Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. Loneliness is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected, and/or alienated from other people, so that it feels difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. Lonely people often feel empty or hollow inside.
Being alone and lonely, and even just the fear of being alone, make many people insecure, anxious anddepressed. If you fear being alone you may become over needy of other people and feel as if you must be around people at all times. While we all, to varying degrees, need people in our life, if you feel you must have people around all the time then this need is controlling you.
What is meant by “being alone” means different things to different people. It is critical to evaluate what makes up your fear and to what degree this fear controls you and your behavior. For example, it is important to note if there are any social elements to the fear, is the fear related to personal violence concerns, and is the focus on one particular person or type of person rather than on the need to have another human being in close proximity.
Clinical and research evidence supports the fact that all too often one of the main reasons that both men and women get into a relationship, and then often stay in a relationship, is related to a fear of being alone. And as any good counselor knows, a relationship that is based on fear is destined to be a very unhappy and unfulfilling relationship. Until a person can learn to enjoy their own company, they may constantly find themselves lonely or getting into relationships that are, or end up, based on fear. All too often, people who are not comfortable with themselves unknowingly stop themselves from not only being the best person they can be but from experiencing deep levels of intimacy with others as well.
At the extreme, the fear of being alone is known by a number of names – Autophobia, Isolaphobia, andMonophobia. This fear of being alone often significantly impacts on a person’s quality of life. It can cause panic attacks, keep people apart from loved ones and business associates, and play total havoc with a person’s life. Symptoms typically include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of dread, although everyone experiences being alone fear in their own way and may have different symptoms.