Loneliness in the UK

loneliness_eloscounselingA subject often not talked about has suddenly become popular “loneliness”. A recent report from the National office of statistic claims that Great Britain is the loneliest place in Europe. Statistically, the British, are less likely to bond and make lasting friendships or even know their neighbors.

It’s often quoted that loneliness is an issue for the old, but actually is becoming more and  more an issue for the young, married up with statistics say that the biggest killer of men between the ages of 18 and 34 suicides, the evidence speaks for itself. A statistic from the charity the Samaritans, quoted that one in four men who call the service mentioned loneliness and isolation.

A recent article on radio 4 stated that objects which are plugged into the Internet becoming increasingly popular, stay connected to the cyber world is becoming a paramount importance. This says a lot, that we want to communicate with others however impersonal.

What can the young do to fight loneliness, of the social media can be a boon or very problematic inasmuch that people don’t really say what’s on their mind but rather skirt round the peripheral issues. Maybe one of the services that can be offered through cyberspace is online chat rooms which effectively become group therapy; of course, how one maintains confidentiality and security would have to be looked into what the problem is not insurmountable.


Eleos Counseling would be very interested in hearing comments regarding online therapy, or online forums which help support people who are lonely. Please feel free to comment.


Internet Addiction

eleoscounselling,internet_addictionCan somebody be addicted to the Internet?

Being online has become part of everyday life, for lots of households in the UK. Most people are able to control the time they spend in cyberspace, others can become pre-occupied with the Internet and are unable to control the time they spend online,  which can certainly lead to problems for some people. Like any form of repeated behaviour, such as gambling, exercise, and shopping, the Internet can become addictive.  The brain can become the psychologically addicted, or neuroadapted. Effectively, the brain becomes wired to accept a certain kind of stimulus and when it doesn’t receive that stimulus it goes looking for it. For some, escaping into cyberspace, when life becomes too difficult for them, or they have to deal with difficult situations or emotions has become a way of life. Below are some of the symptoms which can be, warning signs that a person has become cyber dependent.  Excessive time online, can also be a coping strategy to deal with life’s difficulties, if this is a sole coping strategy it can leave one feeling isolated and alone. Furthermore, contribute to a dependency on its use.

Warning signs of Internet addiction

  • Finding yourself losing track of time whilst online
  • Experiencing mixed emotions which may include a sense of well-being or guilt/ whilst online.
  • Favouring online activities to spending time with your family and friends
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to curtail your online use.
  • Feeling irritable and depressed when you are away from your computer all the time spent has been interrupted.
  • Using your computer to deal with negative feelings such as sadness, anger, guilt and shame.

Excessive time online can cause physical discomfort and pain, mainly because you are sitting among place for a great deal of time. There are some of the physical difficulties, one can have from excessive Internet use.

  • Pains or numbness in your hands that can spread to the wrists, elbows and shoulders. This can be the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Pains in your back or neck
  • Irritable or dry eyes or eyestrain
  • Severe headaches
  • Disturbed sleep

Recognising you or someone close to you has a problem

The first and most important step in treating any form of dependency, including Internet addiction, is recognising that there is a problem. It is normal for an individual to deny they have a dependency, but if the cost of online use outweighs any benefit. There is a need for some form of treatment.


Eleos counselling has many years helping people overcome addictions. If you would like to know more you can click on the link below and it will take you to a more comprehensive page on addictions.