Modernity is lonely
The Mental Health Foundation has found that 10 per cent of people in the UK admit to frequent feelings of extreme loneliness.
In a representative survey of the UK, called The lonely society, the research showed that 48 per cent think people are getting lonelier, while 10 per cent – representing 6.6 million people – feel lonely often.
Despite technological advances and better travel opportunities, the report said that the way we live has reduced our ability to interact with other people. More people live on their own: 12 per cent in 2008, compared with 6 per cent in 1972. Divorce rates have doubled over 50 years and the percentage of single parent families is also rising.
The statistics reveal that women are more likely than men to feel lonely sometimes. The charity’s report suggests that a shift in attitudes is also contributing to loneliness. For some, investing time in social activities is seen as less important than work, and this can also lead to mental as well as physical health problems (www.mentalhealth.org.uk).