Loneliness is inevitable and felt by all individuals in varying degrees. The process of deepest inquiry….leads us to recognize that we are finite, that we must die, and that we are free and the individual is inexorably alone. Psychologists have stated loneliness as one of the four primary concerns of existential man
Loneliness is not a new phenomenon. Countless authors have offered passing insights and also provided illuminating descriptions of loneliness feelings, and agony associated with loneliness. The pervasiveness of loneliness as a theme in poetry, fiction and drama attests to its importance in the human experience. Although philosophers, priests, poets, and song writers have written about loneliness, it has been largely neglected as a topic of research until the last 20 years or so.
Ironically and indeed perhaps even tragically, despite its obvious relevance to counseling and clinical psychology it has not achieved the level of a clinical heading. This is extremely unfortunate because this means that we are neglecting an essential dynamic component, if not the major contributing factor underlying anxious and aggressive state of consciousness.
Mijuskovic maintained that “all men are activated by a fear of aloneness -loneliness-and that every human thought, passion, and action derives from this one original, ubiquitous source, or fund, of frightened psychic energy.”
This emotion has not been studied extensively or thoroughly, despite its relevance to clinical psychology and social psychology. The publication of Robert Weiss’s book “Experience of Loneliness: Studies in Emotional and Social Loneliness.” was a critical event in awakening behavioral scientists and therapists to the urgency of the problem. In the last two decades the social scientists have begun investigating this complex, multifaceted human condition. There is a general consensus among researchers on three fundamental characteristics of loneliness
- Loneliness experience is subjective, averse and detrimental to psychological well being.
- Loneliness is in inevitable and a pervasive phenomenon in contemporary society.
- Loneliness is distinct from social isolation What renders loneliness totally different from isolation is that loneliness refers to the perceived relational deficit and the trust and hope in one’s ability to reacquire the object of love, while in isolation on the other hand ,which certainly is a condition of separateness’, distressing emotions or the painful longing for the absence of love object are not perceived. The person will not appear to have any kind of apprehension concerning social relationships, in fact the person will behave, to certain extend self sufficiently.