Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

Loneliness Is an Epidemic. Love Is the Closest Thing We Have to a Cure.

Photo credit: Pinterest

You don’t need anyone to tell you that loneliness sucks. But did you know that it’s an all-but-out-of-control epidemic in the modern world, and that lives are shortened because of it? That’s the lamentable truth. But happily, as Dr. Jill Carnahan relates, the remedy is accessible to nearly everyone.

We hear a lot about some causes of death: cigarettes, guns, heart disease, fentanyl. But in many parts of the world there’s a less visible killer we ignore to our peril. Loneliness is correlated with a 26% increase in the likelihood of premature death in the United States, where one person in twelve is severely affected.

And “affected” means much more than a passing, or even sustained, negative feelings. Evidence of the medical consequences of severe loneliness has accrued study by study, year by year. Immune system dysfunction, chronic inflammation, pain, fatigue, high blood pressure: all these conditions and more have been linked to a life of loneliness.

Dr. Jill Carnahan, a doctor specializing in functional medicine and health education, is quite direct about the dangers of loneliness in this essay on her website. But she lavishes more attention on a straightforward remedy, and one that’s also supported by evidence: namely, love. Or to expand a bit, the immense healing power of an increased commitment to building and sustaining loving relationships, in all aspects and stages of our lives.

Just as loneliness has a clear pathology—often increasing with age, economic precarity, excessive screen time, etc.—building loving relationships has a rather clear methodology as well. Dr. Carnahan shares many reflections on breaking out of the loneliness trap. This quick, uplifting essay is also a serious form of health guidance on a too-often-overlooked topic. Check it out:

Love Heals: The Powerful Effects of Love ( and How To Create More of It)

Loading

Related Posts from "Sanctuary"

Dr. Gabor Maté: The Power of Addiction, the Addiction to Power

Across four decades of work on issues of trauma, addiction, childhood development, stress, and illness, Dr. Gabor Maté has become an internationally recognized thinker, author, and public speaker. But his brilliance is only one side of the coin. The other side, evident in all his remarks, is profound compassion. In this TED talk, both qualities are on full display.

Using ChatGPT To Fight Depression: Some Creative Ideas

ChatGPT is not a living mind, let alone a therapist. It is, however, proving to be an immensely useful online assistant for people across the world. Little wonder that professionals and others are finding ways to apply its powers of information gathering and synthesis to the challenge of living with depression. This article offers one emotion expert’s tips on how ChatGPT and related technology might be able to shoulder a bit of that burden.

Dating Someone With Depression: A Brief Guide

More than one quarter of U.S. adults report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. The disease makes life challenging in all kinds of ways, and relationships are no exception. For partners of those suffering depression, the inability to “fix” the other’s condition can be difficult and frustrating. But even though we can’t cure our partners’ depression, we can learn skills that strengthen our relationships and make them more fulfilling for both parties.