Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Loneliness and isolation

At some time in your life you may feel loneliness or have a feeling of isolation from other people and the world around you.

These feelings are normal but there are many things you can do to overcome them.

Why do I feel lonely or isolated?

You can feel lonely or isolated for many reasons even when other people are around you. Some reasons you might feel lonely or isolated include:

How can loneliness and isolation affect my health?

Feeling alone or socially isolated for a long time can be harmful. You might experience physical or mental problems or do things that are bad for you.

Some signs to look for include:

  • physical symptoms – such as headaches, feeling ill, having pains, feeling tired, having sleep problems or lacking motivation
  • mental health conditions – such as depression, feeling anxious, having panic attacks or feeling paranoid
  • diet problems – such as putting on weight, losing weight or losing your appetite
  • negative feelings – such as feeling worthless or hopeless or thinking about suicide
  • substance abuse – such drinking a lot of alcohol, misusing medicines or taking drugs.

What can help?

You can overcome loneliness and isolation and improve your life by:

  • connecting with family and friends – visit, phone, email or use video technology
  • getting out of the house – go shopping, exercise, join a club or enrol to study
  • volunteering – meet new people to feel connected and valued
  • getting a petpets are great conversation starters. They can improve your physical and mental health.

Where to get more help

Feeling lonely or isolated for a long time or for no obvious reason could be a sign of depression. Talk to your doctor, a counsellor, good friends and family, or one of these organisations might be able to help you.

 

Sources:

ReachOut.com (Loneliness and isolation), Lifeline (Loneliness and Isolation), RSCPA (What are the health benefits of pet ownership?)

Last reviewed: August 2015

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 74 results

Loneliness & Isolation

Lifeline is a trusted national charity that has been saving lives for more 50 years. Lifeline works to prevent suicide through a range of crisis support services including its national telephone crisis support line, 13 11 14, operating 24/7 and Online Crisis Support Chat that is available every night.

Read more on Lifeline website

Social isolation

Social isolation in later years can take a number of forms and includes both positive and negative aspects. Some people said that they made a conscious decision not to seek the company of others. People we spoke to who did experience loneliness described many things they did that helped feelings of isolation.

Read more on Healthtalk Australia website

What are Loneliness and Isolation?

Loneliness is feeling sad about being by yourself, particularly over a long period of time. Isolation is being separated from other people and your environment. Loneliness can sometimes be felt even in relationships or when surrounded by people.

Read more on Lifeline website

QLives: Isolation and Loneliness - YouTube

This QLives film looks at experiences of Isolation and Loneliness. Our four wonderful participants speak frankly about the tough times, but also about the ha...

Read more on QLife website

Isolation and loneliness | ReachOut Australia

Ever feel lost, alone, like no one cares? Sometimes the feeling just goes away, but other times it doesn't. Use the infor here to work out what to do.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

How to deal with isolation if you live in a rural or remote area | Isolation and loneliness | ReachOut Australia

Finding a job, friends and health services is a lot harder when you live outside of a major city. Check out our tips on how to overcome these rural and remote hurdles.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Real talk: Feeling lonely | Isolation and loneliness | ReachOut Australia

We took to the streets of Sydney to speak to some young guys about how they cope with loneliness.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Loneliness | At Ease for Veterans

This page will help you recognise the signs when you are feeling lonely, cut off, isolated, no one to turn to or pushing people away and what you can do about them using self-help options or seeking help from others.

Read more on Department of Veterans' Affairs website

Isolation and new mothers | Women's Health Queensland Wide

While new mothers anticipate changes such as sleep deprivation they don't often envision the isolation a new baby can bring.

Read more on Women's Health Queensland Wide website

Social isolation

Heavy drinkers don’t deliberately go out to do themselves harm, but more often than not the real damage is to your reputation.

Read more on Department of Veterans' Affairs website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback