Why men are feeling lonely in a modern society
Loneliness amongst British men, both young and old is worrying and has been described as a “silent epidemic”. Recent research has shown that millions of men across the UK are hiding feelings of isolation.
This study, published at the same time as the launch of a month-long campaign on men by Jo Cox Commission, has shown that millions of British men are feeling lonely. In fact, 11% of men are saying they feel lonely “every day” and 35% at least once a week.
What are the reasons?
According to the study men often feel lonely as they often keep their feelings to themselves, which can contribute to feelings of isolation. The modern world, for all its changes, still has notions of ‘masculinity’ which can result in men feeling uneasy and reluctant to talk about feelings with friends, colleagues or medical professionals.
The report highlighted that it is men in the thirties who are most likely to feel lonely and 9 per cent of 35-year-olds admitted that they do not see anyone regularly. The reasons for this include changes in their relationship networks, for example friends getting married and starting families and having less time available for socializing.
How does loneliness impact on Mental Health?
35% of men said that being lonely “made them feel depressed” and more and more men are experiencing anxiety and depression.
What are our specialists saying about it?
Dr Sean Cross, consultant psychiatrist at London’s Nightingale Hospital, says that that loneliness can actually “make things like depression and anxiety more likely”.
”Humans are social animals and for most of us to remain healthy we need strong and meaningful relationships with others,” he said. “There are lots of reasons why being lonely, especially in a big bustling city, remains a problem for men. If we are time poor and juggling multiple demands it can be hard to genuinely share thoughts and feelings which sustain our important real time networks of friends and family.”
Dr Cross suggests that some of the things that can cause loneliness can also be used to combat it.
“As we shift more of our social life online, we could check how much are we using these tools to communicate better with people we know and how much we are relying on them for a social life with people we barely know or don’t know at all. Rebalancing this could be a very helpful thing to do.”
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