Extreme Loneliness: A Major Killer
Loneliness has been shown to increase the chances of an early death by 14%, study says
No one really thinks about the effect loneliness has on a person. A larger part of the population is choosing to live alone these days for whatever their reasons may be. Additionally, people are living a lot longer with lifespans exceeding generations of the past. What you may not know is the serious impact it has on an individual’s mental and physical wellness. In fact, a study found that extreme loneliness is worse than being overweight.
The recent survey, conducted by the Mental Health Foundation, also discovered that up to 40% of adults feel lonely at any given time; only slightly less than half of the population. The study also found a significant difference between the physical and mental health of individuals who had companionships versus those who did not.
“We find people who continue to interact with co-workers after retirement and have friends close by are less lonely...As people age and lose mobility, they are more at risk of chronic loneliness, which would threaten the person’s well-being almost immediately, and would increase the odds of depression, compromised immunity and poorer quality sleep, all of which could hasten ageing,” says psychologist John Cacioppo.
Remember, loneliness is linked with higher levels of cortisol, so it raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes even more.