I feel really alone
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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.
What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, and recovery. Addresses concerns of children of parents with substance use/abuse problems.
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
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The therapist explained how to overcome loneliness
The topic of loneliness is one that is probably familiar to all of us. Loneliness is the feeling that accompanies us in our development. This is part of the journey of finding yourself. And it leads to the fact that we begin to value relationships more.
Experience of loneliness
Loneliness is experienced very painfully. This is the kind of feeling we want to run away from, and we do it by being distracted by something. We are helped by watching TV shows and movies, computer, mobile phone, travel, alcohol, work. All this helps to get rid of the unpleasant feeling. Because in loneliness we experience that we again find ourselves thrown back to ourselves. In loneliness, I am only with myself. I'm thrown. There is no one around. I don't have a relationship, I don't have anyone I can talk to. Loneliness is the experience of experiencing the absence of a relationship. This feeling can be especially acute in longing for something. If you love someone, you yearn for separation from him. I miss my loved one, I feel connected to him, but I cannot see him. My heart is next to him, and without him or without her, my heart is lost to a certain extent.
A similar feeling can be experienced with nostalgia, when we yearn for our native places. I experienced a very strong longing for my native places when, as a child of 11-12 years old, I was in a boarding school. It was warm and pleasant at home, I had relationships there, I had friends there, and I was at a boarding school far from home. I haven't been home for a whole month. I felt like I was in a foreign world. The world was cold and I felt lost. All this time I thought about what was happening at home, what my relatives were doing: now they got up, now they are having dinner, now the family has gathered at the table. And I was constantly in pain because I was separated from that part of life where I usually experienced warmth, where I had the feeling that I was part of this world. I felt incredibly alone.
We may feel lonely at work if we are confronted with some demands, if there are some projects that we have not yet grown up to. Where we feel insecure about them, and if no one supports us at the same time. Then we feel alone. If I know that everything depends on me alone, there may be a fear that will accompany loneliness. It's the fear that I'll be weak, that I'll feel guilty about not being able to do it.
It's even worse if bullying occurs at work. Then I will feel that I am given to it at the mercy of, I am on the edge of society and I am no longer a part of it.
Loneliness is a very big topic in old age, in old age. And in childhood. Children who are not met, children who are left alone if the parents are busy doing something else, may feel helpless in their loneliness. Loneliness traumatizes children, because in solitude they are not able to develop their Self. They stop in development. There is a curvature in the development of the child if he experiences long moments of loneliness. On the other hand, it is not so bad if the child spends a couple of hours alone, because for him this is an impetus for development. Just what is reality.
In old age, loneliness is no longer a traumatic factor and does not hinder development - but it is burdensome. It can cause depression, paranoid feelings, sleep disturbances, psychosomatic complaints, and pseudodementia. It happens that pseudo-dementia is the silence of a person from loneliness. He used to have a family, he worked for decades, was among people, and now he sits at home alone. One of my patients at the age of 85 was sitting at home alone. Being her doctor, so that she would not be completely alone, I bought her a canary. She has a living being. This canary helped her live a couple of years longer. She talked to her every day.
For most older people, television is their "comfort". But TV is a communication directed only in one direction. And yet man at least hears human voices. And in any case, he can say something to himself, even if no one will hear. I think this is not a bad form of overcoming loneliness, creating a kind of bridge, because it takes the edge off loneliness. But, of course, this is an ersatz, a replacement. In old age, loneliness can be very overwhelming. Especially if he has lost the ability to see or hear. Can I imagine that I have to live in this state for a couple of years? When the only thing that will accompany me is back pain or indigestion. We can imagine how helpless we are in such situations. And here the question of the value of life really arises.
Do I know loneliness? If we ask ourselves: when was the last time I felt lonely? Is loneliness somehow present in my life? Maybe it is hidden behind some businesslike everyday life? If I'm being honest, I can probably find it. Or I may find that there were times when I was alone. Maybe I haven't known this feeling for a long time? Maybe it's foreign to me? Or another pole: maybe I really suffer acutely from loneliness? And it overwhelms me so much that all the joy in relation to life simply disappeared, that the question arises about the meaning of life.
Loneliness among people
I can experience loneliness not only if I do not have relationships with people. I can feel lonely during some holiday, at a party, even at my own birthday, at school, at work, in my family. Sometimes people are nearby, but something is missing. There is no meeting, there is not enough intimacy, there is no exchange with another person. We have superficial conversations, and I have a need to talk to a person for real. We talk about skiing, about cars, but we don't talk about me and you.
In many families, it is only about some business, who and what should buy, who should cook food, but our relationships, what worries us, are silent. Then I feel alone and in the family.
If no one in the family sees me, especially if it is a child, then I am alone. Even worse - I am abandoned, because there are people around, but they are not interested in me, they do not look into my eyes. They only look at whether I do well in school and that I don't do anything bad. And that's how I'm raised. I grow up alone.
The same happens in partnerships: we have been together for 20 years, but at the same time we feel lonely. The sexual relationship is functioning, but am I in the relationship? Is the other talking about me - or only about yourself? Or just to satisfy some needs? If we don't take the time to talk to each other, as we did when we were in love, then we become lonely even in good relationships.
There are periods in every relationship when it feels lonely as the relationship develops more on a curve with ups and downs. We cannot be constantly ready to communicate with another, be constantly open to another person. We are immersed in ourselves, busy with our problems, feelings, and we have no time for another. But it can happen just when he needs it the most. At this moment, I am not for another, and the other feels alone, maybe even abandoned in trouble. Such situations occur in any relationship. But it doesn't harm the relationship if we can then talk about our different states. And then we find each other again. But sometimes these moments remain wounds that we receive in the course of our lives.
We can experience loneliness not only when we are not in a relationship, but even when we are surrounded by people. And at the same time, we can not feel lonely when no one is around.
To understand loneliness, let's try to look at a person more deeply. Then we can understand why loneliness manifests itself in so many different ways.
Causes of loneliness
A person is a creature that, as it were, was placed into the world. The main idea of existential philosophy says that it is impossible to be human without being related to the world. To be human means fundamentally to be in the world, to be in connection with something or someone else. Without connection with otherness, it is impossible to be human.
It was in this way that Heidegger defined "being here" (existence). Heidegger often used the word Dasein instead of Person to show that I cannot be if I am not connected with You or It. To be here is to be in the world. In the world of my family, in the world of my city, in the world of my ideas and ideas. That is to say, being human is a fundamental correlation. If something does not function in this relation, then we lack something and may feel lonely.
But this connection is twofold. Martin Buber spoke about the relationship "I-Thou" and "I-It": I relate to another person, the same as me - and this is a personal relationship, or I relate to some thing, with some business ( e.g. "I'm driving a car"). That is, relationships have an outer pole, but they also have an inner pole. I also need to manage with myself, I need not just to BE in this world, but I must also be I. We have a correlation outside and a correlation with ourselves. This thought can help to understand three reasons why loneliness occurs.
First of all, loneliness is a disturbance, a breakdown in relationships. In loneliness, we worry that relationships either do not exist, or they develop incorrectly. Relations with a person mean: I am connected with this person with my feelings, I would like to experience a person in my feeling. I would like to be able to feel what drives him and what he feels.
Let's think about the relationship with your child. I would like to feel how a child experiences and lives his life. I would like to participate in this, I would like to be close to him - because through closeness I have a feeling about my child and his life.
Relationships are more than relatedness in terms of feelings. Relationships always have a beginning, but relationships never end. Relationships are forever. And it can be assumed that since I always remain connected with the person with whom I have or had a relationship, I can never be alone. All the relationships that I had with other people have been preserved in me. If I meet my ex-girlfriend after 20 years on the street, then my heart starts to beat faster - because something was, and it still continues to be in me. Everything that happens in a relationship is preserved. And I can live on that. If I experienced something good with some person, then this is a source for happiness in my later life. I can think of my mother, father, with whom I had a good relationship - and feel a warm feeling.
However, if the relationship is bad, then I don't want to remember them, I don't want to go back to the past. Then I wish it wasn't true. Then I lose contact with it. Relationships seem to be there, but they hurt me - and I turn away. And if I turn away, then the relationship in this moment no longer lives. Therefore, it may be that I will feel lonely, although I have or have had a relationship.
There is another reason why relationships can cause feelings of loneliness. What we have described so far is the outer pole of the relationship. But there is a relationship directed inward, a relationship with oneself. If I don't feel myself, if I don't have feelings, if they are muffled, then I am alone with myself. If I do not feel my body, my breath, my mood, my well-being, my fatigue, my joy, my pain - if I do not feel all this, then I am not in a relationship with myself. Then I miss a fundamental, basic part of life.
This can happen if I have had an experience that hurts - then I don't want to turn to myself. If I was offended, disappointed, deceived, if I was ridiculed, then I feel pain if I turn to myself. And this is a natural human reflex - to turn away from what causes pain and suffering. We have described it in terms of external relations, but also in internal relations I can withdraw from myself. And then I no longer feel myself, I am no longer in a relationship with myself. It can take me so far that I won't feel my body. I will feel my feelings to such a small extent that I will have psychosomatic disorders. They always indicate that you do not feel something very important. This is a signal: you should not continue to live like this, feel what hurts you so that you can process it. So that you can mourn, so that you can forgive - otherwise you will not be free. Migraine, stomach ulcers, asthma and other disorders tell me: do not continue like this. There is something very important that you must do first.
If I lose my relationship with myself, I can no longer feel myself. Or even worse, I can't have a relationship with you either.
I cannot truly experience a relationship with another if I am not capable of resonance, if there is no movement in me, because the feelings are too wounded. Or because I never really had them. If my mother never took me in her arms, if my father didn't have time for me, if I didn't have real friends, then I have a "blunted" world of feelings - a world that could not develop. Then my feelings are poor, and then I am always alone. Because I don't feel very well (or don't feel at all). Therefore, in relation to the other person, my feelings are also flat. This is the second level of relationship that leads to loneliness.
But there is also a third level, which is above the relationship level and which is also causally related to loneliness. This is the meeting level. This level is connected with the fact that I am I in a relationship. If in a relationship we can experience being together and feel the closeness of another person, then thanks to the I, another aspect is introduced that “explodes” this pleasant being together: for all our connectedness and mutual striving to meet, we realize that I am I, You are You, but I am not You. That difference, which is irremovable. It is eliminated, for example, in a symbiotic relationship, when I myself dissolve into you. But if I am I, then there is a boundary between us. Then I worry that, in principle, I am responsible only for myself, I am left alone with myself.
There is no second Alfried Lenglet in this world. Each of us is unique and unique. The way I am is unique nowhere else. And this is the basis that can potentially make us lonely in this world.
Healing from loneliness
What can help here? The other person has the same feelings, he feels the same way. If it is You who turns to me, it will help me accept loneliness. If other people look at me, in my direction, then by doing so they will let me know: "I see you. You are here." And I really am here, and not only with my feelings - I am here as a Person.
If, for example, another person is listening to me, they are directed towards me. It is not only about the fact that there is some kind of movement of feelings, but that someone is trying to understand me. And he tells me that he understands what he thinks about this. If other people are interested in what I am doing, then I see that I have done this action, and this attracts the attention of another person. That is, not only I see it, others see it too. And then it becomes reality. If others look at me that way, then they respect boundaries and differences. If I feel seen, it means that I was treated with respect.
If other people take the next step and take me seriously, leave me my own: "Yes, you baked this cake, not me," then they treat me fairly. If they listen to my comments, if they say, "What you said is important. Can you explain it further?" then these people treat me fairly. This is an even higher level than just being seen. Being seen means that I have respect for the border, I do not step on you, I do not go around you. The pinnacle of all this is the recognition of my worth. If the other says "I like it"; "I think it's important," then I get a value judgment from the other. And thus my own value takes root. I can get some criticism, but it gives me a certain edge as a Person. If others come to me, tune in to me - I'm not alone.
If all this happens when I am a child, then I can build my Self. The development of the Self is connected with meeting other people. Parents are the people who see me, who take me seriously and tell me that they appreciate me. And then the child can begin to do the same with himself.
We need to learn this. We can learn it from others, but we cannot develop it in ourselves without You. That is why Martin Buber said that I becomes I next to You. The self acquires the ability to treat itself - and then treat others in the same way. The person who survives the meeting develops abilities through which he can meet others.
We have Person - this is the source. This source itself begins to speak in us, but for this the Self must be heard. This I needs You, who will listen to him. By meeting with the other, I can go to myself. And in doing so, I have the basic experience of being a Person. I am self-confident, I have an inner life, the Person inside me speaks to my I, and through the I speaks to You and thus expresses itself. If I live out of this alignment, then I am authentic, then I really am I. And then I am no longer alone.
Read the full text on the website thezis.ru
Why we are lonely: 6 reasons , - the majority can ascribe such a phrase to themselves. Where does this feeling come from and why are there so many of us lonely?
Now we can answer these questions. Research by the Red Cross in the UK has shown that one in five Brits feel lonely. Other studies show that chronic loneliness is bad for health and can shorten life expectancy. Fortunately, we are now well aware of this influence.
Most people whose experiences in childhood were ignored by their parents end up feeling lonely as adults. It seems to many that there is nothing wrong with the fact that adults do not respond to the emotions of the child.
However, this upbringing deprives him of important parts of the foundation on which relationships with others are built.
The consequences of neglecting emotional needs continue to affect adulthood, creating feelings of alienation and other problems.
Reasons why you feel lonely:
1. Your family did not talk heart to heart. It happens that relatives are very good at discussing plans for the future and practical issues, but if someone is sad and hurt, family members seem to scatter. Yes, it's hard to talk about painful experiences. This needs to be learned.
And if it was not customary in your family to seriously discuss feelings, you may simply not be able to do this. And because this skill is essential for building meaningful relationships (both friendships and loves), you find it difficult to connect with others, and as a result, you suffer from loneliness.
2. Your parents criticized your feelings, and you began to shut yourself off from the experience in order to survive. As a child, you adapted to the conditions of life in the family, learning to suppress emotions so as not to burden your parents with them. But feelings are a kind of glue that binds people and allows them to build meaningful relationships. Without them, it is difficult to build those deep and lasting emotional bonds that everyone needs.
3. If your parents did not see your feelings, they would send a signal every day: “No one needs your feelings”. Since feelings are the deepest and most natural manifestation of ourselves, we hear this message in a different way: “No one needs (needs) you yourself.”
Adults whose feelings were neglected in childhood feel, deep down, that they are less important than others. They sacrifice feelings, needs, and needs for the benefit of those around them. If you consider yourself worse than others, you seem to live in a separate world.
4. Another message your subconscious was receiving: "If something is wrong with your feelings, then so is you." A person who grew up in a family where his feelings were not considered, from childhood feels deeply flawed. Because of this, he is afraid to open up to others, because he is afraid that they will see his insignificance.
Therefore, he maintains a "safe" relationship, but they do not bring satisfaction
5. You tried all the time to ask your parents for emotional help, which is completely natural, but you did not receive it. Now, as an adult, you are afraid to seek emotional support from others. You are afraid to experience disappointment or rejection, so you rely only on yourself. Your motto is "I can do it myself." But being afraid to ask for help, you isolate yourself from others and, again, feel lonely.
6. You find it difficult to explain to loved ones that your emotional needs were neglected as a child. Because of this, you may feel that only you have suffered from such problems and no one can understand you.
But you are not alone. In fact, countless people are experiencing the same thing. Most of them seem to be healthy, resilient people. You meet them in the store, in the office, even at the festive table.