When most of us think of loneliness, we think of sitting by ourselves in our room, aching for companionship or being left with our negative thoughts. But loneliness can also manifest itself in other ways, and there are a number of health symptoms that can be signs of loneliness. Because our body and minds are connected, and social support is so important for mental health, feeling isolated can cause some health issues that at first glance seem unrelated to how connected we are to the world.
"We were created to need one another," psychotherapist Gin Love Thompson, PhD tells Bustle. "Although the need for social interaction varies in extent for each person depending upon their personality, there is always a level of need for connection with others. Increased levels of stress resulting from loneliness can cause cortisol levels to be released in excess which contributes to a myriad of health problems, including autoimmune disorders."
You won't be able to cure all your health issues by spending time with others, but making sure you have a healthy social circle may be able to help. And if these health issues persist, speaking with your doctor or a therapist can help. Here are seven health symptoms that can mean you're lonely, according to experts.