I feel hopeless and alone

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

    What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
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    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
    Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

    Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
    Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. Explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.

    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

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Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. NSDUH estimates allow researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the nation’s behavioral health. These reports and detailed tables present estimates from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).



  • Among the 133.1 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2021, 60.0 million people (or 45.1%) were past month binge drinkers. The percentage of people who were past month binge drinkers was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (29.2% or 9.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (22.4% or 49.3 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.8% or 995,000 people). (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 15.1% (or 5.9 million people) were past month alcohol users. Estimates of binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use in the past month among underage people were 8.3% (or 3.2 million people) and 1.6% (or 613,000 people), respectively. (2021 NSDUH)
  • In 2020, 50.0% of people aged 12 or older (or 138.5 million people) used alcohol in the past month (i.e., current alcohol users) (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among the 138.5 million people who were current alcohol users, 61.6 million people (or 44.4%) were classified as binge drinkers and 17.7 million people (28.8% of current binge drinkers and 12.8% of current alcohol users) were classified as heavy drinkers (2020 NSDUH)
  • The percentage of people who were past month binge alcohol users was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (31. 4%) compared with 22.9% of adults aged 26 or older and 4.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of stroke, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, and other serious health conditions
  • Excessive alcohol use can also lead to risk-taking behavior, including driving while impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver daily


  • STOP Underage Drinking interagency portal - Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Talk. They Hear You.
  • Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
  • Talking with your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol

Relevant links:

  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
  • Department of Transportation Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance
  • Alcohol Policy Information Systems Database (APIS)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



  • In 2020, 20. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 57.3 million people) used nicotine products (i.e., used tobacco products or vaped nicotine) in the past month (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among past month users of nicotine products, nearly two thirds of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (63.1%) vaped nicotine but did not use tobacco products. In contrast, 88.9% of past month nicotine product users aged 26 or older used only tobacco products (2020 NSDUH)
  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States
  • The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use data:

  • In 2021, 13.2 million people aged 12 or older (or 4.7%) used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. The percentage of people who vaped nicotine was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (14.1% or 4.7 million people), followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (5.2% or 1.4 million people), then by adults aged 26 or older (3.2% or 7.1 million people).
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 11.0% (or 4.3 million people) used tobacco products or used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Among people in this age group, 8.1% (or 3.1 million people) vaped nicotine, 5.4% (or 2.1 million people) used tobacco products, and 3.4% (or 1.3 million people) smoked cigarettes in the past month. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Among both middle and high school students, current use of e-cigarettes declined from 2019 to 2020, reversing previous trends and returning current e-cigarette use to levels similar to those observed in 2018
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women, especially because they contain nicotine and other chemicals


  • Tips for Teens: Tobacco
  • Tips for Teens: E-cigarettes
  • Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings
  • Synar Amendment Program


  • Truth Initiative
  • FDA Center for Tobacco Products
  • CDC Office on Smoking and Health
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: E-Cigarettes



  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3. 3% (or 9.2 million people) misused opioids (heroin or prescription pain relievers) in the past year. Among the 9.2 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers compared with 1.1 million people who used heroin. These numbers include 574,000 people who both misused prescription pain relievers and used heroin in the past year. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.4% (or 9.5 million people) misused opioids in the past year. Among the 9.5 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 9.3 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 902,000 people used heroin (2020 NSDUH)
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 128 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose


  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
  • TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings
  • Opioid Use Disorder and Pregnancy
  • Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
  • The Facts about Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction
  • Pregnancy Planning for Women Being Treated for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Tips for Teens: Opioids
  • Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants
  • Tribal Opioid Response Grants
  • Provider’s Clinical Support System - Medication Assisted Treatment Grant Program


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Opioids
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Heroin
  • HHS Prevent Opioid Abuse
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network
  • Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network



  • In 2021, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 18. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 52.5 million people) using it in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (35.4% or 11.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (17.2% or 37.9 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (10.5% or 2.7 million people).
  • The percentage of people who used marijuana in the past year was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (34.5%) compared with 16.3% of adults aged 26 or older and 10.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Marijuana can impair judgment and distort perception in the short term and can lead to memory impairment in the long term
  • Marijuana can have significant health effects on youth and pregnant women.


  • Know the Risks of Marijuana
  • Marijuana and Pregnancy
  • Tips for Teens: Marijuana

Relevant links:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Centers on Marijuana
  • CDC Marijuana and Public Health

Emerging Trends in Substance Misuse:

  • Methamphetamine—In 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • Cocaine—In 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • Kratom—In 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


  • Tips for Teens: Methamphetamine
  • Tips for Teens: Cocaine
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse

More SAMHSA publications on substance use prevention and treatment.

Last Updated: 01/05/2023

Why do you feel lonely in marriage?

Living without a partner is also not easy - but then loneliness is at least logical. We get used to rely on ourselves, learn to be strong and look for the joy of life not only in a man. But when a loved one appears nearby, we immediately want support. And if it is denied, directly or indirectly, it hurts and confuses.

Why you might feel lonely

► Only the strong love you

Successful and happy people are easy and convenient to love. Another thing is vulnerable, sad, gloomy. And you implicitly understand this, so you hide your problems and worries. After all, otherwise your feelings will be walked with heavy boots. You imitate a positive attitude and good mood, because you are not sure that anyone will accept you in this house.

► They love only the weak

It happens that a partner is ready to wipe your tears, call you baby and pronounce words of comfort from morning to night and from night to morning. But as soon as changes for the better occur in your life, he begins to devalue and ridicule them. In such a pair, everything works exactly as long as the man feels his superiority.

4 types of women who will never be happy married

► You do not accept yourself

If you sincerely believe that love can be earned only by living up to someone's expectations, then you yourself will begin to avoid a partner in difficult periods of your life. That is exactly when you will most need protection and support. And a man will get an artificial version instead of the real you and get used to dealing with it.

► See indifference

Even small manifestations of it hurt you and make you feel lonely. For example, if the partner forgets that you asked to call. Or does not even try to move when you sit next to the sofa. Yawns while you share a childhood story. All this exacerbates loneliness and a sense of restlessness.

► You have been pulling everything on yourself for a long time

Clean dishes are your concern, because dirty dishes do not annoy your husband at all. You should also check the lessons of children, since he does not have a pedagogical streak and a wagon of patience. Everything seems to be logical, but one day it turns out that you have turned into a function - you are engaged in everyday life, a child and making money and you understand, understand, understand everyone. And you are nobody.

► You are not sure if he is the right one

Are your core values ​​close? Are you interested in the opinion of this man, do you want to listen to him? Do you see a joint future, do you plan to grow old next to him and raise grandchildren? If you don’t have answers to all these questions, it’s hard for you to make contact with your partner and get really close: deep down, you consider him a temporary option and are waiting for something more. Or rather, someone.

How to choose a husband: 9 signs that he is your ideal

► Not sure if you are the one for him

Everything seems to be fine, but you understand that you never became number one in his life. You look into the eyes, you demand proof, you get it, but you still feel that he is slipping away. The truth is that people tend to invest in what seems most important to them. And if the man you surround with love gives his warmth and time to someone else (the reasons are not important), he will not make you happy.

► He's tired

When times are tough, it's hard to talk about deeper topics than "what's for dinner" and "who's picking up the kids today." If people get tired, they are not up to the relationship, then they would survive and not spill themselves. And then they gradually move away - just going into the power-saving mode. Often this is temporary. Life will get better - and communication will improve.

62.5% of people who feel lonely are married or live with a regular partner

Leave or stay?

When you see that talking about your feelings, tears and constructive conversations do not reduce the feeling of loneliness, try to answer the following questions:

• Will you be able to be with this person, “getting” intimacy from relationships with friends, child, colleagues , relatives? And if you can, will you still see the point in being in union with a man?

• Would you like to live with him further, recognizing that he will never change and will not be able to give you what you want?

• What do you need to feel strong and happy no matter what your partner does? How can you build inner support?

If, after much deliberation, you nevertheless decide to leave, the feeling of loneliness can become even more acute. But the situation will no longer seem hopeless - after all, there will be no one to reject you every day. You can start looking for someone with whom you will not feel alone. Or gradually thaw and look for internal reserves. In any case, they will come in handy when you start a new relationship. And you will definitely start them.

How to improve intimacy in a relationship

Communicate fully

Don't turn on the radio as soon as you get in the car. Be quiet and try again to look for topics to talk about. Don't look at your phone or TV when your husband is diligently talking about a meeting at work. Do not be carried away by thoughts to distant lands. Be "here and now", completely immersed in communication.

5 effective ways to overcome the spring blues

Getting to know each other

At the dawn of a relationship, we tremble with the joy of novelty. And then we live with confidence that everything is already clear and familiar. There is nothing to clarify. Dinner together, we discuss the maximum taste of fried potatoes. But intimacy can be restored by asking each other deep questions. What is your husband's biggest regret in life? What was the happiest day in your childhood? What would he like to thank himself for at 70?

To remember or create new experiences together

Nostalgia unites, so think back to the times when you were like water. You can review photos taken shortly after meeting, again go on a trip to where you once felt happy. Or now work on something that will evoke nostalgia in the future - cutting salads together in the evenings, watching a movie under one blanket, giving each other a massage before bed, or choosing a new vacation route.

Develop empathy

Every day try to put yourself in the place of your loved one, imagine how he feels, how he sees this or that situation. Gradually, the partner will notice this and begin to move in your direction. Especially if the relationship is not indifferent to him. Read more about empathy in this issue in the article “I would be in your place.”

Focus on yourself

It seems like going into a job, school, or hobby is a step away from relationships. In fact, when a new round begins in our life, we stop obsessing over difficulties, we look at problems more broadly and as if from the outside. And this ultimately has a positive effect on communication with a loved one.

Expert comment

Sofia Shokotko, practicing psychologist, existential analyst

« There is an important point. We feel lonely when we hand over responsibility for happiness to another person. We expect him to be sensitive, but we find out that he has his own habits, mood, ability to perceive. Inconsistencies accumulate and, like rust, corrode relationships. The main recipe is to give ourselves what we need. In particular, do what you want - go to dances, to the theater, go in for sports, take care of yourself. And if we cannot provide ourselves with something important, we must talk about it in such a way that the partner understands. Not when you have reached the boiling point and are only capable of crying and screaming. And wisely choose the time and words for the conversation. It happens that no matter how hard we try, a man does not hear. He is deaf here. He is bankrupt. This must be accepted into your picture of the world. Do not get hurt every time about the seeming indifference, but rely in your decisions and actions on this new knowledge. Like no matter how bitter. And remember that every person has himself, and now he will never leave himself.

Photo: AGE/Russian Look, ShutterStock/Fotodom.ru/unsplash.com

How did this article make you feel?

“I feel like I'm superfluous all the time

To stop feeling worthless, you first need to understand why you have this feeling. The reason for the feeling of worthlessness can be someone's attitude towards you or a stressful situation that you cannot control. Once you understand this, you can take steps to change your life for the better. Either way, the tips below should help you deal with this feeling.

Be grateful. Show appreciation for what others have done for you. By expressing gratitude, you show that you notice their deeds and appreciate their efforts.

Be ready to help your loved ones. Your presence is one of the best gifts you can give to those you love. This will show them that you care about them.

Appreciate the uniqueness of the people around you instead of shaming them for it. Instead of laughing at your crying friend, show him that you appreciate him for his emotional honesty. Instead of making fun of your friend dancing stupidly in the kitchen, dance with her.

Don't get into relationships that harm you. Some relationships will never lead to anything good, no matter how hard you try. If the other person is emotionally abusive or just doesn't want to spend time with you, then it might be time to break up with them. In such a situation, you may feel worthless, thinking that you have failed. However, the reason may be that you're just not right for each other, not that you haven't done your best to make the relationship stronger. The other person may have issues that they need to sort out before starting a new relationship, so don't blame yourself alone.

Every person wants not only to feel needed, but also to be needed. And this is normal, these are manifestations of human nature. This is confirmed by the words of Mother Teresa, who tried to convey to people that to be unnecessary, unloved, forgotten by everyone means to be much more hungry and poor than not having food and wealth. And it doesn’t matter at all in what situation you began to feel superfluous, it could be a party, or work, or a trip with friends, the feeling of uselessness and alienation always hits the very heart. Numerous studies have shown that feeling unwanted affects the same area of ​​the brain as physical pain. But this does not mean at all that you need to lock yourself at home and cry into a pillow, you need and can fight this feeling, as well as learn to develop relationships with people and learn something new about social rejection.

How to deal with feelings?

To start fighting with your own feelings, you need to accept yourself and the current situation - you can't do without it. First of all, people with low self-esteem suffer, they react very sharply to problems in communication and blame only themselves for everything. But if you learn to accept yourself, love yourself, then a priori self-esteem will increase, and the degree of influence of emotions on a person’s state will decrease. But this process is quite complicated, it will take a long time and hard to understand yourself and your thoughts, look for weaknesses and strengths. It doesn't work instantly. Learn to focus on your strengths, highlight your strengths. Repeat to yourself every day that you accept yourself the way you are. Let you be unnecessary, this is normal, you are not alone. It is only important to accept, survive and move forward, no matter what.

Look for the positive everywhere

The ability to look for positive things in any situation, even the most unpleasant one, is a real art. If it is easier to relate to your position, then it will be much easier to survive troubles. Let's look for the positives right away. For example, psychologists are sure that people rejected by society become more creative, as they begin to express their thoughts through art. This feeling of being different from others can develop into something serious professionally, people start writing poetry, music, photographing nature and so on. Your primary task is to analyze the situation and make a list of pluses that are definitely there. For example, now you have more time to spend time alone with yourself, you can engage in self-development, you can analyze your situation and conclude which people you should communicate with further and which do not deserve your time and effort.

Don't think negatively about yourself

You exist in this world, and you are the only one. There are no others even similar. The feeling of uselessness entails even more negative thoughts. A person begins to convince himself that no one loves him, because he is somehow not like everyone else, not handsome enough, smart enough, and so on. These feelings are akin to shame and humiliation. They absolutely should not be in your life. To get on the path of change, you should start by analyzing the thoughts that visit you and change them to a positive attitude. For example, someone told you that he doesn't like you. So what? You should not give yourself up to suffering 100%, because there are people in this world who like you, and if a particular person did not like your appearance or behavior, this is absolutely not a problem. After all, you are not $100 to please everyone. Because of someone's words, you will not become worse or better, you will remain the same as you are.

Protect yourself

People who know how to extend their claws and defend themselves at the right time are much easier to tolerate rejection and the feeling of uselessness. All this is explained by science: in such people, the level of the stress hormone is lower even in the most critical situations. How to get rid of the feeling of uselessness? Remember the pleasant experience of relationships, those moments when someone needed you and focus on this positive. Be stronger and just move away from people who give you unpleasant emotions. Can't sleep with a feeling of uselessness? Then pay attention to what you think. If you catch yourself thinking that you are constantly thinking about yourself in a negative aspect, scold yourself for it. Try to control the appearance of such thoughts and immediately be distracted by something positive. Stop replaying in your head over and over those moments when you felt a sense of your own uselessness, occupy your head with something new. It can be thoughts about work, study, self-development, and so on. Go in for sports, go shopping, do everything to get rid of the feeling of uselessness.

Just move on

Yes, we all face the injustice and cruelty of this world, it’s hard to hide from it, but the ability to forget people who are not worth your time and effort, the ability to get up and move forward, even if it was very painful to fall, - it's very difficult to live without it. Making someone love you and vice versa is impossible, but trying to focus on the relationship that you have will be very helpful. People who ignore you, try to humiliate or be rude in every possible way, should be let go and continue to live on.

Working on positive relationships

But it doesn't always happen that it's about others, in order to understand yourself and get rid of the feeling of uselessness in relationships, it is recommended to analyze your own behavior. Maybe it was some of your actions or mistakes that became the impetus for the fact that such a situation occurred. Try to develop communication skills, learn to speak and listen. Here a psychologist comes to the rescue, who will help you figure it all out. Do not engage in self-hypnosis and do not expect rejection from others. Our self-confidence, our thoughts are reflected in those with whom we communicate. If you constantly think and act like you're the odd one out, people will start treating you that way.

Don't forget to think about yourself

If you learn to accept yourself, love yourself, then it will be much easier for others to do the same. A self-confident person can be seen from afar, and other people feel it too. Do you think how to get rid of the feeling of uselessness? It's simple: focus on work or school. Success in your professional life is a great help to cope with the feeling of uselessness. Achieving goals is a direct path to feeling confident in yourself and in your abilities. In no case do not lock yourself at home, constantly scrolling through your head the thoughts that no one needs you. Treat yourself, you deserve it.

The feeling of uselessness in psychology is considered as one of the aspects of low self-esteem. To prevent this turn of events, you can take note of the following tips:

  • Tell people you trust about your condition.
  • Surround yourself with people who always support you and give you positive.
  • Don't let others influence your condition. If you feel abandoned in the company of friends, tell them about it. If nothing changes, you will have to look for new acquaintances, but your nerves will be in order.
  • If you haven't been invited to a party, find something more fun to do instead of being upset all evening. In any case, you can throw a holiday at home.

Calmness and a rational attitude towards the situation is the key to success and well-being. Think of yourself first, not those who give you trouble.

A person always expects recognition of his personality from others. If this does not happen, then there is a feeling of alienation, which is called loneliness.

Feelings of loneliness can occur even when there are real connections with other people. A person may feel unwanted and unloved in a large family or rejected in a team. The feeling of loneliness can occur episodically, like a flash, or it can take root in the mind of a person as an obsessive state.

Loneliness is always accompanied by tension and anxiety associated with dissatisfaction with communication or intimate relationships.

Types of feelings of loneliness

People with a state of loneliness differ from each other in their own activity and degree of experience.

There are several types of feelings of loneliness:

1. Hopelessly lonely people: dissatisfied with their relationships, having a feeling of abandonment and emptiness.

3. Persistently lonely people are passive people resigned to their condition.

4. People who are not alone, whose social isolation is of a voluntary temporary nature, while not causing a feeling of oppression.

There are two types of loneliness in psychiatry:

  • The first type of loneliness is associated with a person's alienation from himself: his past, experience, from the functioning of his own organism. Loneliness is associated with problems of perception and assimilation of the mechanisms of development and self-preservation of the organism.
  • The second type of loneliness is associated with the quality of relationships with other people, the acceptance, evaluation of this quality and the person's acceptance of himself as a person.

The feeling of loneliness is defined as the painful experience of being alone. This experience becomes obsessive and captures all thoughts and actions of a person. Loneliness is experienced as depression, melancholy, boredom, sadness, despair. A person can worry about lost connections, rejection of himself, not realizing himself as an accomplished person.

Situational transient loneliness may appear after certain unpleasant events: divorce, death of loved ones, job loss, serious injury or illness. After some time, a person comes to terms with the loss and fully or partially overcomes his condition. A situational feeling of loneliness is expressed in short-term attacks, which, as a rule, pass without a trace.

Sometimes such a state does not go away, but turns into chronic loneliness. This occurs if, in the event of loss, a person cannot cope with his emotional state and does not find strength and opportunity in establishing relationships with significant people. At the same time, there is a loss of interaction mechanisms.

Chronic loneliness can accompany a person from childhood. This usually occurs when there is no emotional attachment between children and parents. It is possible that this is an unwanted child, or a child who does not meet the expectations of the parents. From childhood, the child is forced to avoid contact with his parents, or he is simply deprived of them. The habit of loneliness persists in communication with a group of peers, where the child independently alienates himself from others. This produces a persistent chronic feeling of loneliness.

However, it should be noted that in some cases people are quite comfortable in their isolated state. In this case, we are talking about personality traits bordering on pathology.

One can talk about loneliness only if a person is clearly aware of the inferiority of his relations with other people. In other words, a person experiences his loneliness in the truest sense of the word. At the same time, the feeling of loneliness is influenced not so much by the relationship itself, but by the person's idea of ​​\u200b\u200bwhat they should be. Due to this discrepancy, a person who constantly communicates with one or two individuals may experience an acute lack of communication and feel lonely.

The feeling of loneliness is understood as a difficult emotional state caused by the dissatisfaction of the need for interpersonal relationships.

Some psychologists believe that man is inherently born, lives and dies alone. Others believe that man is a social being and should be surrounded by his own kind.

The first signs of a heightened sense of loneliness appear in adolescence. At the same time, the frequency and number of contacts does not matter; satisfaction with communication is more important.

The experience of loneliness can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • A person's inability to endure solitude.
  • Low self-esteem projected onto others: "I'm terrible, worthless, no one can love me."
  • Anxiety and social fears: someone else's opinion, ridicule, being different from everyone else.
  • Lack of communication skills.
  • Distrust of people.
  • Tightness and stiffness.
  • Constant wrong choice of partners.
  • Fear of being rejected by a partner.
  • Fear and anxiety about intimacy.
  • Unrealistic claims and desires.
  • Lack of initiative, sociable passivity.

The feeling of loneliness largely depends on self-esteem. Lonely people often feel worthless, incompetent, second-rate. This perception of oneself justifies the absence of permanent communication partners. Lonely people do not trust others. They are often hypocritical, stubborn, cautious.

Hello. I am 14 years old. Recently, I often feel like a lonely, useless person. My mother often does not have the same views, she thinks about me wrong! He believes that I don’t give a damn about everything, I’m growing up as a selfish, uninterested child.

When I want to object, tears come, and I am silent, I can hardly swallow the insult. Dad is of the same opinion. Why? I study well, I read classics. What else to do? I have no craving for some kind of supernatural knowledge. I am very vulnerable, compassionate, but I don’t want to show it to anyone. I do not want everyone to see my weakness, so my parents think that I am cruel. Friends are a particular problem. I love them very much, more than myself, and they .... I try to do everything for them, without demanding special gratitude. And I don't get it. I write all the time, literally everyone ignores me. A couple of cold words to my "Hi, I really miss you, how are you?" and all. Am I a bad friend? They never remember me, they push me into the background. But I still climb, I can't live without them. I want me to help them if they're in trouble, with advice or something. But they don't need it. their answers are like a knife to the heart for me. And who needs me? Why am I alone?

Psychologist's answer:

Hello, Diana!

The answer to your question is simple - first you need to learn to be needed by yourself, to be interesting to yourself, to love yourself.
If you want to object - object, but not with hysteria, even with tears, the main thing is not to hysteria.
Why is a person offended? - Because he does not understand the motives of the behavior of another person. Mom does not know what is inside you, what you really feel, of course, she has a corresponding reaction to you.
Man is an extremely contradictory creature, eternally torn apart by internal conflict. You want to be, to feel needed, so you diligently demonstrate your toughness.
It's bad that you love your friends more than yourself, it's very bad, it means you don't love them at all. Because everything starts with yourself! First, a person loves himself, and then his parents, friends and the whole world. No love for yourself - no love for anyone.
What does it mean to love yourself? - it means to devote time to yourself, i.e. Do something that develops you as a person. Find something to express yourself in: drawing, modeling, knitting, sewing/embroidery, appliqué, dancing, fitness, manicure, writing novels, poetry, fashion design, etc.
It is vital to be interesting to yourself. When you are open to the world, then the world is open to you. There is no need to be afraid that you will be offended, hurt, in fact, the person himself decides to be offended by him or not. For example, they called you a fool, you may be offended, or you may not be offended (yes, I can be a fool, but beautiful!)
And you should talk to your mother, because mother is the closest relative.

Hello, Anton Mikhailovich.
I already wrote to you about two years ago. My post was called "Husband began to flirt in social networks." Unfortunately, it became necessary to contact you again.
Over the past two years, we have been trying to cope with our family crisis. My husband went to a psychologist. Not for long, but walking. I also wanted to talk to his psychologist. At that moment, it seemed to me that nothing could be changed and in six months everything would happen again. She told her husband that he, of course, has the right to decide how he should live. If he wants to continue dating girls - please, but without me. My husband asked me not to leave. The psychologist also advised not to rush into decisions. Which is what I did.
Life gradually improved. I see that the husband is trying to confirm his trustworthiness. If it happens somewhere without me, sends a photo. Even though I didn't ask for it. I am grateful to him for this. But still, from time to time, I notice his irresistible desire to use any chance to impress one of the women he runs into, for example, at work. And when I ask about it, he gets annoyed. He said a couple of times that I was sick. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, but with him it is elevated into some kind of painful form. I'm feeling it. And I feel like it pushes me into the background. In life, he is not an overly attentive person, but there he is attentive. Day by day the feeling grows stronger in me that I am like a "read book" for him. I haven't worked for many years. We moved from country to country, raised children. Unfortunately, after marriage, I didn’t get a job. I have a hobby, I read, I watch films, I am interested in many things.
Close friends are far away. We communicate on the Internet. I feel unwanted. As if he kept the family for a comfortable life, not because of me. I told my husband about it, he says it's not true. But I know him well and feel, and I think that he is right. I do not know what to do.
Thank you.

Zhanna, Moscow, 44 years old

Answer of the family psychologist:

Hello Jeanne.

//husband went to a psychologist. Not for long, but walking. I also wanted to talk to his psychologist.// But you didn't describe the outcome. We decided not to rush into decisions. Life seems to be getting better... But in fact, apparently, nothing was seriously decided and understandable. I will explain to you how in general it was possible to work with a psychologist in this situation. If a husband has some kind of need, then it cannot simply be taken and removed by an effort of will. It can only be satisfied. But here's how - this is already a question that can and should be addressed with a psychologist. Find out what the essence of the need is (and the need is not to communicate with other girls, but to receive certain emotions - this is always the case, with any need. Its essence is always the experience of some feelings and states, but which ones - this already needs to be clarified with the individual). And then they look for and find some other way than third-party young ladies. If the man wants it. At the same time, it also turns out why this need is not satisfied with you, ways are being sought that would help to realize what exactly does not work in your couple, why the needs of both are not satisfied so that both are comfortable, which you, for your part, can do. And then, as a rule, it becomes clear: either spouses can and are really ready to meet each other halfway, or something else is more important for them - to maintain a position for the sake of convenience or some other benefits. But all this can already be found out only in personal work. //I feel unwanted. As if he kept the family for a comfortable life, not because of me. // I can only assume that he has ceased to be so interested in your personality. Yes, you cannot take full responsibility for this, interest in a couple is a mutual thing. But in order to be needed by another, a person must first of all be needed by YOURSELF. How interesting are you to yourself as a person and how much do you need yourself? Perhaps, if your husband specifically does not want to do anything about the situation right now, you should think about yourself? In any case, you won't lose anything.

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