A large Australian study suggests that feelings of loneliness could lead to other mental health problems such as depression, social anxiety, and paranoia.
The paper, which followed more than 1,000 people over a six-month period, also found that those suffering from social anxiety were more likely to be lonely in the future.
It’s important to note that correlation doesn’t equal causation, and there could be other factors involved here. But the researchers hope that the research will encourage further study into the way some mental health issues and loneliness can be entwined.
Although it’s easy to think that depression and loneliness are two sides of the same coin, the two are actually psychologically distinct – while loneliness relates specifically to relationships, depression encompasses more general mental health issues.