The Loneliness Paradox

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The Loneliness Paradox

More and more people in the world report that they have feelings of loneliness, which may seem odd since in today’s age, we have more and more ways to connect ourselves to others. Group chats, social media, game, and other apps — there are so many possibilities. Perhaps, however, this is the problem. To understand this problem, we first must understand loneliness. 

Loneliness Is…

Loneliness is different for everyone. It’s hard to create a rigid set of criteria to follow. There are factors that can be attributed to loneliness, those factors may not predict whether or not someone will feel lonely. Kerstin Gerst Emerson, a clinical assistant profess in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, tells Time Magazine and Heid that “as far as measuring and tracking loneliness, ‘we don’t have a threshold for loneliness, but we usually define it as a discrepancy between what someone has and what they want.’”

Why Loneliness Matters

According to Brigham Young University, loneliness is linked to an increase in mortality risk by 26%. This impact on death is on par with that of obesity and smoking, according to Markham Heid of Time Magazine. Stephanie Cacioppo, an assistant professor of psychiatry and the director of the Brain Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Chicago, told Heid that “Loneliness is an emerging public-health crisis” that far too many underestimate. Loneliness can also contribute to other health concerns, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, Kimberly Smith tells Heid of Time Magazine. Inflammation, in particular, contributes to so many different diseases and health concerns that can lead to death. Loneliness contributes to inflammation. Besides physical health, loneliness can also have an impact on depression, anxiety, and self-harm.

The Paradox

Loneliness doesn’t go away for some people when they are physically around others. They can be in a room full of people, but still feeling as lonely as ever. Many people also wonder how young people, in particular, can feel so lonely when they have a constant connectedness with not only their friends and family but the world around them. This can be precisely the answer. So much of communication these days is through text messages and social media. People aren’t actually speaking to one another as often. This can cause loneliness. Scientists believe that even just casual conversation in the supermarket or at the coffee shop can help people feel a little less lonely. They also remind others that it isn’t the number of social excursions, but the quality of them that counts.  

If you think you are suffering from one of the mental illnesses listed above, please reach out to Pinnacle Recovery today. We have a trained staff that is experienced and ready to help. Call today at 1-866-301-0573. We cannot wait to hear from you. 

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