It appears that loneliness is increasing. The most recent U.S. census showed that more than one-fourth of our population lives alone. This rate is the highest ever measured. Also, more than half are not married, and the marriage rate and number of children per household have declined. Volunteerism and religious affiliation have also decreased, which shows declining community engagement.
Loneliness can be a reaction to situational stress, like divorce, the death of an important person, or a move to another place. It may be a temporary response, or it can become chronic, which is the more serious. With chronic loneliness comes a threat to health.
Interventions that address the psychological root causes of loneliness, such as negative thoughts, can be effective, as can more direct and meaningful community engagement, like with book clubs and religious groups.
Novotney, A. (2019). Social isolation: It could kill you. Monitor on Psychology, 50(5), 32-37.