Loneliness factors into a shorter life expectancy if not escaped. Studies released from the University of Chicago have found feeling isolated may affect multiple health categories. Isolation can have a perverse effect on sleep, alter gene expression in immune cells, increase morning rises in the stress hormone cortisol, elevate blood pressure and increase depression and lower overall subjective well-being.
In a press release, John Cacioppo, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago stated, moving to Florida following retirement is not the best decision if there is a disconnect from close family and friends. The influctuation of baby boomers establishes an average of 10,000 individuals turning 65 each day until 2030. With the rapid increase among the elderly comes an esteemed responsibility.
Barriers and protective capabilities must be put into place to combat depression, low subjective well-being and early mortality. Small tasks such as, participating in family functions and keeping in contact with past co-workers may assist in lowering the risks. Common age related health conditions arise that contribute to the loneliness effect. Escaping the kill of loneliness is achievable with a healthy support system.
Establishing healthy social interactions involves three major facets. Escaping the kill of loneliness can be achieved. Researchers reported the facets as: intimate connectedness, relational connectedness, and collective connectedness. Intimate connectedness is having someone in life who reaffirms what type of person that particular individual is. Relational connectedness is having connections one on one that are rewarding. Collective connectedness is the feeling of being a valid participant in a group beyond an individual existence. The three facets work together to lower the causes of loneliness.
Living alone should not constitute loneliness. According to the study, elderly who endure extreme loneliness increase the risk of death by 14 percent. Declining health as an individual ages is a constant contributor to loneliness. Many have trouble freeing the grasp of isolation with age. It is difficult to maintain social relationships when death begins to claim the lives of family and friends. With the constant increase in age, this is inevitable. Inevitably human life at some time must end. Loneliness should not be on a list of the causes of death. The ending of human life because of loneliness is not a natural transition. The natural transitional phase enables loved ones to surround an elder as they pass on.
Although, the study was conducted on individuals 50 and above, loneliness can effect any age group. One major field that is almost consistent in the loneliness category is depression. In some cases the constant isolation leads to such severe depression the lane empties into suicide. Teens that exhibit isolated behavior are often experiencing depression brought on by loneliness. Strong meaningful relationships are lacking and possibly paired with little to no social interaction. Establishing firm social ties is a necessity for strong healthy survival. A simple cure to loneliness taking the extra time to spend with an individual that may be lonely. Making a mark as a person that institutes good will, happiness, and prolonged life is not a bad thing. Something as simple as interaction can escape the kill of loneliness.
Editorial by Ebony Waller