In his presentation, Dr. Egemba explained that loneliness is a bodily function and interestingly, human beings have come to realize the need to survive in groups. Therefore, loneliness can set-in when the social interaction needs of an individual are not met. He emphasized that there is a difference between ‘loneliness’ and ‘being alone’ the terms though sound similar are totally different. “Loneliness is a bodily function while being alone is a state of the mind,” he stated.
According to him, mental health condition can lead to loneliness while loneliness can also lead to mental health condition. While there is no precise cause for loneliness, he noted that certain class of persons are more susceptible to loneliness, especially those who are introverted.
Speaking further, Egemba identified two types of loneliness, acute and chronic. “Acute loneliness usually occurs suddenly and are temporal, while chronic loneliness can affect both the mental and physical health of an individual and usually last longer,” he explained.
Commenting on the session, Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, stated that sound mental health is critical to the overall wellbeing of an individual.
According to him, mental health is one issue that needs to be constantly on the front burner because of the impact on human lives. “As a customer-centric brand that cares about the wellbeing of Nigerians, we are doing what we can to increase awareness through advocacy and ensure that the conversation around mental health is sustained, hence the need for the 9mobile Health Talk Series. This time around we chose to look at the nexus between loneliness and mental health and I must commend the facilitator for the session. We believe it is an eye opener for Nigerians and will go a long way to help us understand and better manage the condition whether as a sufferer or a friend or family member to a sufferer,” he said.