Now accepting Medi-Cal   Check coverage

Social Isolation/Loneliness

Although social isolation and loneliness are not quite the same, they are interrelated conditions that can lead to mental and physical health issues that lower your quality of life. As a public health issue, social isolation can lead to loneliness and depression, among other things, but with support, you can rebuild connections and start living a healthier and happier life.

What Is Social Isolation/Loneliness?

Some level of social isolation is not necessarily a bad thing because everyone needs or wants some solitude to relax and recharge. However, an unhealthy amount of social isolation can occur when you lack friendships or close relationships and have few or no social interactions. Your lack of relationships and interactions can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Yet, a distinction must be made between social isolation and loneliness because you can be socially isolated without feeling lonely or be surrounded by people and feel alone. While social isolation does not always result in negative emotions, chronic or long-term loneliness itself can leave you feeling sad and isolated from people. 

Common Signs of Social Isolation

  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Frequently canceling plans
  • Thoughts of social interactions cause anxiety and panic
  • Feeling distressed in solitude
  • Experiencing feelings of dread about social activities
  • Spending significant periods of time alone

Common Signs of Loneliness

  • Low energy
  • Sleep issues
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Anxiousness
  • Restlessness
  • Self-doubt
  • Hopelessness 
  • Worthlessness

Social Isolation/Loneliness Statistics 

Although social isolation and loneliness are not limited by age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of older adults 45 and older experience loneliness, and one-fourth of adults 65 and older are socially isolated. However, the journal Health Affairs notes that recent research following the Covid-19 pandemic suggests that people under 50 are more likely to report feeling lonely. A recent survey suggests that 79% and 71% of teens and young adults reported feeling lonely compared to 50% of older adults. 

Table of Contents

The emotional impact of social isolation and loneliness can be devastating for people of all ages, but the effects on physical health have elevated them to concerning public health issues.

Health Risks for Social Isolation/Loneliness

  • Premature death
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)
  • High blood pressure
  • Cognitive decline and impairment
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • 50% increased risk of dementia
  • 29% increased risk of heart disease
  • 32% increased risk of stroke
  • Weakened immune system
  • Genetics
  • Mental health disorders
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Suicidal ideation

At-Risk of Social Isolation/Loneliness

  • Elderly people
  • Immigrants
  • LGBTQ+ 
  • Racial and ethnic minority groups
  • Structural factors
    • Institutions, social policies, and ideologies
      • Economic inequality
      • Access to services and resources
      • High-crime neighborhoods
      • Dilapidated housing
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Domestic violence
  • Estrangement from family and friends
  • Retirement
  • Lack of transportation
  • Mental health conditions
  • Mobility issues
  • Physical disabilities
  • Living in remote locations 

Why Is Treatment for Social Isolation/Loneliness Important?

Everyone deserves a chance to lead a healthy and productive life. The psychological and physical effects of social isolation and loneliness can make daily life and interactions distressing. Unhealthy social isolation can lead to avoidance of things and people you once enjoyed; however, loneliness can contribute to more self-isolation and the development of other mental health conditions. Together social isolation and loneliness can lead to detrimental mental, emotional, and physical health issues that lower your quality of life and increase the risk of early death.

Seeking support for feelings of loneliness and social isolation can help you rebuild and develop deeper connections with people. With support, you can start to build connections, find joy in activities again, and participate in hobbies and activities. In addition, the support of a therapist or care counselor can help you rediscover or find purpose and meaning in your life for your long-term well-being.

What Does Social Isolation/Loneliness Feel Like?

Experiencing periods of loneliness in your life is not uncommon or unusual, but chronic or long-term loneliness can be harmful to your physical, mental, and emotional health. The symptoms of loneliness can contribute to social isolation, and social isolation can lead to the development of loneliness and other symptoms. 

Symptoms of social isolation and loneliness may include:

  • Inability to form deeper connections
  • Feeling unfulfilled or disconnected in your relationships
  • Only have causal friends or acquaintances
  • You feel like people do not “get” you
  • Overwhelming feelings of loneliness in groups
  • Self-doubt and worthlessness
  • Feeling burnt out by social interactions

What Makes Our Program Unique?

At Mindfuli, we can support you with empathic care services and a care team built with your specific needs in mind. We are dedicated to providing you with social and emotional connections through our virtual real-time video and chat-based features from the comfort of your home. Our licensed therapists and care counselors are trained to help you take steps to navigate your emotions and experiences with loneliness and social isolation. In addition, we have a wide network of support services that can help you learn to navigate and work through various life challenges.

Services We Offer

  • Virtual support groups
  • Psychoeducation
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational interviewing

To learn more about how we treat social isolation and loneliness, visit our Social Isolation or Loneliness page.

Getting Help

If you feel like you are experiencing social isolation and symptoms of loneliness, seeking support can help you learn to process your feelings and build deeper social connections. Social isolation and loneliness can make social interactions, forming relationships, and enjoying social activities difficult or impossible. Pursuing treatment and support can help you reconnect with yourself and others, find joy in activities again, and find more purpose in your life. At Mindfuli, we believe empathy is one of the keys to lifelong wellness, and we are committed to supporting you on your mental health journey.

To learn more about our services and how Mindfuli can help you, visit our Home page. 

Social isolation and loneliness can make daily life difficult, but with support, you can start building deeper connections. Our virtual real-time video and chat features at Mindfuli can help you find the social and emotional connection you need. Call (888) 703-3004 today.

We've got you covered!

It gets much better from here. Get 1:1 help that works, and lasts — from the best in online therapy and psychiatry.

Verification of Benefits


Email VOB to  

Include the following:

  • Client Name
  • DOB
  • Client Address
  • Insurance Name
  • ID # 
  • Insurance Phone Number
  • Subscriber Name and Relationship
  • Referred By (Treatment Center)
  • Copy of the Insurance Card if available