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Loneliness and depression

Caring can be lonely at times, but talking to others can help and we offer advice on where to turn for further support if you're feeling lonely.
3 min read
In this article
Overcoming loneliness Coping with anxiety and depression

Overcoming loneliness

Caring for someone is a big responsibility and can take up a lot of your time. You might even often feel lonely and cut off from the outside world, as it can be so difficult to make time for yourself or you might feel guilty if you're not prioritising the person you're caring for. If you’re starting to feel lonely, it can often help to talk to people close to you or those in a similar situation.

  • Socialise: take time to visit other friends and family, if you can. If you can’t meet in person, a long chat on the phone is a good second best.
  • Meet other carers: even if you have friends and family around you, they may not understand what it’s like to be a carer. If you want to chat to others in the same situation, contact Carers UK, which offers an advice line and online forums for carers.

Carers UK

A national membership charity that champions carers’ rights, connecting and supporting carers online and in local communities.

Carers UK

Join the forum for chat and support:

Carers UK Forum

Advice line for benefit checks and advice on financial matters:

0808 808 7777

Normally open Mon and Tue, 10am–4pm


If you’re caring for someone with dementia, you may find it useful to talk to other dementia carers through the Alzheimer’s Society online forum.

Alzheimer's Society

A charity aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia.

Alzheimer's Society

Online community to get advice, share experiences and connect with others:

Talking Point

National Dementia Helpline:

0300 222 1122

 

Mon–Wed, 9am–8pm; Thu and Fri, 9am–5pm; Sat and Sun, 10am–4pm


If you have speech or hearing difficulties and have a textphone or an adapted computer, you can use Text Relay to call our helpline on:

18001 0300 222 1122

 

We all feel down from time to time, but sometimes the loneliness and isolation of caring can turn into something more serious that needs to be addressed. If you find that talking with other people isn’t helping you cope with the situation, it can be a sign that you need additional support. Talk to your GP, or the charity Mind gives advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

Mind

Charity offering advice and support to anyone with a mental health problem, including how to cope with caring. 

mind.org.uk

Mind offers an online community called Elefriends.

Information on mental health problems, medication and where to get help:

0300 123 3393

Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm, except public holidays

Use our directory to find support groups for carers and people living with dementia.

Coping with anxiety and depression

 

Being a carer can be worrying and stressful at times. Whether you’re responsible for someone 24/7, or struggling to juggle work and your own family life with caring responsibilities, caring for someone close to you is tough. On top of all that, it can be very upsetting to see a loved one going through a difficult time.

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, it’s important to take action. Telling someone how you feel is the first step to feeling better.

  • Visit your GP: tell your GP that you’re a carer and discuss the impact this could be having on your health. Depending on your needs, your GP can advise you about medication or counselling that can help, or provide information on a local carers’ support group.
  • Seek counselling: ask your GP to refer you to a counsellor or look one up yourself. Talking to a trained professional can help you put things in perspective, find better ways to cope with your situation and identify positive ways to improve your thinking.
  • Get information and advice: the charity Depression Alliance offers useful help and advice. It also runs Friends in Need, a supportive community for people living with depression.
  • Carer’s assessment: if you haven’t had a carer’s assessment, consider getting one. This can be a route to counselling or other support. It can also help you to access respite care, to give you a break when things are particularly tough.

And even if you are not experiencing feelings of loneliness or depression, you may know an older person who is – perhaps someone that you are caring for. For tips on how to help an older person tackle loneliness, read our guide to how older people can get help for loneliness.

Further reading

Looking after yourself

If you care for a loved one, it can be easy to forget about your own needs. Find tips on how to look after yourself.

Getting help with caring

We explain your options for extra support if you’re struggling to provide care for a partner, relative or friend.

Planning respite care

The importance of planning ahead, how to access local authority respite care and choosing respite care.

Last updated: 04 Jun 2019