With changing times, health is becoming of utmost importance in the lives of individuals. People progress in leaps and bounds in order to take sufficient care of their mental and physical health. While physical health depends on how much we take care of ourselves, mental health depends on our surroundings and the individuals around us.
An issue like loneliness significantly impacts on the health of all individuals. Loneliness has an alarming impact on one’s health. As per a research study conducted in the USA, approximately 17.3 million adults have at least one major episode of depression. Let’s find out more of what the surprising effects of loneliness are on health.
Impact of Loneliness on Mental Health
Loneliness has a significant impact on the mental peace of an individual. The human body functions in a manner where individuals need to share their emotions, feelings and state of mind. People continuously need someone around them so then they do not feel isolated.
If loneliness surpasses a limit, it is known to cause mental health issues like depression and irregular sleeping habits. Various studies have also found that people who suffer from depression are more likely to die early.
Anxiety is another significant mental health effect due to loneliness. People who face it for a long period of time are reported to have a high level of stress.
It is hard to predict what a person is going through without having a proper conversation. Loneliness as an issue is least likely to be shared by a person. However, due to the harsh daily life cycle of modern society and other health issues, loneliness is neglected.
Impact on Physical Health
Physical health is equally as important as mental health for any individual. Loneliness often leads to people confining themselves in a surrounding that makes them comfortable such as their room. Such a restriction in movement causes various health problems like obesity and fatigue.
Loneliness also leads to irregular food habits and eating disorders, leading to the immune system malfunctioning. People tend to eat more to numb the feeling of loneliness which leads to excessive weight gain.
The sleep cycle is severely affected when a person suffers from loneliness. They tend to sleep for longer hours with zero motivation for any physical activity.
HOW TO COMBAT THE SITUATION?
To combat loneliness is a challenging task because no one knows the underlying reason for this form of social isolation. Among other individuals and age groups, loneliness mostly affects old-aged people who are not made to feel a part of the society due to their lack of productivity. This makes them feel lonely.
This is becoming a significant problem globally and the death rates in each country are increasing considerably. The government and research stations have looked into multiple reports and found that loneliness has increased.
Seeing this, they had to do something about i. To bring in all of the research teams together and to make people aware of the scenario, geriatric psychiatry was introduced. This field has studied the reasons for loneliness, the result of it, how it has affected the population. This study only focused on adults older than 65 years of age.
It was also seen that people from the LGBTQ community also face loneliness as they are often not accepted by society or even their family members. They are vulnerable to loneliness and they do not always feel comfortable opening up about their preferences. To avoid this, workshops are held in educational institutions to make people aware of it.
However, the issue is not limited to aged people or the LGBTQ community. Teenagers suffer a lot from anxiety and depression. Rejection and failures in life are the biggest cause of depression in teenagers. The high rate of bullying in school causes an individual to confine themselves. To deal with the fear of being treated badly, there is an avoidance of interactions with new people.
Loneliness is an alarming issue. With more care and humanity, we should welcome people with open arms and help them deal with their life problems. Loneliness can be easy to deal with when it is in the early stages. Dealing with loneliness can be as easy as having a proper conversation with a person. Mental health has always been neglected as it can’t be seen. People are being accused of acting to get their own way in different places. However, Covid-19 has taught us that loneliness can be a serious problem. Interactions and having a proper work-life balance is as important as having a great lunch.