When you are feeling lonely, the isolation can make you feel like you are dying, but the science behind loneliness shows that it actually might be.
Spending time alone is not a bad thing. It can be relaxing, pleasant, and can recharge your batteries. It’s just not in the human DNA to be isolated for long periods of time, though. So if you go too long without human interaction, it can take a physical toll.
You will get sick
Psychological Science published a study that showed that people that were isolated suffered from a weaker immune system. The loneliness caused them great stress that caused the body to release a protein which is linked to inflammation. Over an extended period of isolation, you can be more run down, lack energy, be stricken down with flu and colds more than those that regularly take part in group activities.
Higher risk of dementia
There is a lot of studies still being done on the different environmental contributions to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Findings in a 2007 study showed that the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubled for isolated people. The reasons for that are still unclear.
Reduces cardiac wellness
No matter how well you take care of your health, eat the right foods, and take supplements your heart is in for a bad time if you are lonely. A 2015 peer review of 23 separate studies came to the conclusion that there was a direct correlation between isolation and cardiac wellness. The review found that people who are feeling the effects of prolonged loneliness are 29% more likely to develop heart disease and 32% more likely to have a stroke.
Depression is another significant risk of isolation so it is important to reach out if you are feeling lonely. Many professionals that can help as well as many social groups that can be joined to help stop the isolation.
It is crucial to discuss your loneliness with a family member or your doctor to get a handle on it before it creates a problem.