Close this search box.


Loneliness a pain of today’s decreasing spiral possible even in the person sitting next to you

The physical and psychological toll of loneliness worldwide is significant. According to one survey, 22% of Americans and 23% of Britons admitted to often or always experiencing feelings of loneliness before the pandemic. In October 2020, as many as 36 percent of Americans felt “deeply lonely.”

What is loneliness



Solitude _ Beatrice Sperindè B.S.

What is loneliness

Being isolated, with poor social ties, or even feeling lonely, despite living in appropriate social settings, is perhaps the most painful and also the most dangerous physical condition for human health. Those who feel lonely constantly live in a state of alertness, fearing judgment from others, fear of rejection, experiencing guilt and lack of perspective. Through silences and moments of isolation, it communicates to the outside world its need for listening, human warmth, acceptance and trusted presence .

It is a defense mechanism. Emotional isolation is not accidental but often results from past trauma. Therefore, those in this condition need certainty and stability in their relationship with others.

Loneliness is a hidden subjective condition, different from social isolation, which is objective. It is the person himself who should communicate his inner state. The desire for bonding is present.

If persistent, feelings of loneliness can cause changes in the brain, creating a vicious cycle that hinders the ability to trust and make contact with others.


An experiment conducted a few years ago at the Neumayer III polar station near the Ekström ice shelf in Antarctica focused on studying loneliness. A team of German scientists wanted to test how social isolation and environmental monotony affected people’s brains during long stays in Antarctica.

In 2019, researchers described a reduction in volume in the prefrontal cortex, located at the front of the brain behind the forehead, which is mainly responsible for decision making and problem solving. Socially isolated subjects also had lower levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that promotes nerve cell development and survival in the brain.

Further studies have shown that chronic loneliness leads to significant brain changes that exacerbate the problem over time.

Neuroscience indicates that loneliness is not caused by fear or lack of social opportunities, but rather by stalemates generated by our brain circuits and behavior. On the one hand, the individual desires physical and human contact, but on the other hand he or she perceives it as unreliable, judgmental, and unfriendly-a reason for danger. This dualism leads to conscious or unconscious estrangement. Research on loneliness confirms a change in our thinking.


The brain needs to be reprogrammed through positive behaviors to eliminate negative biases that have developed as a result of traumatic events. In fearful situations, attention tends to focus on negative and dangerous actions, so it is important to also direct it toward positive behaviors in order to create favorable emotions and associations. Mental and physical reeducation progressively enables the recovery of confidence in human relationships and contact with others.

Finally, a change and greater awareness of humanity is desirable. We need to pay more attention to these human emotional states that we are facing on a daily basis.

My paintings

Beatrice Sperindè _ B.S.