The Effects Of Loneliness
By Our Family Home Care
For most people, being alone is a luxury. Taking the time to recharge, focus on personal projects or catch up with a favourite TV show can be a great break from a tiring job or hectic personal life. However for the rest being alone all day every day is an unwelcome way of life.
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, over a million older people in the UK are lonely daily. But this problem doesn’t just impact the elderly, 53% of 18-34-year-olds also struggle with loneliness. Humans by nature are social creatures, but recent results would indicate that the majority of us are lonely, this is quite upsetting and actually quite bad for our health too.
There has been lots of research on the effects of loneliness on our mental and physical health – it’s seen as one of the biggest health concerns we face.
Loneliness has been linked to early deaths and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, cognitive decline, and poor sleep. It’s as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People who feel lonely are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia) than those who do not feel lonely.
Loneliness doesn’t just damage physical health and shorten our life expectancy. A recent study has found that people who are lonely are more likely to later experience social anxiety, paranoia, and depression and that feelings of social anxiety are a predictor of future loneliness. Research has also shown that people with dementia are more likely to be lonely than those without, and that lonely dementia sufferers experience a faster cognitive decline than those with more social connections.
Researchers have also found that people with fewer social connections have higher levels of the CHD- and stroke-causing protein fibrinogen in their blood. Fibrinogen, which causes blood to clot, is released when our body is anticipating an injury – or when our brain triggers the fight or flight response. While this is essential when we cut ourselves, too much of it can lead to increased blood pressure and blocked arteries, which can ultimately lead to CHD and stroke.
All of these things combined mean that social isolation and loneliness are linked with a 30% higher risk of early death. And while the discussion of loneliness tends to focus on elderly people, research has actually found that this risk is greater amongst people under the age of 65.
Research by WaveLengt found that media technology can help a lonely person, people who tend to live in isolation can see the world through tv or hear a voice daily threw radio. Media technology can also help the elderly contact friends and family through means of phone, facetime and can keep in contact with loved ones whether that be virtually or physically.
These simple things can help to reduce loneliness, improve people’s mental and physical health, and help them to live longer and happier.
We would like to thank the charities who help supply the information for today's Ourticle and who help combat loneliness.
WaveLength - gives media technology to lonely people living in poverty.
Marmalade Trust - is the UK’s leading loneliness charity for all ages and the only charity in the world specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness.
All information provided within the ourticle is correct at time of publishing, all answers and suggestions provided by the guest are all thier personal views.
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