We are in the midst of a loneliness epidemic that affects millions, whether you’re married, single or somewhere in between, young or old, an urban dweller or live in a remote village. Loneliness lurks in our shadows, yet unlike smoking or obesity isn’t socially recognized by most as a threat, even though it can be deadly. Ironically, we often see those with just a few “authentic” friends can feel fulfilled, while others with vast social networks can feel empty and disconnected.
“I thought that, as a health professional, my awareness of the dangers of social isolation would protect me from its negative effects on my mental and overall health. It didn’t,” says Rie Lopez, a patient who will share her personal experiences during our upcoming webinar on this topic.
“Sure I have friends and I’m not an introvert but now more than ever, I feel lonely, as if it’s me against the rest of the world, but I am ashamed to admit this to anyone, ” admitted a patient in a recent study.
DID YOU KNOW?
- A lack of social connection is a bigger risk factor than obesity and the equivalent of smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day
- Those with less than three confidants and someone they can lean on for social support are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease
- Loneliness hurts and can feel like an actual wound
- There is a difference between social isolation and loneliness
- Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they are lonely has doubled from 20 % to 40 %
- Most lonely individuals are married, live with others and are not clinically depressed. Our youth are also at great risk.
- Social isolation can be enabled by technology
- The stigma associated with loneliness can lead to denial among those affected
Want to hear from people personally affected by this epidemic? Curious about the data and research that supports this growing problem? Interested in the potential solutions and how to tackle some of these issues?
The archive from our most recent webinar will be shared shortly!