Finland has seen a rise in young people seeking treatment for "emotional loneliness." This affliction affects members of all strata, regardless of social status or income, but is particularly prevalent in women, national broadcaster Yle reported.
According to Robban Nilsson of the Helsinki Mission, one of the numerous organizations offering help for sufferers of loneliness, clients continue to flock from all areas of the Greater Helsinki region.
Nilsson described this condition as having nobody to share one's problems, thoughts or inner crises with. Therefore, it is somewhat surprising, he argued, that the clientele doesn't revolve around immigrants or people who have recently moved to the city. Both among speakers of Finnish and Swedish, the majority of clients are women.
"The fact is that our typical client is just over 20 years old, studies at a university and has a rich social life with many acquaintances but few friends. Additionally, she also has some form of anxiety," Robban Nilsson told Yle.
"You might say that women are smarter and have a better understanding. One might also say that they tend to open up about their problems," Nilsson contended, citing a plethora of possible reasons. He also added that women are statistically better at seeking help on time.
Nilsson described loneliness as "one of the few things" totally entrenched in Western society.
"Loneliness does not take into account social status, income, place of residence or weltanschauung, loneliness is everywhere," Nilsson argued, adding that it was fully possible to have people around and yet feel alone, a state he described as a "paradox and a problem."
According to him, many people try and solve the problem by having as many friends as possible, yet encounter a barrier of mistrust toward their acquaintances. Unfortunately, he argued, there was no single way out of loneliness, or it wouldn't be around anymore.
"Breaking a bad mood is like a dance with different steps you have yet to learn. You have to start by accepting that you are alone at this moment," Nilsson said. According to him, one shouldn't hesitate to seek professional help. "You must also dare to step out and contact someone," he added, suggesting that traditional societal tips, such as "playing soccer" or joining an orchestra might not help.
Lastly, however, he also reminded that there are actually people who want to be left alone and have no qualms about it.
"Just because someone is sitting alone in the dining room does not mean that the person is a total outcast, it can actually be a conscious choice," Nilsson said, reinforcing the stereotype about his taciturn compatriots.