According to government figures, more than 9 million people in the U.K. "always or often feel lonely" and "around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month." An increasing body of research has found that feelings of social isolation can have profound health effects; according to a government commission, loneliness is as bad for people's health as smoking 15 cigarettes daily.
"Loneliness can be triggered by a life event, such as a bereavement or becoming a parent, with certain groups, such as young people and carers, particularly at risk," said [Tracey] Crouch [Minister for Sport and Civil Society].
I'm waiting patiently for the day where it will be okay for an American to talk genuinely about feeling lonely without threat of admonition, attacked, or shaming by others. We are not alone in our struggles. There are so many who feel the same.