Loneliness – Silent Stalker (Half 1)


“Essentially the most horrible poverty is loneliness and the sensation of being unloved.” — Mom Teresa

The Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH) defines loneliness as a distressing feeling that accompanies the notion that one’s social wants are usually not being met by the amount or particularly the standard of 1’s social relationships. 

On June 14, 2022, The American Medical Affiliation (AMA) revealed a press launch that outlined the launch of the brand new 988 Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a 24-hour hotline with cellular disaster groups on the prepared for dispatch. The quantity replaces the 1-800 quantity beforehand used for such emergencies. 

Of their press launch, the NIH additionally acknowledges “loneliness as a public well being challenge and [supports] evidence-based efforts to fight loneliness.” As well as, the NIH continues:

With in depth analysis exhibiting proof of the sturdy causal relationship between social relationships and longevity, the AMA adopted coverage…figuring out loneliness as a public well being challenge that impacts folks of all ages. The brand new coverage additionally helps evidence-based efforts to fight loneliness. Research present that loneliness shouldn’t be solely a big predictor of useful decline and untimely demise just like, or exceeding, the chance from weight problems, however loneliness in adolescence is related to impaired sleep, signs of despair, and poorer well being normally. In response to the U.S. Surgeon Normal, loneliness is a public well being challenge that predates, however has been intensified by, the COVID-19 pandemic.

So as to add, AMA Board Member Ilse R. Levin, D.O., M.P.H. confirmed that “Loneliness is a public well being challenge that may negatively affect folks of all ages. Nevertheless, [since the COVID pandemic,] youthful generations are experiencing extra loneliness than older generations, and it’s essential that we take steps to fight it.”

Dr. Ramon Diaz, a scientific psychological well being practitioner, and visitor writer right here at CPTSD Basis, additionally shared the next:

The presentation of ‘loneliness’ signs is advanced in an individual. The emotional expertise of loneliness for a lot of sufferers is insufferable. In a latest empirical research, the outcomes conveyed that folks expertise signs of ‘dread, rumination, low motivation to finish every day duties, and…intestine well being issues’ as a consequence of experiencing power loneliness.

Sitting Was The New Smoking – Now it’s Loneliness

Over the a long time, the messaging on nicotine has been clear. Nicotine habit ends in demise. The newest knowledge suggests roughly fifteen p.c of People use nicotine every day, equal to about fifty million folks. 

The stats on loneliness are far worse.

In response to the American Psychiatric Affiliation, thirty p.c of People, about 1 in 3, have skilled loneliness previously yr. That math equates to about 115,000,000 People, all of whom are as inclined (if no more inclined) to an array of ailments: 

  • Coronary heart illness and stroke
  • Kind 2 diabetes
  • Despair and anxiousness
  • Habit
  • Suicidality and self-harm
  • Dementia
  • Earlier demise

In 2023, The U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, revealed “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation” as a part of the U.S. Surgeon Normal’s Advisory on the Therapeutic Results of Social Connection and Group. This compelling report is a name to motion for all who want to resolve the issue of this under-exposed epidemic.  

Variations Between Loneliness and Isolation

Whereas the 2 are invariably linked, there are a number of variations between loneliness and isolation.

In response to the NIH, loneliness is the distressing feeling of being alone or separated. Social isolation is the dearth of social contacts and having few folks to work together with repeatedly.

Due to this fact, loneliness is a mindset or an emotional state. Whereas we will typically attempt to be alone to reconcile our ideas or clear our heads, this state of affairs doesn’t really represent loneliness as we really feel linked to folks and issues round us. Isolation, or extra predominantly social isolation, permits for a degree of decision-making, unconscious or not.

Dr. Diaz provides that “loneliness can’t be handled, just by ‘speak remedy.’ Newer analysis exhibits that loneliness has each physiological and organic results. Physique-based remedy approaches are equally as essential as speak remedy modalities.”  Furthermore, Dr Diaz distinguishes that “the ‘felt sense’ of being heard and validated in remedy is important for a affected person to expertise.” Moreover, he acknowledges that “loneliness is often influenced by somebody’s attachment system, which is how the mind is wired earlier than the age of 6, a wiring that informs folks all through their lives by way of what relationships stand for.” 

In case you are coping with prolonged durations of loneliness, contemplate talking with a psychological well being skilled to debate your issues. Lengthy-term loneliness (or isolation) is a severe well being challenge that shouldn’t be ignored.


—> NEXT MONDAY 3/17/2024: Partly 2 of this sequence, we are going to study the evolution of and various kinds of loneliness.



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