Although at times being alone is good for us, it is important to understand too much loneliness can affect our mood, feelings, and personal health. Loneliness leads to reflection, which can sometimes bring up buried memories. Lonely people seem to be sadder than those surrounded by others research shows. Not being able to talk about what is on one’s mind can drive someone insane. There is also some surprising health risks of not interacting with people. Today, I’m going to go over some of the negative side effects of loneliness in hopes to help create awareness on the issue.
Loneliness Health Risk
With the sadness and emotional roller coaster of loneliness, it can very well lead to negative health risks. One of these risks might be the development of depression, anxiety, dementia, or substance abuse. As said earlier, loneliness puts you in a state of social isolation, and being stuck with only your thoughts can be detrimental. This psychological state is also serious due to the association with suicidal thoughts. If you suspect or know someone who might be in this state, it is important to reach out to them. Try calling the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Loss of appetite can also be a side effect of loneliness. You may not want to eat as much, causing tiredness and fatigue. You can also have the complete opposite reaction and begin to overeat. Oftentimes, sad some people try to hide their sadness in eating, which can lead to negative weight gain. If changing your eating habits seems hard, try having healthy foods around you instead.
Isolation also affects the levels of the circulating stress hormone cortisol; additionally, high blood pressure correlates back to solitary living. We are social creatures and need engagement in order to help understand the ins and outs of the world. Some suggestions for isolated adults have included taking a class, getting a dog, doing volunteer work, and joining a senior center. No one is comfortable being alone, and if you know someone who might be experiencing loneliness, reach out to them. Their health and spirit can always be improved by a simply phone call.
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