Although many people experience loneliness at one time or another, it is often overlooked or dismissed. Because society prides itself on self-reliance, loneliness might carry a stigma for people who admit to it. This is both paradoxical and pernicious: if loneliness is transient, it is simply accepted as part of life, but there is a deep dread of being lonely for the long haul.
Loneliness might accompany depression or another psychological illness, but it has its own set of characteristics that have specific implications for people's mental, physical and societal health. This report is aimed at raising awareness of loneliness and of the steps that can be taken to reduce isolation.