Psychiatrist Victor Frankl’s phone rings late one night, and the voice on the other end of the phone says he’s going to end his life but wants to talk a bit. Frankl listens for a long time…
LONELINESS It is an emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. With plandemi, people were pushed into more loneliness and isolated. So much so that we lived in separate rooms in the same house. People who had come together on special occasions before, have now started to organize events such as weddings, holidays, funerals and birthdays in the digital environment. Even the girl request ceremony or the thesis defense…
Although the blessings of technology are thought to be easy at first, people begin to not enjoy their work because of the lack of emotion. Because the peace of being all together, the “feeling” of sharing, hugging, drinking tea, shared happiness or sadness is missing. Distances and rules came between the human creature, which was going towards loneliness, so it became even more lonely.
From a social point of view, human beings tend to share, live together and do things together. According to Farabi, “man cannot reach all perfections in solitude without the help of other people; man needs neighborliness and unity with other people”. With this thought, Farabi emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity for human beings.
Previously, there was a concept called “neighborhood”; people took care of each other’s troubles and happiness. They would talk and relax. Although the problems are not solved immediately, it would be a relief to share. Nowadays, people do not know their next-door neighbors, they avoid greeting or even meeting. However, what one expects is a smiling face and a sweet tongue. Even in this, mankind became stingy.
Man is a creature inclined to share as a nature. He wants to share his sorrows as well as his joys. When shared, joy increases and sadness decreases. When a person is in trouble, he receives support from another person, finds solace in his suggestions and starts to look at life more positively; This post makes him feel that he is not alone. Nowadays, a person knocks on the door of any psychologist at least once because he cannot do this and cannot find someone to share his problem and guide him. Although this is a good situation for us in terms of supporting people, it is sad to witness their loneliness.
For example, recently, when I was passing an aunt sitting in front of her door, I turned to ask her how she was and saw that she was surprised. “I wonder if he didn’t understand what I said?” As he thought, a look of both surprise and happiness appeared on his face. With a big smile, he said, “I’m fine, how are you?” he replied.
We say “Alhamdulillah, we are Muslims” but we do not live like Muslims. Just as we know that saluting is sunnah and we don’t practice it… That aunt was happy to be noticed and asked about her sake by someone. I was happy that he had a smile on his face too. Especially the elderly feel very lonely. They think, “I don’t have a job anymore, so I don’t have to call and ask.” However, loneliness is a problem not only for us, but also for the world. It is known that especially the young and old people experience a serious loneliness problem as a result of rapid global digitalization during the pandemic process. In fact, a “Ministry of Loneliness” was established in the UK in 2018 and in Japan in 2021 regarding this issue.
“What is the definition of loneliness from a psychological point of view?” If we look at it, we can say that it is the state of not being able to feel the basic psychological needs of human beings such as attachment, commitment, belonging, togetherness and closeness. In other words, it is the feeling that there is no one around to experience these things. The way of thinking that accompanies this feeling is a way of feeling accompanied by the thought of seeing oneself as inferior and weak from other people, such as “I am not worthy and worthy of love”.
What are the types of loneliness?
Engin Geçtan, in his book “Being Human”, classified loneliness as follows:
“A person becomes lonely by isolating himself from society. People living alone feel lonely.
Loneliness due to exclusion from the environment, loneliness by minimizing relations with the environment…
True loneliness is when a person feels not understood and feels lonely. Temporary loneliness is a positive kind of loneliness in a constructive and productive sense with one’s own choice and one’s own will.
What is healthy loneliness?
Healthy solitude is a temporary retreat of one’s own will to produce something. It is a fact that this process brings constructive productivity to the person. Sometimes people want to be alone with themselves, to settle accounts. The desire to be alone to read and write a book, the solitude of the painter who paints, or the solitude of the person who prays and prays gives peace. These are exceptional situations that are beneficial, constructive and peaceful.
If we go back to loneliness again… Loneliness kills conversation. The fact that there is no one around to share his success and happiness with makes a person unemotional. The things that a normal person enjoys seem meaningless and simple to that person. These prevent the person from living a healthy life, as well as lead the person to depression and make irreversible mistakes. As a result of selfish behaviors in the family and selfish thoughts such as “I want this” or “My choices”, these people are condemned to loneliness. These people will have prepared their end with their own hands. Since these people do not have insight, they continue to live with their loneliness by blaming the other party.
Social support is an important concept in psychology. We can define social support as “helping the people around the individual in a situation of stress when he is in a difficult situation or unable to cope”. It makes us feel that we are not alone, that we are cared for, that we are loved, that we are respected, and that we have a bond with others. Our religion encourages people to be united and together and commands us to have relations of kinship and friendship, which we call “sila-i rahim”. These are behaviors and feelings that take people away from loneliness, lead to unity and togetherness, and are good for the person.
Areas where people take shelter in escaping from the feeling of loneliness
Entering or maintaining unhealthy relationships: Those who suffer from chronic loneliness are able to stay in contact with people they would not normally want to have a relationship with. When the feeling of loneliness is severe, in bilateral relations, without thinking, without questioning whether or not he will have a harmonious relationship with the other person, and regardless of whether he is properly, reliable, conscious and aware of his responsibilities, he enters into a baseless, love and respect relationship with the person he meets. they can take the right path. For fear of being abandoned and being alone again, they feel compelled to say “yes” to anything offered to them, even if they don’t want to. After a while, this relationship, which does not give them happiness and goes with one-sided self-sacrifice, becomes unbearable for them. On the one hand, he cannot leave because he is afraid of being alone, on the other hand, he continues his unhappy life.
Taking refuge in matter: In order to escape or suppress the feeling of loneliness, people sometimes take shelter in alcohol or other addictive substances. They think the way to feel less pain is to numb. When they get rid of the influence of matter, they are left alone with reality again. Substance use has serious consequences both financially and morally, and they face it over time. Sometimes, when the situation starts to become unbearable, they come to seek psychological support. When they want to get out of their deadlock and make an effort, we get very good and positive results. Intention and willingness are key here. There is no progress with those who set out with the idea that “I will continue to use drugs, and if I get confused, I go to get psychological support from time to time”. It’s like one-sided rowing and you can’t go forward or backward. The important thing is to never start substance use.
Engaging the mind and body with tiring tasks: The more I tire myself or keep my mind busy, the more I fill the void inside of me and I forget” they resort to this way. Repressed emotions, every emotion that is not confronted, after a while, appears as both physical and psychological problems. Getting psychological support instead of tiring your mind and body will prevent future health problems. For example, a client who lives with her cat explains the way to cope with this feeling of loneliness after losing her cat by saying, “I thought I would get rid of this feeling if I gave myself to heavy and tiring work.” He works hard and gets very tired both physically and mentally. As a result, he suffers from both physical and mental health problems.
“Loneliness, a moment in life/ Always starting over/ Incomprehensible from the outside.
Or a big lie/ Chasing more and more/ Not shared.
Think about it, what separates me to you/ Loneliness is not shared/ If shared, there will be no loneliness.” (Ozdemir Asaf)
Psychiatrist Victor Frankl’s phone rings late one night, and the voice on the other end of the phone says he’s going to end his life but wants to talk a bit. Frankl listens for a long time. Close to the shutdown, the caller says, “I gave up,” and the caller says, “If a person can listen to me for this long at this late hour of the night, it means there is still hope in this world.” (Victor Frankl, 1967)
There is always hope and a way out in this short worldly life, where time flies like water and happiness and goodness multiply by sharing.