Having a mental health problem can increase your chance of feeling lonely. Some people may have misconceptions of what it means to suffer with your mental health, and this can make us apprehensive about opening up to people about how we feel in fear of feeling judged or misunderstood.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, and this year’s theme is anxiety. A person that suffers from social anxiety can also be at risk of loneliness as they may find it harder to engage in activities that revolve around interacting with or meeting new people.
Everybody experiences feelings of anxiety at some point during their lifetime, from mild experiences before interviews or medical appointments to more severe episodes that are persistent and make it hard for us to interact socially. These severe cases can lead to avoidance of social situations, which can leave us feeling dissatisfied with our social relationships and feel a lack of support networks among neighbours, colleagues, friends or family.
Feelings of anxiety, especially during periods of change, are completely normal, but stigma has discouraged many from openly talking about their emotions, despite the fact that in the UK, over 8 million people are experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time.
Here at House of Books & Friends we are striving to help combat loneliness in our local community. If you’re looking to meet new people in a safe space, you can also check out our social mixers with literary party games and excellent cakes, or our monthly book club to meet like minded people. As always, pop in to the shop to chat to our booksellers, have a coffee in a relaxing environment and browse our shelves. If you’d like to learn more about this subject, we have created a booklist which can be found here, which includes a wide variety of knowledge on mental health issues from different perspectives.