The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it long-term social isolation in order to protect physical health. But this brought with it severe ramifications for mental health. Social isolation and loneliness became a widespread problem after the pandemic despite the fact that they were both pre-existing problems before the pandemic.
Understanding Social Isolation
On its face, social isolation is not necessarily a bad thing, just like stress. From time to time, plenty of people crave opportunities to work or create in solitude. Solitude or temporary isolation can provide a meditative and calming space, but social isolation can quickly compound into something that people don’t actively choose, in which case it becomes very unhealthy.
Some signs and symptoms of a problem include:
- Spending significant time without any contact with others
- Starting to dread social interactions
- Feeling distress while avoiding people
- Experiencing panic in social settings
- Canceling plans regularly and then feeling a flood of relief once plans are canceled
- Avoiding social activities you once enjoyed
Causes of Social Isolation
Social isolation was an issue that predated COVID-19, and to that end, there are several circumstances or causes that can contribute to the development of social isolation:
Experiencing abuse in a relationship can lead people to avoid any social engagement because they don’t want to reveal what is happening within their intimate partnership.
Mental Health Disorder
Mental health disorders can result from social isolation, but they can also cause it. Individuals, for example, struggling with depression, may live with a constant battle inside where the only thing they want is for someone to notice that there is a problem, but at the same time, their biggest fear is that someone will see there is a problem. This constant battle might encourage them to avoid social interactions entirely.
Anyone who relocates for work, school, or military service or is in any way geographically separated from their friends and family can experience profound issues of isolation. Moving to a new location, whether temporarily or permanently, can be a challenge when it comes to making new friends and engaging with others on a social and emotional basis.
Death in the Family
A death in the family can lead to significant grief and social isolation, especially when individuals don’t want to have to talk about what took place or they are older and are tired of making new friends only to lose them.
People who are having trouble securing employment can struggle with low self-esteem, and this can lead to self-imposed social isolation.
Social media can convince people that they are, incorrectly, connecting with others, but instead, they are not having meaningful conversations, emotional connections, or in-person socialization, which can exacerbate mental health disorders or lead to the development of mental health disorders.
Emotional Isolation from Social Isolation
Social isolation, when it becomes problematic, can leave you feeling anxious, depressed, lonely, or with low self-esteem. It usually stems from a form of emotional isolation as well. This emotional isolation presents as an unwillingness to share with others, share in the feelings of others, support one another, or engage in any type of emotional interaction.
Over time, this emotional detachment and isolation causes individuals to develop a numbness toward their own emotions, which can make it next to impossible to process anything that you feel or experience down the line, leading to further isolation, self-esteem issues, anxiety, and depression.
Social Isolation and Mental Health Treatment
Social isolation can lead to several mental health conditions, particularly depression and anxiety. It can also exacerbate symptoms of an existing condition.
If you are struggling with social isolation and symptoms of mental health disorders as a result, it’s essential that you get comprehensive mental health treatment from a facility that specializes in whole-person approaches to well-being.
Why Choose Water Gap Wellness Center
Water Gap Wellness Center offers a continuum of care for mental health and dual-diagnosis conditions. We specialize in flexible outpatient programs that can really make a difference, including:
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Traditional outpatient programs
When you reach out to our team about flexible outpatient mental health program in PA, we will walk you through an initial assessment to determine the best program length and type for you. We will also provide information on the several holistic services and therapy options we think would be a good fit. This might include:
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Group therapy
- Recreational activities
- Individual therapy
Social isolation can bring with it serious risks for mental health. If you think that you are experiencing ramifications of social isolation, get treatment today.
Don’t wait to get help. Call us at (877) 414-3281 to learn more about mental health treatment for social isolation.