More than 200,000 Danes suffer from loneliness
According to the Mary Foundation, some 210,000 Danes aged 16 years or older have experienced loneliness as a constant problem in their lives.
While feeling lonely from time to time is perfectly normal, long-term loneliness can have a serious impact on people’s mental and physical health. And many people find it difficult to talk about it.
Therefore, the Danish public broadcaster DR is launching a project called ‘En som mig’ (‘Someone like me’) that will include various TV and radio programs focused on the issue.
Lack of meaningful social relations
Loneliness typically arises when people lack meaningful social relations – when they feel isolated and anxious about the lack of connectedness to others. Long-term loneliness may then lead to depression and various types of addiction.
“Loneliness is a subjective unpleasant condition that occurs when you experience a contradiction between the relationships you think you have and the relationships you wish you had,” Mathias Lasgaard, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Southern Denmark, explained to DR.
The elderly are at risk
According to Christine E Swane, the head of the Ensomme Gamles Værn (the lonely elderly fund, the elderly are particularly at risk of feeling lonely when their spouse dies. It is also more difficult for them to move around and socialise.
Figures from the National Police show that in 2012, 5,000 Danes died alone because they had no family or acquaintances.