This article was originally published by Good Therapy
Friendship can help people feel connected and allow for the sharing of thoughts and emotions. It may even contribute to a longer lifespan! Without close friendships, isolation and feelings of loneliness can lead to mental health issues such as depression. Studies indicate that people with less social connection may have weaker immune systems and physical health. Other studies show that currently, people report having fewer friends they can confide in than in past years.
There are many reasons a person may have fewer friendships. They may have physical or mental health issues that prevent them from meeting others. Some people might have difficulty with social interaction. This can be due to shyness, social anxiety, autism, or another condition. Others simply prioritize different areas of their life and feel they have little time to invest in friendships.
If you feel a lack of friendship is affecting your mental health, help is available. Speaking with a therapist is one way to work on issues that make friendship difficult. A therapist may help you learn how to meet your personal needs for social connection or share some strategies for making friends. They might help with social skills, time management, or offer guidance in addressing recurring issues that may have harmed past friendships.