Mornings and evenings are getting darker and in just over a week we will be turning the clocks back to signify the end of summer.

Research shows that Britons go into ‘hibernation’ mode and batten down the hatches for winter as the nights draw in. The winter months can feel very lonely and some may feel even lonelier with the average Briton only venturing out socially once a week.

Loneliness is a recognised problem among the elderly but they are not the only ones that can feel lonely. It can feel like a vicious circle. Loneliness is our body’s way of telling us that we need more social contact however very few people are comfortable to admit to feeling this way or to ask for help.

Being alone is not the same as being lonely. There is nothing wrong with being on your own, as long as you are comfortable with it. Often loneliness is described as either not speaking or talking to anyone very often or that even when surrounded by people, you feel as if you are not understood or cared for.

Over the coming days we are going to take a closer look at this ‘hidden’ subject and it’s link with obesity and tips to help ease the feeling. Tomorrow a past patient will be opening you to share their experience.