Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
Although loneliness is something we all have to deal with at times, does chronic loneliness lead to serious health risks? A new article published in Health Psychology suggests that might be the case, especially over the long run.
A team of researchers at the Ohio State College of Medicine and the National Cancer Institude conducted two studies looking at the long term effects of loneliness on survival. Loneliness, defined as the experience of perceived social isolation, has long been linked to various medical concerns, including heart disease. In terms of relative survival, loneliness appears to be as great a health risk as being obese and inactive. Even when other medical problems are controlled for, the effect of loneliness on health is extreme.
The two studies focused on the effect of lonelines on the depression, chronic pain, and fatigue symptom cluster found in a wide range of chronic medical conditions. These three symptoms are often found together since they are mutually reinforcing and can lower quality of life and long-term survival. According to research, lonely people seem especially prone to developing depression, pain, and fatigue over time. Based on the middle-range theory of unpleasant symptoms, these unpleasant symptoms have a joint impact on long-term health outcomes.
To read ore, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.