Human beings are very sociable creatures, and those of us who by one or another reason experience social isolation usually feel very bad. Social isolation means total absence of any contact like talking to other people, telling them about our life, etc. Certainly, in our times of advanced communication technologies and various ways to feel connected it is hardly possible to imagine someone suffering from social isolation. However, some people choose to do that, they stay in their rooms or houses and refuse going out to join other people in their daily activities. Unfortunately, loneliness and social isolation are quite popular things in modern society, and a lot of experts and specialists that those people who prefer loneliness to social surrounding should not be understood lightly and left alone. According to many recent findings, loneliness is a very serious condition which brings to numerous problems and is very harmful to our both physical and mental health.
It is believed that loneliness and social isolation are linked to depression and other depression related mental conditions. Those people who like being alone and choose to withdraw themselves from all the entertainment and pleasure of social life are considered to be depressed, stressed out with life, and possible even mentally sick. Lonely people suffer from various mental problems starting from anxiety and uncertainty in their future, and ending up with panic attacks, insomnia, and possibly some forms of aggressive behavior. Social isolation always leads to inability to look at the life at another angle and get other people’s perspective to various situations in this life. As a result, most of those people who experience social isolation start thinking about negative moments in their life. They give up taking care about themselves properly, do not care how they look or what they think, start slowing down in their personal and possibly professional development, start losing friends and everything they gained before.
At the same time, numerous studies show that social isolation and loneliness are very strongly linked to various diseases and serious problems with our physical health as well. Scientists from Chicago University found out that those who suffer from loneliness and a lack of social life very often have problem with proper brain function and impaired memory. Besides, they suffer from vascular problems and are exposed to quite high risks of cardiovascular diseases like a heart disease or a heart attack. It is reported that suffering from a long time isolation can lead to serious changes in the body’s chemical processes, and even lead to substantial changes in the person’s DNA. Finally, according to one of the most recent studies, loneliness and social isolation are linked to producing certain type of proteins similar to the ones which are produced when we’re aging, or when we’re suffering from serious inflammation linked to arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and a great number of other very serious health conditions.
Those are the conclusions of an expert team at the Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research at the Ohio State University. “It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems, including premature mortality and all sorts of other very serious health conditions,” Lisa Jaremka, one of the study leaders said. During the study, the scientist analyzed plenty of info collected when working with a group of people who considered themselves to be in social isolation, mainly due to their health condition. “One reason this type of research is important is to understand how loneliness and relationships broadly affect health. The more we understand about the process, the more potential there is to counter those negative effects — to perhaps intervene,” the study leader underlined. It would be great to increase public awareness about the problem, and help those who suffer from loneliness to increase their lifespan.