Always Feels Alone

Published: June 01, 2015
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I am actually not sure how to start, so I apologise for any misunderstanding or apparent randomness. Ever since I remember I've felt alone. Yes, I have friends, few but very close, and no, it doesn't go away just by being with people. In fact, being in a group, let's say 5-6 persons makes me feel more alone and apart from my friends. I think it might be a result for my childhood, my brother (same age as me, 16) had cancer when we were very little, my father was working and my mother had to be with him in the hospital. I would usually be in waiting rooms or in a relative's house. I also didn't have a friend until I was like five or six, I was kind of and outcast back then. I also don't talk a lot, but my friends are okay with that, though it does make other people feel nervous about me. I don't know if you can really help me with it at all, but loneliness hurts. It doesn't help that I'm really sensitive sometimes either. So, sorry for the long pharagraph and any grammar mistakes, english is not my mother tongue.

Dear Always Feels Alone,

Feeling alone in a room full of people is actually is an experience many people can identify and relate to.  Frequently it occurs because the person is deep within his/her thoughts that he/she are not actively participating in the group conversation or activity. You often hear this described as “stuck deep inside my head.” The person is so preoccupied with their thoughts that they feel disconnected from the group. If you feel lonely and depressed and you’re around a group of people, it makes sense that the situation is only going to add to the feelings of isolation. 

Having a sibling with a serious illness during childhood can have a huge impact on an individual, especially during the early formative years of development. The illness begins to dictate the course of action for the whole family and involves sacrifices on everyone’s part. Although the child recognizes the seriousness of the situation, it is normal for him/her to feel neglected. It is not selfish; children need guidance and support in order to navigate the early years and develop a sense of security. Without that support, life can seem over whelming and fear creeps in. Most children are not able to articulate these feelings at a young age and if they do, they feel guilty or are admonished for being selfish. A child who is struggling, is not being selfish, usually they’re trying to shake that feeling of being invisible. If this situation is not addressed then the child begins to internalize everything, which is the best way to get “stuck deep inside your head,” and feeling cutoff others. 

Having 5-6 goods friends show that you have qualities that other people like but it will not fill the void you have been feeling. Only you can do that and because of the circumstances in your early life, it would be self-defeating to do it alone. TeenHealthFX strongly believes working with a therapist in dealing with the intense feelings of loneliness and isolation is extremely important. 

If other people are nervous around you because you are shy, that is really more of their issue. There is a tendency for other’s to treat shy people like a blank slate and write on it as they wish. It can be a form of projection, because they have no real information to go on. You’ll find that the people who really know you well are at ease around you.  


Signed: TeenHealthFX