Tag Archives: loneliness

People v. Problems

From Wired:  Alcohol can increase longevity…but why?

In recent years, sociologists and epidemiologists have begun studying the long-term effects of loneliness. It turns out to be really dangerous. We are social primates, and when we’re cut off from the social network, we are more likely to die from just about everything (but especially heart disease). At this point, the link between abstinence and social isolation is merely hypothetical. But given the extensive history of group drinking – it’s what we do when we come together – it seems likely that drinking in moderation makes it easier for us develop and nurture relationships. And it these relationships that help keep us alive.

Perceived Loneliness

How lonely you are has to do with how lonely you think you are, says a study.

The team found that, above all, loneliness is a matter of perception.  “Loneliness is the discrepancy between your achieved and desired level of social contact, and that has important implications,” Segrin said. “The portrait of a lonely person is very difficult to paint because what is really important is what is in your head.”

Lonely Blood Pressure

In case you missed it, here’s the Globe and Mail reporting about a recent University of Chicago study showing a correlation between loneliness and high blood pressure.

While loneliness has been linked to other factors that could cause an increase in blood pressure, such as stress and depression, those factors could not account for the rise observed in the study.

“It’s certainly the case that loneliness is related to depressive symptoms and depression, to stress, to hostility, to how much social support you perceive you have. And we looked at each of those as possible explanations for the effect, and it wasn’t there,” Dr. Hawkley says. “It seems to be that there’s something unique about loneliness.”