Lonely young adults have twice the chance of experiencing depression or anxiety than the general population, according to new research.
The analysis of 2000 millennials in England and Wales published in the journal Psychological Medicine showed that seven per cent of participants said they “often” had feelings of loneliness while between 23 per cent and 31 per cent said they had felt left out or lacking in companionship.
The figures showed that the odds of experiencing mental health problems for those who identified as lonely more than doubled, while their chances of being unemployed increased by 38 per cent. They were prone to adopt “negative coping strategies” such as smoking and not exercising.
A recent survey by the British Office for National Statistics found that 16–24-year-olds were even more lonely than the over 75s. It revealed that five per cent of adults in England report feeling lonely “often” or “always”, with younger adults – aged between 16 and 24 – more likely to experience loneliness than older age groups.
It also found women, widows, single people, renters and those with poor health were more predisposed to loneliness than others.