How Loneliness Can Adversely Affect Your Health

Some Health Risks Associated with Loneliness:

There is a fine line of difference between being lonely and alone. Staying alone can be an occasional choice but being lonely is nothing but isolation. It is said that “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty”. Just like hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol or depression is a new-age lifestyle disease, loneliness, and social isolation is a growing epidemic that is more and more prevalent among the newer generation.

We all tend to feel lonely at some point or other in our lives. This feeling emanates especially when we are sad and there is no one around to share the feelings with. It is a complex human emotion and every person reacts to it uniquely. A child without any friend in school can be lonely, a grown-up man or woman without the support of the spouse can be lonely and an old person without relatives and friends around can be lonely. These are some situations of chronic loneliness that can not only affect your state of mind but also adversely affect your physical health.


Some Health Risks Associated with Loneliness:

Loneliness is such a state of mind that you feel unwanted and empty for days on end. It negatively affects your physical and mental health. Loneliness triggers thoughts of suicide and self-harm. 


Loneliness leads to Depression –

Chronic loneliness can be a risk factor for depressive behavior. Not able to share feelings or state of mind gives rise to depressive symptoms among older adults that continues for the lifetime.


Loneliness messes with heart health giving rise to Cardiovascular Diseases –

There is always a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to loneliness. Smoking and high blood pressure are some customary behavioral and health symptoms that arise from loneliness.

A study conducted on 181,000 adults in 2016 showed that isolation and loneliness have been associated with an increase in the risk of stroke by 32% and the risk of coronary disease by 29%.

A study presented at the EuroHeartCare 2018, says that loneliness is worst for heart health and accounts for premature death.


Loneliness triggers Inflammation –

Brain inflammation has been linked to loneliness. It might also lead to neurological changes. When you are feeling lonely you tend to feel very sad, stressed out and dejected. The brain interprets these feelings as danger and leads to a bursting release of cortisol hormones. An elevated rate of cortisol chronically might cause life-threatening diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.


Loneliness increases the risk of Premature Death –

There is nothing more dangerous than loneliness. A recent study has warned that loneliness can raise the chance of premature death by 50%. Lonely people are prone to fall prey to many chronic illnesses and poor habits like smoking and heavy drinking.

Loneliness has been found to worsen an existing illness and could also cause Dementia that contributes to a poor state of life and eventually death.


Loneliness gives rise to Unusual Eating habits –

An eating disorder can also arise out of loneliness. A research to study the link between loneliness and poor eating habits reveals that eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating can all be attributed to depression out of loneliness.  A sudden weight gain and weight loss could often the reason of loneliness.


Loneliness is considered a silent killer.  It is an even worse killer than obesity. Don’t let negativity seep into your mind.

Make friends, strengthen your relationships and have a social circle. Maintain bonds and make new ones that haven’t ever existed.


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