Although loneliness may seem timeless and universal, the word seems to have originated in the 16th century,
The long, dark days of winter can be a particularly lonely time for some people. But hermits, in many religious traditions, often found joy in being alone.
Loneliness shortens our life spans and some studies suggest it's even more lethal than obesity. We are physiologically and psychologically primed for connection, so don't shrug off your loneliness.
Loneliness is a major cause of health problems, and many programs have aimed to alleviate it among the elderly. But it might be wise to treat loneliness at its roots, which for many is in childhood.