Ep. 89: How to help a teenager who's lonely image
S8 E89 · Teenage Kicks Podcast
Ep. 89: How to help a teenager who's lonely
Ep. 89: How to help a teenager who's lonely

"Loneliness is a condition that's just as bad for you as cancer", says Dr Richard Pile, a GP and specialist in loneliness. He goes on to say that the age bracket most affected by loneliness is young adults aged 16-24. 

Loneliness at a young age can leave mental health 'scars' in the same way that physical injuries stay with us for the rest of our lives. So it's important to help our teenagers identify when they're lonely, and learn what to do about it. 

What can we do to prevent loneliness in teenagers? 

  • Try to mitigate the effects of academic pressure. Richard sees a lot of teenagers who are isolating thanks to the stress of expectations from schools and ambitious families. We need to help our kids work out what makes them happy, and encourage them to spend time doing more of that.  
  • Help them realise that feeling lonely at times is normal. Boredom, stress and loneliness help kids learn who they are and work out what they want to do next. It's only a problem when it's long-term. 
  • Digital connection is valuable (especially during the pandemic) but a lot of young people got out of the habit of connecting in a physical space because of the ease of online interactions. We need to help our kids learn how to enjoy being with other people more often.
  • Fight the "cult of the individual". Wellbeing comes from interdependency with friends and family - community.  

Who is Dr Richard Pile? 

Richard is an NHS GP specialising in Lifestyle Medicine and Cardiology. Outside of the surgery, his other jobs include promoting lifestyle medicine amongst the public and health professionals, training & appraisal, and being a mentor and coach.

He has written for the national press and the British Medical Journal and is the author of a book on wellbeing.

More from Richard : 

More from Helen Wills:

Helen wills is a teen mental health podcaster and blogger at Actually Mummy, a resource for midlife parents of teens.

Thank you for listening! Subscribe to the Teenage Kicks podcast to hear new episodes. If you have a suggestion for the podcast please get in touch.

You can find more from Helen Wills on parenting teenagers on Instagram and Twitter @iamhelenwills.

For information on your data privacy please visit Zencastr's policy page

Please note that Helen Wills is not a medical expert, and nothing in the podcast should be taken as medical advice. If you're worried about yourself or a teenager, please seek support from a medical professional.

Episode produced by Michael J Cunningham.

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"Loneliness is a condition that's just as bad for you as cancer", says Dr Richard Pile, a GP and specialist in loneliness. He goes on to say that the age bracket most affected by loneliness is young adults aged 16-24. 

Loneliness at a young age can leave mental health 'scars' in the same way that physical injuries stay with us for the rest of our lives. So it's important to help our teenagers identify when they're lonely, and learn what to do about it. 

What can we do to prevent loneliness in teenagers? 

  • Try to mitigate the effects of academic pressure. Richard sees a lot of teenagers who are isolating thanks to the stress of expectations from schools and ambitious families. We need to help our kids work out what makes them happy, and encourage them to spend time doing more of that.  
  • Help them realise that feeling lonely at times is normal. Boredom, stress and loneliness help kids learn who they are and work out what they want to do next. It's only a problem when it's long-term. 
  • Digital connection is valuable (especially during the pandemic) but a lot of young people got out of the habit of connecting in a physical space because of the ease of online interactions. We need to help our kids learn how to enjoy being with other people more often.
  • Fight the "cult of the individual". Wellbeing comes from interdependency with friends and family - community.  

Who is Dr Richard Pile? 

Richard is an NHS GP specialising in Lifestyle Medicine and Cardiology. Outside of the surgery, his other jobs include promoting lifestyle medicine amongst the public and health professionals, training & appraisal, and being a mentor and coach.

He has written for the national press and the British Medical Journal and is the author of a book on wellbeing.

More from Richard : 

More from Helen Wills:

Helen wills is a teen mental health podcaster and blogger at Actually Mummy, a resource for midlife parents of teens.

Thank you for listening! Subscribe to the Teenage Kicks podcast to hear new episodes. If you have a suggestion for the podcast please get in touch.

You can find more from Helen Wills on parenting teenagers on Instagram and Twitter @iamhelenwills.

For information on your data privacy please visit Zencastr's policy page

Please note that Helen Wills is not a medical expert, and nothing in the podcast should be taken as medical advice. If you're worried about yourself or a teenager, please seek support from a medical professional.

Episode produced by Michael J Cunningham.

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