The Loneliness Epidemic – 6 Brave Indians Share Their Struggle With Loneliness - Homegrown

The Loneliness Epidemic – 6 Brave Indians Share Their Struggle With Loneliness

Disconnection can dwindle into loneliness. A strong sense of feeling lonely can disrupt our day to day well being and our bodily clocks. Embracing natural feelings of loneliness and learning from it and still wanting to reach out; outside of our cocoons can be empowering. Taking comfort in the temporariness of it all can perhaps help us overcome it. It may feel awful at times but know it will pass, eventually.

We at Homegrown asked our readers to share their experiences with loneliness. Check it out!

I. Parneet, 26

Parneet Sidhu Young Indian men and women share depression and lonely feeling stories and mental health tips
Parneet Sidhu

When do you feel lonely?

Most of the time.

Why do you think on a large scale people feel lonely?

No one wants to put the effort in a conversation. It is hard for people to meet new individuals because they already have a “bunch” of friends. You only realise the need to meet new people when you move to a place where no one knows you.

How do you deal with loneliness?

I try to spend time with myself in a productive way, be it cooking or reading a book. At the same time, I try to strike a balance between this and my time with friends.

How do you think we can tackle the loneliness epidemic?

Take the initiative and strike a conversation. Limit your phone usage and spend quality time with friends. Surround yourself with hobbies and passions that you enjoy.

II. Ayesha Mahanti, 31

When do you feel lonely?

Sometimes after a tough day, when I don’t have a partner to come home to. Someone who can give me a hug and say it’s okay to have a bad day.

Why do you think on a large scale people feel lonely?

Mostly due to a lack of self-awareness. When you don’t know yourself, you feel the need to find that missing piece in another person, especially because we are social conditioned to believe that. However, one can be lonely even in a relationship. When we don’t know ourselves, we don’t know what we want. So, our confusion can make us feel misunderstood and lonely.

How do you deal with loneliness?

Now I sit with it instead of trying to distract myself. I try to journal and meditate on what is bothering me and why, and where it is coming from. I have found peace in this. Understanding my patterns brings me peace. I deal with loneliness by creative expression. I write poetry, maybe reach out to a friend or read a book or watch a show. Self-improvement and decluttering help me too.

How do you think we can tackle the loneliness epidemic?

By working towards helping raise the level of conscious self-awareness within people. Empowering them to recognise their unique value and to have safe spaces for connection and judgement free sharing.

III. Shubhangi, 23

Shubhangi Misra Young Indian men and women share depression and lonely feeling stories and mental health tips
Shubhangi Misra

When do you feel lonely?

All the time. Even when I am surrounded by people, there’s always this vacant feeling that never leaves.

Why do you think on a large scale people feel lonely?

I think people these days have become more digitally social than physically social! Be it because of our super hectic schedules, or the growing insecurities that the pop culture has fed us through the years, most people prefer connecting through the internet than actually going and talking to someone. Virtually, we live in a completely different world altogether. This lack of physical connection with the outside world is what is causing people to feel more and more lonely. The satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment which is achieved through a physical connection can never be achieved online, no matter how many followers/friends/connections you have on the internet.

How do you deal with loneliness?

Given my work situation and office hours, I hardly get any time to go out and have a life other than that of my virtual life. This has resulted in a void that has been created automatically, which is taking a huge toll on my mental health. I try to go out any chance that I get and try to keep myself connected to my loved ones, even if it is through a phone call once in a while. Having that connection and a sense that someone is there to care for us is very important to sustain.

How do you think we can tackle the loneliness epidemic?

Above everything, we can collectively take efforts to take out time from our busy schedules and go out, as often as we can. Speaking up about your mental health also makes a huge impact. I write from my personal experience, that I know how difficult it is to speak up about how you’re feeling but once you gather the courage and finally do it, you’ll feel liberated and a lot less burdened. Lastly, if not for anyone else, we should take out time for ourselves and indulge in some self-love by doing something that we love at least twice or thrice every week.

IV. Aparna, 20

Aparna Agarwal Young Indian men and women share depression and lonely feeling stories and mental health tips
Aparna Agarwal

When do you feel lonely?

30% of the time.

Why do you think on a large scale people feel lonely?

Lack of people to talk to without any judgement. Disappointments, too many expectations, the idea that one is not complete in herself or himself, self-made inhibitions about your own self.

How do you deal with loneliness?

Go for a run, cry it out, do something productive and question why I feel lonely.

How do you think we can tackle the loneliness epidemic?

Expectations for each other need to be reduced. Every individual is whole in herself/ himself and so the idea that someone else should fill in our own void is not the way to go about it. I also think people in general should talk more - in person. A big reason why people also feel lonely is because of inhibitions they have about themselves. We are constantly in the worry about what the opposite person might think of us if we randomly pick up the phone to talk to them and maybe just vent out about the fact that we feel lonely at that point.

V. Adhisha Sharma, 26

When do you feel lonely?

I feel lonely a lot of the times, sometimes in huge crowds and also sometimes during night while I’m struggling to sleep.

Why do you think on a large scale people feel lonely?

People feel lonely because they feel they don’t have other people in their lives. People also feel lonely when they are not able to redirect their emotions well. Like when we feel lonely immediately we should try to redirect our energies to do something that excites us or make us happy or that can help us channelise our negative emotions to positive ones. But most of the people fail in doing so .

How do you deal with loneliness?

Dealing with loneliness is a constant struggle where I push myself out of my shell. I reach out to the universe and try to process what is making me feel lonely. I first of all try to take help from people around me, I try to reach out to them and try to talk my heart out. In my case, it’s my sister or my friends. But there are times where I feel lonely even when I’m surrounded by people, in those times I chant to process and understand my loneliness (as I practice Buddhism) It’s very important to connect yourself to a higher self, and that is the universe around us. It gives us all our answers. After processing and understanding I start to work for my happiness. I sing, I cook, I dance, I walk, I exercise because all these things make me happy and in fact few of them can make anyone happy. I have understood that it’s very important to redirect our negative emotions to positives. I have understood that everything starts and ends with us, so these emotions can only be dealt by us and not by someone else. People can only help us to empty our hearts but then to work further is upto us and that a constant job.

How do you think we can tackle the loneliness epidemic?

First thing is acceptance. We need to accept our anxieties and loneliness. We are humans and all these emotions are part of the human existence. So, to deal with it, we first need to accept it. Second: write your feelings, things that are making you unhappy or things that are drifting you from your mental peace, pen down everything. Third: Now analyse what are the things that are in your control and what are the things that you can do to relax your mind and soul. Answers are always there within us. Fourth: Take action (This will be the difficult part) but we have to, we have to push ourselves to work for our happiness to find things and to do things that gives us positivity and that allows us to understand ourselves better. Keep pushing forward. We will win and reach our happy place.

VI. Bhargavi, 21

When do you feel lonely?

As I’m the only person in home with my grandparents who can’t be active, I always feel lonely.

Why do you think on a large scale people feel lonely?

Most of us agree with the problem. Our best friend is our mobile and we spend countless hours on it to pass time. I’m just like everyone else.

How do you deal with loneliness?

I use YouTube. I love singing and mostly listen to music. As I come from a normal middle-class family, my parents don’t allow me to go out every time. So, I read books, paint, make small handicrafts. I love keeping my soul busy in my work.

How do you think we can tackle the loneliness epidemic?

Yes. It mostly depends on the person. But we can deal it with ease. We should try to learn new things that suit our passion. Because every person is blessed with some talent.

Featured illustration by Saumya Singh for Homegrown.

If you liked this article we suggest you read:

A Crowdsourced List Of Non-Judgemental Mental Health Professionals In India

Our Deepest Insecurities - Stories Of ‘Flaws’ And Facing Them

India Tops The Chart As Most Depressed Country In The World


Related Articles