Everything you need to know about loneliness, its causes, and its possible consequences on your health.
If we take a closer look at the common definition of loneliness, it is described as a one-time or enduring condition, highlighting social isolation and it is categorised as being a choice, or as being suffered.
Nowadays, above all, loneliness creates a number of important illnesses, to such an extent that it has become a real public health problem.
Well, according to our life coach Claire Rogers whom we interviewed for this article, she prefers to present loneliness as a state of mind, with both emotional and physical consequences and with the ability to cause long-term health issues.
Claire explains to us that we must not confuse loneliness and social isolation: loneliness, which is only a subjective perception of reality, and social isolation where the effects can be determined thanks to certain criteria and factors. .
The great paradox of loneliness makes people feel empty, alone and with a need for human contact, but their state of mind inevitably makes it difficult to make connections with other people.
Loneliness, stress and depression are considered the ills of the century, they are universal human emotions that are both complex and unique to each individual. There are no common causes, it is even impossible to put a preventive system in place for this potentially damaging state of mind, because as has been explained, it can vary from one individual to another. That said, biological transformations that have negative effects on health, should by no means be neglected.
The causes of loneliness:
According to different research conducted by the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, the contributing factor could be situations such as: physique, moving home, divorce, the loss of a loved one, which can also lead to feelings of solitude. According to their experts, this can be a symptom of a psychological disorder such as depression. It is therefore very important to define the cause.
Loneliness can be attributed to internal factors as well, such as low self-esteem and/or low self-confidence.
Several scientists, Doctors, Psychiatrists, psychologists, Coaches, have joined forces to highlight the fact that many different possible impacts on both physical and mental health must be taken into account.
We will now see the risks and consequences associated with loneliness:
• Depression: the expression of a certain melancholy, leads to a fertile ground for depression
• Cardiovascular disease and stroke
• Increased stress level leading to chronic stress
• Diminished memory
• Antisocial behavior
• Bad decision making
• The different forms of dependence such as alcoholism, drug addiction, cyber addiction ...
• The development of neurodegenerative diseases, leading to the progression of Alzheimer's disease
• Impaired brain function
These aren't the only areas where loneliness takes its toll.
Loneliness leads some people into isolation, addictions such as alcohol are behaviors that are found in many lonely people. We can also talk about diets which are richer in fat, sleep disruption, or simply much less efficient sleep, since it does not allow you to recover.
And to finish on the consequences according to Dr. John Cacioppo, loneliness also disrupts the regulation of the cellular process in the body, thus predisposing the lonely individual to premature aging.
To conclude, I would like to remind you that the people who feel the most lonely, and who suffer from loneliness are not necessarily the ones who are the most lonely. We can feel alone even if we are very surrounded with people. Sometimes a person can feel very lonely even if they are in a relationship.
"Better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you feel lonely!" But that is another story…