Social Media Feeds on Insecurity
Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression
Causes of Social Isolation
- Social media use — Social media maintains allows people to stay connected despite being physically separated. It can become a substitute for meaningful socialization and relationships. At the same time, excessive social media use may cause adverse effects on someone’s mental well-being. Most social media users feel insecure about what they see or read on their pages.
- Domestic violence — People in abusive relationships tend to avoid connections or contact with their friends or family. They fear the idea of revealing their situation with other people, so they disconnect from everyone.
- Loss of loved ones — Mourning and isolating after the death of a loved one is common, especially when it comes to close friends and family.
- Mental health issues — Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression may occur due to someone being socially distant, but at the same time, these issues may also cause social isolation.
- Remote location — People living far away from their loved ones may experience social isolation. It may be due to a job assignment, own preferences, or health conditions.
- Unemployment — Losing a job may cause shame and disappointment. It may also cause fear of not finding a new job. As such, unemployed individuals might isolate themselves from ex-colleagues, friends, and family.
Signs of Being Socially Isolated
- General lack of interest and social withdrawal — Withdrawing from social gatherings may be a sign of social isolation. Be on the lookout for someone who shows little to no interest in interacting with others, especially if they used to be outgoing or extroverted.
- Poor hygiene and diet patterns — Failing to attend to one’s personal needs may mean that they no longer have an interest in maintaining their well-being and appearance. Skipping meals may be due to loss of appetite, or sometimes they just “don’t feel like it.”
- Cluttered stuff at home — Having messy areas at home is another sign of being socially uninterested and isolated. Since they do not expect anyone else to come by their house, they do not want to clean up.
- Confused thinking, delusions, and hallucinations — A lack of social interactions may negatively affect one’s mental wellness. Being alone and lonely at the same time may cause the brain to feel confused. Some people experience delusions and hallucinations while being socially isolated.
- Abrupt mood swings — Sudden feelings of anger, fear, or joy are signs of someone being socially distant. These mixed emotions often manifest if they used to have social interactions in the past, but no longer do.
- Depression — Mental health issues such as depression may cause social isolation. However, it may also be the other way around — social isolation may lead to depression. Having no one to reach out to shows that being isolated can damage someone’s mental well-being.
- Substance use — Individuals may resort to substance use to cope with the loss of communication and connections.
Social Isolation Among Teenagers
Prevent Loneliness and Social Isolation: The Need for Human Connection
- Get them outside — Have them meet new people. It could be anywhere, around the neighborhood, or in social groups and organizations. Let your teens interact with people of the same age group through indoor or outdoor activities such as art and music sessions, sports, and hiking.
- Exercise — Maintaining physical health is one way to lessen the risk of loneliness and isolation. Even a simple 10-minute brisk walk can enhance mental awareness, mood, and energy. Exercising also reduces mental stress and anxiety.
- Get a pet — Several research studies prove that owning a pet has significant positive effects on someone’s mental health. Interacting with dogs and cats boosts mood and lowers blood pressure, thus minimizing the body’s stress hormones.
- Seek professional help — Aside from the social activities mentioned, it is also essential to reach out to someone who knows a professional approach to preventing loneliness and social isolation.
Reach Out to Us
Isolation can increase the risks of mental health issues, especially when developed at a young age. If you’re a parent thinking, I need help with my troubled teenager, it’s crucial to act promptly. You must do your best to understand your child’s feelings and emotions. If your teen feels lonely and isolated, you can work on healthy ways to meet their needs for social connections.
However, not all teens are willing to open up about their thoughts and emotions. So, if you notice that your child shows some of the traits and symptoms mentioned above, it is necessary to seek professional help to understand what needs to be done. Our teen intensive outpatient program can provide the support and guidance your teen needs. Remember that you are not alone. We are here to help your teen overcome this challenge.