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#416205 - 11/13/12 11:00 PM Loneliness isn't about being alone, it's about....
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Good article. Makes lots of sense why I feel lonely all the time even in a crowd (which is rare for me to be in anyway).

Loneliness isn't about being alone, it's about not feeling connected.

The need for connection, and the enforcement power of withdrawing that connection, is evident even among chimpanzees. In chimp society, as in every human culture ever studied, infractions against the social order are punished by some form of ostracism. Well along the path of cultural development, banishment remained the most severe stricture, short of torture or death, imposed by kings and potentates. Even today, in modern correctional institutions, the penalty of last resort is solitary confinement.

In the past few years, laboratory research has examined the power of our need for contact with others and has, in fact, mapped its physiological roots. Cooperation, for example, activates the "reward" areas of the brain, much as those areas are activated by the satisfaction of hunger. When we confront social rejection, the experience activates the same areas that light up when we are subjected to physical pain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows that when we see unfamiliar human beings, or even pictures of human beings, our brains respond in a distinctly different way than they do when we see any other type of object. "Someone like me" is clearly a very important category in our neural wiring. Empathy, too, is traceable: images of humans displaying intense emotions, rather than neutral affect, register in the brain with correspondingly greater intensity. And more significant for where our story will take us, recent studies demonstrate that the social environment can actually modulate RNA transcription, influencing the way cells replicate. Social context also affects immune function.

Despite all the persuasive evidence of our need for connection, and the clear demonstration of the influence of connection on our physiology, there is today a worldwide epidemic of disconnection that until now has been regarded as little different than a personal weakness or a distressing state with no redeeming features. Recent studies have found these notions to be wrong.

To call it an epidemic of loneliness risks having it relegated to the advice columns. Say the word "lonely" and people think dating services, "Miss Lonelihearts," "Only the Lonely," or Los Lonely Boys. But there is nothing trivial, or comical, or poignantly romantic about loneliness. What has emerged is the notion that loneliness is an aversive signal whose purpose is to motivate us to reconnect. But over time if it is not addressed, loneliness can contribute to generalized morbidity and mortality.

Marriage is an imprecise marker of social connection, but the age-adjusted death rate for people who have never been married is 65.9 percent higher than for those who have been married at some time in their lives. Compared to those who are currently married, the age-adjusted death rate for those who never marry is 220 percent higher. Married couples tend also to be less lonely. When one also considers loneliness, much of the health protective effects of marriage disappear.

A generation ago, depression was poorly understood, woefully under diagnosed (it still is) and all too readily dismissed as moodiness or weakness. Most saw it as a character flaw rather than an as an illness.

Now we know that depression is a medical condition with physical manifestations in the brain, that it is to some extent genetic, and that it costs an estimated $44 billion in lost productivity each year for the U.S. economy. Neglected in that impersonal statistic, of course, is a vast amount of human suffering and unfulfilled human potential.

Loneliness is far more than a social misfortune, it is a significant problem of health and happiness that is distinct from but contributes to the likelihood of depression. In a forthcoming blog, we'll examine the relationship between loneliness and depression more closely.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/connections/200905/epidemic-loneliness
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#416217 - 11/14/12 12:53 AM Re: Loneliness isn't about being alone, it's about.... [Re: phoenix321]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Phoenix,

That is an informative and well-written post about loneliness. Loneliness has been a lifetime problem for me. It still is. It is a long-lasting symptom of abuse.

This is one of the healing byproducts of talk therapy. I can relate to the therapist and he can relate to me. When I started therapy, I could say things to the T that I couldn't say to anybody else. He can parry anything I say to him. That's a big part of his job. That has helped me to grow socially. The T is helping to orient me to the social environment I'm in. He's helping me with trust issues.

My late wife was a huge help to me. Now she's gone. I am lonely in her absence.

This might sound silly to some, but my dog is a big help in the fight against loneliness. I have a very social dog. Dogs would run in packs if they weren't with people. It's been shown that our blood pressure goes down when we're with a pet dog. That means there are other benefits also.

I have also been helped by watching certain movies. Some movies can enlarge our concept of the abuse we went through, and therefore orient us socially. An example of this is the movie: Sleepers. Also for me there is the movie: Oliver Twist. There have been a bunch of others for me.

Puffer




Edited by pufferfish (11/14/12 12:57 AM)

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#416223 - 11/14/12 02:41 AM Re: Loneliness isn't about being alone, it's about.... [Re: pufferfish]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: pufferfish
Phoenix,

That is an informative and well-written post about loneliness. Loneliness has been a lifetime problem for me. It still is. It is a long-lasting symptom of abuse.

This is one of the healing byproducts of talk therapy. I can relate to the therapist and he can relate to me. When I started therapy, I could say things to the T that I couldn't say to anybody else. He can parry anything I say to him. That's a big part of his job. That has helped me to grow socially. The T is helping to orient me to the social environment I'm in. He's helping me with trust issues.

My late wife was a huge help to me. Now she's gone. I am lonely in her absence.

This might sound silly to some, but my dog is a big help in the fight against loneliness. I have a very social dog. Dogs would run in packs if they weren't with people. It's been shown that our blood pressure goes down when we're with a pet dog. That means there are other benefits also.

I have also been helped by watching certain movies. Some movies can enlarge our concept of the abuse we went through, and therefore orient us socially. An example of this is the movie: Sleepers. Also for me there is the movie: Oliver Twist. There have been a bunch of others for me.

Puffer




I'm sorry, Puffer. Wish I had the opportunity of a wife all those years I was lonely. frown

This struck me: Loneliness isn't about being alone, it's about not feeling connected...[i]at all{/i] [emphasis and words added by me]

I've never felt human. I've always felt outside humanity. Therefore, I was never connected. That is the big thing in lonelines vs. being alone--feeling connected at all. If you connect to humanity, being alone is wonderful at times. If you don't connect, you'll be lonely in a crowd or even with one. That's what I got out of it.
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#416235 - 11/14/12 04:33 AM Re: Loneliness isn't about being alone, it's about.... [Re: pufferfish]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
This article makes a lot of sense.

Originally Posted By: pufferfish
My late wife was a huge help to me. Now she's gone. I am lonely in her absence.

I feel exactly the same about my late wife. She really got me. Sometimes better than I got myself. And then she died.

I am seeing someone else but its not the same. She knows about the abuse and we love each other, but she doesn't get me the way my wife did. Sometimes I still feel lonely, even when we're together...
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

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#416241 - 11/14/12 07:06 AM * [Re: pufferfish]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 01:01 PM)

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