Being Lonely Can Cause Physical & Mental Harm
> 7/20/2007 12:19:28 PM

For many people, being alone is nothing more than a life choice. Many people feel content being by themselves, but experts warn that a lack of social interaction can have detrimental effects on a person�s physical and mental health.

According to psychologists researching in this area, humans are instinctually social creatures who need to engage in interpersonal interaction. They also agree that people who have close ties with others tend to be better motivated and can navigate through stressful challenges better than those who don�t. Conversely, people who lack proper social interaction have been found to suffer from a battery of physical illnesses, including the eroding of arteries and high blood pressure.

Perhaps the biggest effect of the lack of close relationships on ones� mental health is the emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation, commonly refereed to as loneliness. Although everyone, at some point or other experiences loneliness on some level, chronic loneliness�a more serious disorder�is one of the biggest indicators of a person's maladjustment.

Psychologist John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago, has worked tirelessly researching and performing studies on the effects of loneliness. Some of the results of Cacippo�s studies revealed that people who live alone have a higher risk of suicide, regardless of age. Additionally, the quality and efficiency of sleep is greatly compromised in people who are lonely. It was found that lonelier people tend to have less restorative sleep, wake up more frequently and spend fewer hours in bed than the non-lonely. The lonely are also prone to higher levels of perceived stress than than others who are exposed to the same amount of stress but report having a �well rounded� social life.

Referring to the results of his research as discussed in a recent article in Psychology Today, Cacioppo said that left untreated, the effects of loneliness can create a list of "slowly unfolding pathophysiological processes.� In other words, those who are lonely often times lead much more difficult lives than those who aren�t.

The fact is, everyone needs to spend time alone. We need that private time to reflect on our day, regroup and recharge, but by that same token, it's also crucial that we interact socially as well. As previously discussed, humans are social creatures who can�t function efficiently without social interaction. As scientifically proven, we need social interaction for both our mental and physical well being.


What about those who don't chose to be alone?
Posted by: Carrie 7/22/2007 8:46:09 AM

It's not really an easy thing - being alone. You just kind of fight your way through life, getting on from one day to another without any love or tenderness. Sure you love your own self, but you have no one to love nor to love you back. It's a really cruel way of life that some people are lead to suffer.
Posted by: Anomyous 7/28/2007 1:05:43 AM

i know how it gets to be lonely. i am always like that. its not like i want to be, its just what life chose. i dont have any one to talk to. i feel very bad about it. i just dont know what to do to stop it. i live in a hostel in a different environement in a different country. i just came from the africans to the arabs. i am not fit for these kind of people and i dont wana fit in. i have also noticed that my behaviour is changing just becouse of this lonely life i am in. its so bad. i dont know what to do. maybe i just have to keep on living like this till i dont know when. but i do know that its take a along time. anyone who would like to say something to this then please do.
Posted by: saleh 11/25/2007 5:13:13 AM

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