The dangers of feeling lonely for health – There are many things in life that can affect the physical and mental health. One of the most influential is the instant diet, or sleep patterns. However, there is one aspect that may not realize by a lot of people also promoted health, namely feeling lonely.
Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor of psychology and Neuroscience from Brigham Young University and Dr. Nancy Donovan, psychiatry from Brigham and women’s Hospital and geriatric Neurology specialists, share a description of loneliness. Both are explained, there are two types of loneliness, which is subjective and objective.
Objective loneliness means physically the person is alone or socially isolated. While the subjective loneliness is a lonely feeling emotionally and physically, even though the person is not really alone. There is a mismatch between the wishes of personal and social relations level.
Well, there are a number of life-threatening health risks when someone is lonely, both subjective or objective loneliness:
The dangers of feeling lonely for health
Increases the risk of death.
One of the dangers of feeling lonely is increases the risk of death. Hold-Lunstad publish two major studies that make up the overall effect of loneliness as a risk factor for early death or death occurs before the average age of death in certain populations. The study first examines the level of social relationships and other social indicators, such as the size of social networks and social support as one of the risk factors of death.
The study involving 300,000 participants. As a result, those who obtained low scores from the indicators of social relations, have the same risk of death with smo**ke 15 cigarettes per day. Meanwhile, participants with a stronger social relationships have chances of survival 50 percent longer.
There are any other studies involving 3.4 million participants, and focus on the subjective loneliness and social isolation. Hold-Lunstad found, both factors could increase the risk of premature death. According to her, the risk exceeds the risk of obesity, physical inactivity and air pollution.
According to Donovan, the loneliness can be a factor in the growing depression. One evidence is a study in December 2006, which looked the results of two population-based study that examines young and older people. Both studies found that high levels of loneliness are associated with symptoms of depression and these linkages tend to last stable throughout a person’s age.
The next dangers of feeling lonely for health is trigger inflamation. Steve Cole, a Professor of medicine, psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA did a study in 2017 who studied people who feel lonely. More specifically, the study finds gene carrier inflammatory tend to be more active on their loneliness. A genetic reaction takes place from generation to generation.
Our bodies still see the loneliness and isolation as a threat since centuries ago, when the sense of loneliness is still limited to attack animals or other groups of people.
Inflammation is the body’s defense mechanism that is done to head off infections and injury. However, excessive inflammation can trigger a host of serious diseases, such as cancer.
Difficult to interact.
Holt-Lunstad said, those who feel so lonely also feel more threatened with social situations. Even though it sounds weird, but you would assume that those who are lonely will take the opportunity to establish a connection. This is a phenomenon that is rooted in the course of the evolution of life.
John Cacioppo, Professor, founder and Director, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago explained to CityLab about this.
He says, loneliness increases support social interaction, because it will motivate someone to fix or replace a relationship that felt missing. As a result, people who are lonely tend to be more sensitive to social information, good or bad.
Further, Cacioppo explained, people often tend to be afraid of a relationship with someone who could just turn into enemies. Therefore, the mechanism of nerve causing their lonely to be placed in great doubt when facing social situations.
Increases the risk of heart disease.
The next dangers of feeling lonely for health is increases the risk of heart disease. Both Donovan or Holt-Lunstad stressed, lonely is often associated with serious cardiovascular disease. A study in 2016 involving 181,000 older people reveals, loneliness and social isolation are associated with increased risk of stroke by up to 32 percent. While, for heart disease risk increased to 29 percent.
The difficulties to deal with stress.
Deal with stress when the loneliness of daily life may be more damaging to health than deal with stress with the help of others. A study in 2007 found, social support will optimize neurochemical responses that help take off the stress. The findings of the study also showed, social support could soften the environment and one’s genetic fragility to stress.
Further, individuals who feel lonely are reported to have a higher perception of stress. In fact, when exposed to other stress factors experienced by people who are not lonely simply applied remain higher. Even when they’re relaxing.
Mess up the diet.
A study in 2012 which focus on the relationship of eating disorders and the lonely find that many characteristics of loneliness associated with eating disorders. Call it anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating, found to be associated with loneliness. Even so, the loneliness can be a factor in both a decrease or increase in weight. According to the study, those who gained weight often because it makes the food as the reliever a sense of loneliness.
It could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
A study by Donovan studied 79 community-run old people. From these studies he found, those who have high levels of the amyloid protein also reported feeling lonely, just like the feeling of being isolated. Many scientists believe, the accumulation of amyloid in the brain underlying the onset of Alzheimer’s. This theory has a hypothesis, a component of amyloid disrupts communication between brain cells and even damaging the cells. Amyloid also lowered cognition as a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Vulnerable exposed to the flu and colds.
A study in 2017 found that those who were lonely tend to be more susceptible exposed to flu and cold symptoms. The studies expose 159 people with common cold viruses. They were then put in a rustina in the hotel for five days. Not all of the people stricken with the disease. However, among those who suffered, those who feel lonely are more susceptible to these infected 39 percent higher.
Separately, another study conducted in 2017 by Cole and Cacioppo found that immune system of people who are lonely tend to focus the fight against bacteria rather than the virus. That is, people who are lonely tend to be more vulnerable to developing infections.
Trigger unhealthy behavior.
Hold-Lunstad said that having a positive relationship will motivate a person to live a healthy life pattern. Like a good diet, enough sleep, exercise, and go to the doctor when needed. A study in 2010 saw the relationship could give a positive or negative impact against the person’s behavior.
This study specifically sees the interconnectedness of social relationships and health behavior. The study exemplifies the marriage makes someone minimize risky behavior. Such as smo**king, using drugs, and drinking to excess. The study results also showed, those who are married, have lower mortality ratio. This is often caused by the habit of healthy living.
Those who have a spouse or a child who behaves well and away from domestic violence, according to the study, tend to run healthy life behavior.
Thank you very much for reading The dangers of feeling lonely for health, hopefully useful.