ACKNOWLEDGING LONELINESS. Isolation can be a rough measure of loneliness. Juric says that: “researchers have … found that, when it comes to health effects, there is little difference between isolation and the perception of loneliness.” Figures for Canada, the US and the UK show that almost 30 per cent of the population in those countries lives alone—which suggests the scale of the problem.

I still have hopes that connections on the internet would help solve the problem of loneliness. However, Juric points out that the internet has not been a panacea. He quotes a young woman who “often finds herself behind her computer screen or on her phone chatting to strangers—people she knows she most likely will never meet in person. ‘I feel like I only talk to ‘online people’ I don’t know.’”

Juric points out that in some ways depression is easier to acknowledge and discuss than is loneliness. He himself concludes by acknowledging that: “Seeing my own loneliness typed out has left me utterly vulnerable. It has been one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.”

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