Emotional loneliness is the absence of a ‘significant other’ for example, a partner, close family member or friend with whom a close attachment or meaningful relationship existed.
Social loneliness is the lack of a wider social network of friends, neighbours or colleagues.
Existential loneliness is described as a universal aspect of the human condition which expresses the separateness of the person from others.
Loneliness can be a transient feeling that comes and goes.
It can be situational; for example only occurring at certain times like Sundays, bank holidays or Christmas.
Or loneliness can be chronic; this means someone feels lonely all or most of the time.
Loneliness can also be characterised by its intensity, or how strongly it is felt, which can change from moment to moment and over different durations of time.
Did you know?
In 2013, 76% of family doctors reported that one in five patients a day attend their surgery mainly because they are lonely (Campaign to End Loneliness November 2013)