Loneliness is much more than just feeling sad or isolated. It is the ultimate ground source of unhappiness—the underlying reality of all negative human behavior that manifests as anxiety, depression, envy, guilt, hostility, or shame. It underlies aggression, domestic violence, murder, PTSD, suicide, and other serious issues. This book explains why the drive to avoid loneliness and secure intimacy is the most powerful psychological need in all human beings; documents how human beings gravitate between two motivational poles: loneliness and intimacy; and advocates for an understanding of loneliness through the principles of idealism, rationalism, and insight.
Readers will understand the underlying theory of consciousness that explains why people are lonely, thereby becoming better equipped to recognize sources of loneliness in themselves as well as others. Written by a licensed social worker and former mental health therapist, the book documents why whenever individuals or groups feel lonely, alienated, estranged, disenfranchised, or rejected, they will either withdraw within and shut down, or they will attack others with little thought of consequence to either themselves or others. Perhaps most importantly, the work identifies the antidotes to loneliness as achieving a sense of belonging, togetherness, and intimacy through empathic emotional attachments, which come from a mutual sharing of “lived experiences” such as feelings, meanings, and values; constant positive communication; and equal decision making.
- Provides key insight into the dynamics of loneliness, enabling readers to be able to recognize its sources and counter its insidious and invidious force—not only in one's self, but in others as well
- Presents cross-disciplinary perspectives that addresses and critiques both philosophical and psychological views on loneliness
- Reviews the works and words of philosophers from Descartes to Kant and Wittgenstein, and of psychologists from Freud to Erikson, Fromm, and Mahler
- Authored by a former mental health therapist who has taught philosophy for more than 30 years