On the bumpy road to adulthood, many teens may have problem relating to people around them, causing them to feel lonely and sad. Feeling isolated and excluded from friends and family is something that affects nearly all teens at some point in their lives. If this feeling continues, it can greatly affect relationships with others later on in life.
What causes feelings of loneliness?
- Being bullied at school
- Divorce or conflict in the home
- Moving to a new home or school
- Losing a friend
- Death of a pet, close friend or family member
- Coping with a serious illness
- Being rejected by peers
- Lack of social skills and interactions
What are some signs of loneliness?
- Overly shy or self- conscious
- Few or no friends
- Not interested in activities that most teens enjoy
- Frequently sad, withdrawn, or anxious
- Favor online relationships rather than face-to-face interaction
What are the consequences of loneliness?
- Poor self-esteem
- Higher risk of experimenting with drugs, alcohol and tobacco
- Difficulty forming healthy relationships as an adult
Ways to overcome loneliness
- Talk about your feelings with another person
- Seek help from a trusted adult (parent, relative, teacher, pastor, doctor) and talk openly about why you feel lonely
- If you are being bullied or teased at school, let your principal or teacher know so that they can do something to stop it.
- If you need help in improving your skills on how to make friends or overcome your shyness, your school counselor or a mental health specialist can help.
- If you seek support on the Internet, always protect yourself by never sharing your personal information online.