How Can I Tell If I Am Isolated?


In general, if you are isolated you may feel something is missing in your life.


However, you may not know how to change your circumstances or rebuild your social life. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have someone to turn to when you need something, e.g., going to the store for food or medicine when you have the flu, moving a box that is too heavy for you to lift, or filling out a form you do not understand?


  • Do you have someone to turn to in times of crisis, e.g., to take you to the hospital, to take care of your pet if you have to leave home, or to call if your wallet is stolen and you have no money to get home?


  • Do you have someone with whom you can share your happiness, sadness, dreams, and worries?


  • Overall, do you feel satisfied with how often you are with people and the quality of those relationships?


If you answer YES to all of these questions, chances are you are not isolated. If you answer NO to all of these questions, chances are you are experiencing isolation.


Please note: If you find that the reason you are able to answer “yes” to these questions is because you rely on the same one or two people for assistance and support, this is a sign that your network is dangerously small.


What is Social and Emotional Isolation?

How Does Isolation Happen?

What Impact Can Isolation Have?

What Can I Do to Reduce or Eliminate Isolation?


This resource provides brief, general information about this topic. It does not take the place of specific instructions you may receive from health care or service providers. Copyright NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital 2006. All rights reserved.