Lack of Social Support Nursing Diagnosis and Nursing Care Plan

Lack of Social Support Nursing Care Plans Diagnosis and Interventions

Lack of Social Support NCLEX Review and Nursing Care Plans

Social support involves having a network of family and friends to turn to in times of need. These relationships are vital in how people operate in day-to-day life, whether they are facing a difficult period and need immediate help or simply want to hang out with people they care about.

Whether a person has had a terrible day at work or a year full of grief or medical problem, solid social support can be crucial to help them get through the stress of difficult times.

However, social support is not a one-way path; in addition to depending on others, one can also serve as a source of support for others.

Lack of social support, on the other hand, happens when a person has no or unsupportive friends and family whom they can depend on in times of need.

Lack of social support can lead to loneliness and isolation, so it is critical to have people in our lives who either empathize or are willing to try, particularly during challenging moments.

If friends and family members are unsupportive, such as by blaming the patient for the effects of his or her sickness or making careless comments, the patient may become disheartened.

Lack of social support has also been associated with changes in brain functions as well as an increased risk of alcohol abuse, cardiovascular illness, depression, and suicide.

Benefits of Social Support

Making the effort to develop a social support network is a sensible investment in both mental and physical health and longevity. The following benefits of having a strong social support network are listed below:

  1. Boosts the ability to cope with stressful situations. Stress has been linked to various negative health outcomes, including decreased immunity and an increased risk of heart disease. Being around kindhearted encouraging individuals can help people feel more adept at dealing with the challenges of life.
  2. Promotes healthy choices and habits. People who have adequate social support are more likely to engage in healthful habits. If a person tries to quit an awful habit like smoking or drinking too much alcohol, he or she will quickly recognize the value of social support. If friends and family provide encouragement and support, reaching the objective may become much more achievable.
  3. Enhances self-esteem and motivation. People can also benefit from social support when striving to meet their goals. Those who are trying to reduce weight, for example, often find that connecting with others who are pursuing the same objective is beneficial. Engaging with friends and family members who are going through similar situations can provide a lot of support, understanding, and encouragement.
  4. Promotes adequate mental health. Lack of social support is likely to make people more prone to mental health issues. Because having social support increases one’s ability to cope with stressful events, it also reduces the impacts of emotional distress, which can lead to lifelong mental health promotion.
  5. Decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Having a strong social support system has been found to reduce blood pressure, lessening a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Social support can also motivate people to comply with their treatment plans, resulting in better health outcomes.

Coping with Lack of Social Support

What can a person do if the individuals who should be the most supportive of him or her are not? It might be difficult to obtain social support from others in our network, but some steps can be taken to find the help and understanding that a person requires.

  1. Acceptance. Accept that the lack of social support from friends and family could be due to various reasons. Their actions could be deeply rooted and instinctive, with nothing to do with the person in need of social support. Perhaps they were raised in a setting where it was told that showing vulnerability was inappropriate. Unsupportive relatives and friends may simply require knowledge to better comprehend what a person is going through.
  2. Begin with oneself. Starting with oneself is one of the best methods to find the support one requires. Practice being patient and kind to oneself and listen to what the inner voice is saying. When an individual is pretty negative, for example, he or she may be adding to the overall stress and worry but keeping these regular self-talks pleasant until they become a habit would undoubtedly help.
  3. Self-care habits. Looking for opportunities for self-care, such as doing things that boost mood or caring for one’s body, is one way to treat oneself well. Start by establishing a list of activities that a person enjoys, such as having a hot bath, reading a book, napping in the afternoon, chatting with a friend, listening to music, or spending a stroll around the park.
  4. Recognize that others may be struggling as well. Understand that some people are concerned about others’ hardships yet unable to provide active support. A friend who is coping with their problems and is unable to provide anything else to others is an excellent example of this predicament. When people are dealing with their difficulties or feelings, they may be unable to offer a helping hand. It is not that they do not care about a friend or family member who needs support; they simply don’t have the internal capabilities to do more than look after themselves in some moments.
  5. Seek support from outside. When close friends and family are unable to support, it can be beneficial to seek out others who can. Support groups, both in-person and online, can be an excellent resource. Although members of support groups may initially appear to be strangers, friendships grow quickly as they share common experiences. Even so, there is nothing like conversing with someone who understands.
  6. Directly request support. People who lack social support should not be hesitant to ask for what they truly want. There may be times when individuals are more than willing to help and support someone if they are aware of their needs. Most friends and family members want to help, but they have no idea what a friend or relative might want. Being explicit and direct will increase the likelihood of receiving the support that a person requires. People cannot read our minds, so we must all remember that sometimes all we need to do is speak up.
  7. Put an end to bad relationships. For those who lack social support, removing bad people from their lives or finding strategies to reduce the damage can be beneficial. There will always be people who are malicious and destructive, regardless of what they do. These negative persons should be eliminated from the lives of someone who already lack social support if at all possible. If the relationship cannot be ended, limiting contact with them or strengthening against their inconsiderate behavior may help a person cope better. There is nothing wrong with limiting contact with people who are harmful to one’s health or altogether removing extremely toxic people from one’s life.
  8. Use emotions for something good. Instead of focusing frustration on oneself and berating self for the shortcomings, divert it into something constructive. Going for a walk and getting some exercise, breaking a few tiles and creating a lovely mosaic, or cleaning the house thoroughly. Find a physical activity that will help people discharge their negative emotions positively.

Prevention of Lack of Social Support

A person’s mental health and ability to cope with stress can be improved by surrounding himself with a social support system of at least a few quality friends and acquaintances.

A successful partnership, on the other hand, is a two-way path that necessitates active participation on both sides. Here are some tips and ideas for developing social support networks and fostering relationships.

  1. Consider social chances without hesitation. Finding new people and introducing oneself to them might be a good approach to meeting new people. For example, deciding to participate in a new hobby or attend a party despite not knowing anyone else there. Stepping away from one’s typical activities can lead to unexpected chances to connect with new people.
  2. Make the most of the support that already has. It is simple to believe that others understand what a person requires, but this is rarely the case. A person may need to be outspoken and explicit in telling people what he or she genuinely requires. However, take care not to overburden the support system.
  3. Wait patiently. Making new acquaintances and developing intimacy takes time. It can take weeks or months to feel a connection to someone and to trust that they will become part of one’s social support system.
  4. Negative relationships should be avoided. Establishing social support networks should aid in stress reduction rather than aggravate it. Poor relationships are detrimental to emotional wellbeing, and certain negative qualities, such as abuse, may be apparent. They can also be covert, such as persistent pessimism, excessive reliance, or difficulty with control. Even if we are not accountable for the actions of others, it can have a negative impact on an individual’s health.
  5. Maintain current relationships. If a person is also a good friend, he or she is more likely to form strong friendships. Keeping in touch with the support network, answering calls and texts, arranging video conferences, providing assistance to others when they need it, and making them aware they are appreciated are all effective methods to look after one’s support network. Relationships are bound to have problems but communicating proactively can help people work through them and improve existing bonds.

Lack of Social Support Nursing Diagnosis

Lack of Social Support Nursing Care Plan 1

Social Isolation

Nursing Diagnosis: Social Isolation related to a lack of social support secondary to HIV/AIDS as evidenced by a verbalized feeling of loneliness forced by others, feelings of rejection, and lack of supportive significant others.

Desired Outcome: The patient will be able to identify a support system and participate in activities within the ability level.

Lack of Social Support Nursing InterventionsRationale
Determine the patient’s perspective on the situation.Isolation may be partially self-imposed since the patient might be afraid of others’ rejection or judgment.
Spend time communicating with the patient both during and between tasks. Be supportive and treat the patient with decency and respect for their sentiments to allow verbalization of feelings.Physical isolation and some social isolation may occur as a result of the patient’s present medical condition and diagnosis.
When possible, limit or avoid the use of masks, gowns, and gloves when speaking with the patient.Minimizing the patient’s physical isolation and offers better social contact and can help to boost self-esteem and minimize undesirable habits.
Determine the patient’s support systems, such as the presence of and/or relationship with direct and extended relatives.Feelings of loneliness and rejection are minimized when the patient receives support from others.
Educate the patient and family members on isolation precautions and procedures.With an AIDS diagnosis, gloves, gowns, and masks are not always required, unless contact with secretions or excretions is anticipated. When these protections are misused, it intensifies feelings of mental and physical isolation. When measures are necessary, discussions assist patients to understand why actions are being performed and give them a sense of being included in the process.
Promote open visits, phone calls, and social activities on a tolerable range.Engagement with others might provide the patient with a sense of belonging.
Encourage significant others to play an active role in the patient’s life.Supports the restoration of a sense of engagement in a social relationship and may reduce the risk of suicide attempts.
Look at relevant resources and support positive behaviors to develop a plan of action with the patient.A plan gives the patient something to look forward to and activities to complete, giving them a sense of control over their lives.
Be aware of any verbal or behavioral indicators such as withdrawal, despair declarations, or a feeling of isolation.Indicators of despair and suicidal ideation are frequently evident; when the caregiver recognizes these cues, the patient is often prepared to talk about suicidal thoughts, feelings of isolation, and helplessness.

Lack of Social Support Nursing Care Plan 2

Impaired Social Interaction

Nursing Diagnosis: Impaired Social Interaction related to a lack of social support secondary to Schizophrenia as evidenced by spending time alone, observed discomforts in social situations, apparent use of inappropriate social interactions behaviors.

Desired Outcome: The patient will improve social interaction, engage in appropriate health activities, and use positive skills to initiate an interaction.

Lack of Social Support Nursing InterventionsRationale
Determine whether the patient’s medications have attained therapeutic levels.Most of those positive symptoms of schizophrenia will disappear as a result of treatment, making interactions easier.
Recognize the indications that the patient has when he or she starts to feel uneasy around others.Agitation, aggression, and suspicion can all be exacerbated by increased stress.
Keep the patient away from triggers such as loud noises if possible.Noises and crowding may cause irritation, anxiety, and an inability to focus on outside events in the patient.
Avoid physical contact with the patient.An unknown person’s touch can be perceived as a sexual or aggressive gesture, which is especially true in the case of a paranoid patient.
Organize tasks that fit the pace and activity level of the patient.Patients may lose interest in overly unrealistic activities, which can lead to feelings of failure.
Schedule short encounters and tasks with the patient each day.Help the patient build a sense of security in a non-threatening atmosphere.
Spend regular, brief periods with patients if they are unable to answer directly or coherently.An attentive presence might provide a feeling of importance.
Integrate the patient’s abilities and interests into the activities planned when they were not compromised.Improve the chances of engagement and appreciation.
Remember to acknowledge the patient for taking good measures toward improving social skills and proper relationships with others.Acknowledgement goes a long way toward maintaining and improving a particular pleasant behavior.
Provide an opportunity for the patient to learn adaptive social skills such as acceptable distance, proper eye contact, calm behavior, and neutral tone of voice in a non-threatening atmosphere.Social skills training helps patients adjust and perform more effectively in society, improving their quality of life.

Lack of Social Support Nursing Care Plan 3

Chronic Low Self-Esteem

Nursing Diagnosis: Chronic Low Self-Esteem related to lack of social support secondary to personality disorders as evidenced by hesitancy on trying out new things, indecisiveness, over-dependence on others, and exaggeration of negative feedback about self.

Desired Outcome: The patient will improve his perception of self and enhance social interaction.

Lack of Social Support Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess patients’ self-perception and focus on several aspects of their lives, such as strengths and weaknesses in daily responsibilities, physical attractiveness, sexual orientation, and personality.Identify realistic areas of strength and weaknesses with the patient and work on the reality of the self-appraisal, focusing on the areas of assessment that do not appear to be realistic.
Keep a calm, neutral, and respectful demeanor.Enables the patient to see himself or herself as a person who is appreciated, even when the behavior is inappropriate.
Consider the various forms of cognitive distortions that affect the self-esteem of the patient.The initial step in addressing self-view misrepresentations is to identify the patient’s common cognitive distortions.
Encourage the patient to forgive and accept previous mistakes in life.The past is unchangeable and concentrating on previous errors hinders the patient from assessing the current and making plans for the future.
Consider the patient’s future intentions, work with the patient to define a realistic short-term goal and identify skills that will assist the patient to achieve his or her goals.Dwelling on the past and unpleasant self-rumination are minimized when the patient looks forward. The patient might feel a feeling of success, direction, and purpose in life when realistic short-term goals are attained. A sense of control and improved self-perception can come from achieving goals.

Lack of Social Support Nursing Care Plan 4

Risk for Suicide

Nursing Diagnosis: Risk for Suicide related to a lack of social support

Desired Outcome: The patient will refrain from committing suicide and remain safe with the aid of nursing intervention and support.

Lack of Social Support Nursing InterventionsRationale
Arrange for the patient to remain with family or friends or to be hospitalized if no one is available and the patient is severely suicidal.Social support minimizes isolation and provides the patient with comfort and protection.
Encourage the patient to defer choices until other options are explored.People are unable to think rationally or consider their options in crises.
Encourage the patient to discuss openly his or her feelings and to explore solutions to deal with disappointment, anger, and frustration.Provides the patient with additional methods for coping with intense feelings and recovering control over his or her life.
Make contact with family members, organize individual and family crisis counseling, and initiate self-help group relations.Restores social links and reduces isolation, as well as provides a connection with others who care about the suicidal patient.
Health care providers should remind patients that the crisis is only transitory, that severe pain can be endured, that help is accessible, and that they are not alone throughout the crisis.Patients with tunnel vision have no perspective on their lives. These affirmations help the patient gain perspective and faith in the future.

Lack of Social Support Nursing Care Plan 5

Altered Social Interaction

Nursing Diagnosis: Altered Social Interaction related to a lack of social support secondary to major depression as evidenced by observed discomfort in social situations, inappropriate with family and friends, and verbalized feelings of isolation.

Desired Outcome: The patient will effectively communicate with significant others and recognize feelings that lead to poor social interactions.

Lack of Social Support Nursing InterventionsRationale
Provide activities that require little focus at first, such as painting or simple board games.Depressed people have trouble concentrating and remembering things, and exercises with no right or incorrect answers limit the patient’s opportunity to cast himself down.
Engage the patient in gross motor activities that requires very little concentration such as walking.These activities will help alleviate tension and may even improve mood.  
Engage the patient in a one-on-one activity when in the most depressed condition.Increases contact opportunities while lowering anxiety levels.
Involve the patient in group activities eventually such as art or dance therapy.Socialization reduces the sense of loneliness, and real concern for others can boost self-esteem.
Maximize the patient’s contacts with important people in the long run.Significantly increases the patient’s interactions with others to keep them from becoming self-absorbed.

Nursing References

Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Makic, M. B., Martinez-Kratz, M. R., & Zanotti, M. (2020). Nursing diagnoses handbook: An evidence-based guide to planning care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2022). Nursing care plans: Diagnoses, interventions, & outcomes. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon

Ignatavicius, D. D., Workman, M. L., Rebar, C. R., & Heimgartner, N. M. (2020). Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Silvestri, L. A. (2020). Saunders comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon


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This information is intended to be nursing education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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Anna Curran. RN, BSN, PHN

Anna Curran. RN-BC, BSN, PHN, CMSRN I am a Critical Care ER nurse. I have been in this field for over 30 years. I also began teaching BSN and LVN students and found that by writing additional study guides helped their knowledge base, especially when it was time to take the NCLEX examinations.

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