Social isolation is both a potential cause and a symptom of emotional or psychological challenges.
As a cause, the perceived inability to interact with the world and others can create an escalating pattern of these challenges.
In a hypothesis proposed by Cacioppo and colleagues, the isolation of a member of a social species has detrimental biological effects.
In a 2009 review, Cacioppo and Hawkley noted that the health, life, and genetic legacy of members of social species are threatened when they find themselves on the social perimeter.
This can and many times does coincide with mood related disorders, but also with loneliness.
Social isolation in the common starling, a highly social, flocking species of bird, has also been shown to stress the isolated birds.A study conducted by Jung-Hwa Ha and Berit Ingersoll-Dayton concluded that widows who had a lot of social contact and interactions lead to fewer depressive symptoms.During a time of loss social isolation is not beneficial to an individual's mental health.During this time of development, a person may become more preoccupied with feelings and thoughts of their individuality that are not easy to share with other individuals.This can result from feelings of shame, guilt, or alienation during childhood experiences.During the early childhood developmental years, the need to fit in and be accepted is paramount.