Research suggests that chronic loneliness may be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. But do we know what loneliness actually is?
As a clinical psychologist who specializes in friendships and social connection, I am deeply concerned about the feelings of loneliness that so many of us are experiencing.
Three in five American adults report feeling lonely and 18% (roughly 46 million people) report that they have just one person or nobody that they can trust or turn to for help in their personal lives. These worrisome numbers are echoed across studies and across borders.
Loneliness has less to do with being alone and much more to do with the experience of feeling unseen
Dr Miriam Kirmayer is a clinical psychologist, friendship expert, writer and speaker