildLine message board who might be feeling the same way.

Loneliness message board

How did this help?

How did this information about loneliness and isolation help you?

Loneliness and isolation 


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