Are some mental health issues just symptoms of loneliness?

Are low-level mental health issues as simple as loneliness?

This is the story of a HR professional with anxiety and self esteem issues. Let’s call him Doug, here is his story.

“I am a contract HR professional, I work short term for companies, sometimes just a week, up to maybe 6 months. I work from home when I’m not busy.
After a while, I noticed that I was getting prickly feelings in my skin and sometimes my skin felt hot and my fingertips seemed to be really sensitive. I started to worry about what it was and made the mistake of looking it up on the internet, which made things worse.
So added to these feelings I noticed that I occasionally got dizzy and felt faint. Eventually I went to the doctor and was told that I had anxiety. The doctor put me on pills that made me feel worse.

However, I noticed that when I was working I didn’t feel any of these symptoms. In fact, when I walked into a workplace, even with people I’d never met before I felt fine.
This all came to a head when I had a short contract to do some HR training. It was only a week, training around 10 people each day in employment law. I found to my astonishment that each day was a pleasure. When I stood up in front of each group and started interacting with them, my energy levels shot up. I loved it, and the feedback I got afterwards was amazing.

So I thought to myself ‘Is my anxiety just loneliness?’

I found Phil Gowler online and we met for a few sessions, principally so I could stop taking the pills and get my anxiety sorted. Phil helped me realise that we are indeed social animals, we need people around us. He also talked about Energy, how we pick up on the energy of other people and it can feed us, it can fill us up with more energy than we can create on our own. When we are in a positive group the energy just grows and grows, we add to it and build a powerful positivity that enthuses everybody.

I believe that being on your own is good, once in a while, so that we can think and plan, and look at our life and work. But people can inspire us, they can enthuse us, they can affirm that we are doing something useful and that we have value. I now do my best to avoid working from home. I meet with clients and other HR professionals, I go to coffee shops to do my working and planning, and sometimes I just go somewhere nice to chill out. I haven’t been anxious since.”