Do You Know the Side Effects of Loneliness?

When solitude is voluntary, it can be very beneficial, but when it's imposed it can lead to problems with anxiety or even self-esteem. That's why it’s essential to combine your alone time with social activities.
Do You Know the Side Effects of Loneliness?

Written by Ángela Aragón

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Have you ever heard about the side effects of loneliness?

Sometimes, it’s necessary to be alone. There are so many external stimuli that you need to rediscover yourself, so being alone is a good option. And it’s true that it is.

However, is it okay when solitude goes on for a long time? If you’re a person who likes to lead a lonely life, no doubt someone has told you that it can’t be healthy for you. Are they right?

Partly, yes. However, it’s also true that loneliness can offer you some benefits. As we said above, it’s important to know what you feel and to get to know yourself.

In addition, you need to have those times when you can evaluate your current state and make decisions accordingly, in peace.

It’s common for people to get carried away by events. When they’re over, you might realize you’re not where you wanted to be.

This happens because you lack the space for reflection about what’s happening in your life.

This can vary when the situation continues, however. The side effects of loneliness, in this case, can become serious if you don’t detect the signs that something negative is beginning to happen to you.

In that sense, it’s important that you recognize the consequences so that you can clearly identify whether you’re managing it well or not.

What are the side effects of loneliness?

Distortion of reality

Side Effects of Loneliness

Are you familiar with the expression “four eyes see more than two?” As with most sayings, it has its fair share of truth.

When you talk with other people, what you’re doing is exchanging different points of view. These can help you contrast what you perceive with what others see.

If you’re a more talkative person, you might have noticed that there are many times when external impressions have helped you have more balanced judgment.

What happens with loneliness is that you lack information. This causes you to run the risk of being too full of your own ideas to the point that you build a distorted vision of the world around you.

This is what can lead you to think about life in extreme terms with a tendency to generalize.

For example, if your partner doesn’t say goodbye to you on the way to work, you can allow that feeling to gnaw at you all day long until you conclude that they’re unhappy with you.

If you asked them directly, however, or talked with a friend, you might have received a much more reassuring explanation.

Anxiety is another side effect of loneliness

Anxiety is another side effect of loneliness
The previous example is only one of many. Now, think of all the similar circumstances that can happen in just a day. Multiply these for a week and so on, and how many times do you think someone might have annoyed you?

This state of constant mistrust will only lead to a situation of mild or severe anxiety.

In addition, it’s aggravated when the distorted ideas also refer to yourself.

You make mistakes at home or at work, and suddenly phrases like “you’re worthless” start appearing in your mind.

So now you don’t trust other people, you don’t trust yourself, and you’re not talking to anyone who can strengthen your self-esteem or redirect how you feel about the external factors.

Anxiety is unleashed and that only intensifies the distortion, setting you on a course that’s very difficult to stop.

Do you want to know more? See: Self-esteem, the key to happiness



When you link isolation, suspicion, and anxiety, the result is a lack of hope and a loss of the meaning of life.

When everything you see is negative and you can’t find any positive stimuli, life becomes very complicated.

Although your work is important to you, deep down, your happiness is related to your relationship with the world.

This is why social networks have been so successful. You need to talk about what is happening to you, or how much fun you’ve had, or how fantastic that last restaurant you visited was, even the bad things that have come your way.

Reliving past events to return to enjoy them anew, or to feel like you’re not alone, is a basic human need.

Nevertheless, the side effects of loneliness often appear when it’s not a choice, but rather when it’s imposed upon you.

For this reason it’s a good idea to combine moments of meditation, reflection, or solitary activities with social interactions outside of work and the home.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Richard, A., Rohrmann, S., Vandeleur, C. L., Schmid, M., Barth, J., & Eichholzer, M. (2017). Loneliness is adversely associated with physical and mental health and lifestyle factors: Results from a Swiss national survey. PLoS ONE, 12(7), 1–18.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.