Tag Archives: loneliness

What an Older Person in Recovery Needs During the Holidays

 This week’s article is written by guest writer, Teresa Greenhill, who has an interest in mental health. She is the co-creator of MentalHealthForSeniors.com,  which is dedicated to providing seniors with information on physical and mental fitness so that they can be active and happy in their later years.

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For more and more aging baby boomers, alcohol or other forms of self-medication have become coping mechanisms for dealing with aches and pains, including loneliness. This time of year can be difficult, with the holidays adding stress over seeing family members we may not be close to. If you’re an older person who is recovering from addiction, the holidays can be especially painful as we face them with family members who we have strained relationships with or, worse, alone. Addiction recovery is a long process, with many stops and starts along the way. Adding emotional triggers to the mix can put a recovering addict over the top. If you’re in recovery or have a family member who is, what can you do to be safe throughout the holiday season? Here are some tips. read more

Does Social Media Help Old People Feel Less Lonely?

Remember when people speculated that social media would produce a population of isolates, working alone in a room, disconnected from the rest of humanity? And if lonely older people took up social media, they would become even more lonely and depressed? Well, speculate no more—older adults, just like the rest of humanity, have climbed aboard the social media band wagon, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, older people, once they try Skype, Facebook or other electronic platforms, become enthusiasts, accounting for a substantial jump in use in just ten years. read more

The Hidden, Internal Language of Loneliness

No matter what successes you have had in your life, none of it matters when you descend into loneliness and depression, especially if you are old. Being old can make you more vulnerable than younger people, and more likely to believe you have no options—you feel that you have less time to explore your loneliness, and less likelihood of solving it.

When you admit you are lonely, shallow advice, like “join groups”, or “volunteer”, or “take up a hobby”, come thick and fast from family, friends and advisers—but it only makes you feel inadequate, and guilty that you haven’t tried hard enough. read more

Solitude: The Gift of Reflection

solitude“For a younger person,” Carl Jung says, “it is almost a sin—and certainly a danger—to be too much occupied with himself. But for the aging person, it is a duty and a necessity to give serious attention to himself.”

Like Jung, I believe that the end stage in life, where many of us are now, is a time to think, to reflect, to make sense of everything that had gone on in our lives before, and to pay attention to ourselves.

This kind of remembering, and thinking, requires that we remove all chaos from our lives, still our thoughts, and find a quiet place in which to think. It requires being alone. and yes, solitude. This runs against the grain of much that is currently proposed about being solitary. Being alone goes hand in hand with being lonely, psychologists and researchers say. The dangers of loneliness in the elderly are so well documented that any image of an older person sitting alone evokes feelings of dread and despair in us. read more