Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, "the most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved," I hear of loneliness so often from a cross section of my clients. It is not an older persons problem - it doesn't seem to discriminate, and can affect anyone.
It can be really daunting for the lonely to imagine taking steps towards meeting new people and building friendships. They often find it hard to believe that with great regularity I meet clients who are desperately sad as a result of feeling completely alone.
They can have busy work lives, surrounded by colleagues, and when the day is over those colleagues might drive home to a house full of family members - while they dread clocking off time as they know it will be many hours until the morning, and a time when they can feel "normal" again, back to the hustle and bustle of their working day.
Holiday time can see an increase in the depth of despair the lonely person feels. So sad when it should be a time to recoup and recharge their batteries.
I encourage all my clients to have some time on their own every day, as I do believe it to be health inducing, but when solitary time is all a person has, it becomes quite destructive to them emotionally and physically.
If you think you might know someone who is alone, speak to them - sometimes that's all it takes to get them to let go of the belief that no-one cares.
"The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration." - Pearl S. Buck