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Social isolation causes, treatment and symtomps

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Is social isolation caused by the internet?

Many people mistakenly think that social isolation is caused by the internet while in fact if the internet was not there the socially isolated person would have found anything else to do to isolate himself from others like staying in front of a computer or reading a book.

So if social isolation is not caused by the internet then why are some socially isolated people internet addicts? In the article Psychology of self deception i explained how the socially isolated person always comes up with a brilliant self deception plan that can help him avoid people without feeling that he is actually escaping.

By believing that he is an internet addict or that internet is the main reason for his social isolation a person can stay at home without damaging his self confidence.

What causes social isolation?

What are the real causes of social isolation? We humans are social beings by nature, we can hardly live on our own for a long period of time but some people seem to have problems in dealing with others to the extent that they sacrifice this important need.

There are hundreds of reasons that could be behind social isolation but here are some of the common causes:

    Social isolation and fear of the past: In my article How childhood experiences affect adulthood i explained how children grow up trying to avoid putting themselves in the bad situations they faced earlier in their lives. If the child was neglected at home or if he didn't get enough attention he might fear interacting with people and become socially isolated in order to prevent this from happening once again (see Why some people need more attention that others
  • Social isolation and low self esteem social isolation can be caused by low self esteem, excessive shyness or even an inferiority complex. Social isolation by itself might not be the disorder but it can just be the symptom of another disorder like inferiority complex
  • Lack of social interest and social isolation: When a child is born he learns how to connect with people through his family members. If those family members were cold, unavailable or abusive he might lose interest in others and become a socially isolated adult. Thus parenting styles are one of the possible causes of social isolation in children

Social isolation causes depression

The relationship between depression and social isolation is bidirectional. Social isolation will certainly lead to depression because any important unmet need that is suppressed usually results in depression while depression can also cause social isolation.

A depressed person will always want to avoid people and to stay isolated. Some people might think that introversion causes social isolation while in fact recent studies started to show that introversion itself might be a disorder that causes social isolation. (see Introversion, isolation and depression).

Elderly people might develop social isolation because of factors that are out of their hands. Those people might not have the physical energy needed to hang out or to leave their houses and so they become limited to the people who care to ask about them. Social isolation in the elderly also leads to depression.

Social isolation treatment

In my article How to treat psychological disorders i explained that the best way to deal with a psychological disorder is to understand your mind's intention behind it.

For example, social isolation can be caused by the subconscious mind because of wanting to prevent you from interacting with people as a result of lacking self esteem.

In such a case your mind believes that its protecting you using social isolation while in fact its ruining your life.

There is no one size fits all treatment for psychological disorders such as social isolation because while all people might be suffering from the same disorder each one of them will be suffering from it for a different reason.

Understand the real causes behind your social isolation, work on them and you will certainly get over it.

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