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Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 08:19

Loneliness have been reported as high as 80% in individual age groups with those under 18 and the elderly reporting the highest numbers.

The implications of loneliness are huge.  Some of the research has shown that the consequences of loneliness include:

- reduced lifespan
- accelerated psychological aging
- risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- suicidal thoughts
- stress, fear, anxiety, depression, and anger
- reduced IQ, sleep, and self-esteem
- health problems (i.e., obesity, high blood pressure, heart risk, reduced immunity, etc.)
- dependencies (e.g., alcohol, drugs, etc.)

The list goes on and on.  Loneliness is associated higher with divorce, widows, higher  education, higher income, poor marital quality, and many more areas.  Suffice it to say loneliness is a huge negative with no positive reported in research that I can find.

Work by Ccioppo, Fowler, and Christakis, for the National Institute of Health, looked at loneliness in social networks.  What they found was interesting and alarming for understanding loneliness:

1.  Loneliness is associated with how much (or less) both genders interact with a woman each day.  Everybody needs a woman it seems.
2.  Social networks help to spread happiness.
3.  Lonely people are linked to lonely people up to 3 degrees of separation (friends’ friends’ friend). Misery loves company.
4.  Lonely people tend to make non-lonely people lonely and they spread it like a contagion online.
5.  Women are more prone to the spread of loneliness than men.
6.  Removing lonely people from your network helps reduce loneliness.
7.  Loneliness spread quicker with friends than family members.

In essence, the results show it is important to have good friends and family in your social networks (online or in-person).  Such connections make for reducing loneliness and increasing happiness.

Take heed to what Mother Teresa said: "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."

Source: Cacioppo, J. T., Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2009). Alone in the crowd: The structure and spread of loneliness in a large social network. Journal of personality and social psychology, 97(6), 977.

**My top strength is"learning." So, my blogs are learning-focused. ~Orlando

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Posted on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 02:14

Loneliness is without love

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Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 19:40


This is very interesting.  I’m sure you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  While he identifies the primary need as being physiological….ie food, drink, air to breathe….I think I read somewhere that modern Psychologists have actually revised the Hierarchy, placing the Need to Belong as primary.  I believe this idea.  That would explain why some people just give up and die when their life partner expires….despite having access to ample food, drink and air.  I believe humans are hard wired from early ancestors to live in herds….for safety, warmth, food gathering/hunting, shelter and even shared child raising.  Our species would never have survived had they not lived in communities.

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