Living in the moment and loving it! I write to reflect on the issues that inspire us to be more, the topics we need to address with passion and people that deserve special recognition. I write to simply write, because I love to and I believe we should live out our dreams.
Are You Lonely Tonight?
Do you feel alone?
Do you feel like you are the only one that feels this way? Well
don’t feel like that any longer.
Statistics show we are a nation full of folks suffering
from loneliness. When the
National Science Foundation did a study on this topic,
1 in 4 people stated they
were feeling lonely. When they were asked to rule out
family, the numbers went
up to 1 out of every 2.
The effects of loneliness can be devastating on our
society. It causes depression. Depression can easily lead to mental illness.
Depending on the severity of mental illness, other issues follow. Potential issues are anxiety disorders,
panic attacks, and impaired immune functioning.
Furthermore, there have been studies showing impaired immune
functioning can lead to increased risk of arthritis, diabetes, and overeating.
In general, the studies bear out that this decrease in immune functioning
directly correlates to decrease longevity of life. Also, at the top of the list of probability
when encountering loneliness is suicide. Professor John Cacioppo of the
University of Chicago found in his study in 2014 that loneliness was twice as
bad for older people’s health as obesity and almost as great a cause of death
Loneliness is not reserved as an issue for simply elderly
aged adults. Actually it has become a major issue with young adults these
Mental Health Foundation
found out through studies that it is a greater concern
among adults aged 18-34 years
age was much more likely, when questioned, to state they were feeling
and often. They also worried about
feeling all alone and feeling depressed
because of being alone much more so
than those over the age of 55.
There is such a close link
between loneliness and mental health as stated before that
it bears repeating the incidence of
increased stress levels go up when someone feels loneliness. Thus these young people become more depressed
increasing the likelihood
of paranoia, anxiety, addiction, with a cognitive
decline. These all are factors that
lead to suicide.
Thus we have a society
with a great deal of adults functioning, to some extent with a silent secret. The secret they have is impeding their
happiness and their ability to experience life fully and enjoyably. And they need help but have no one,or so they
feel, to help them. How did this happen over the last twenty years?
First, we have become a
technological savvy society. Everything we do, we do through automated systems,
through the internet. We talk to our office mates through instant messaging, we
talk to family through emails or Facebook and we talk to friends through
texting. We make friends through
Facebook or Twitter and Instagram. Gone
to face chats where verbal and non-verbal skills are used. No longer
are we getting the direct feedback that gives one a sense of well-being, a
general sense of acceptance,
for those that need that. This can create a world where some folks feel
that they are unworthy of others’ time anymore.
Yes, you can have an
online presence but is that really you? Having an online presence
is not the
same as having a real relationship. That persona people put up on their pages,
their profiles, you have no idea if it is true, even that they look like the picture
staring at or if it is some stock photo they bought. And let’s face it, no one is as good
project online. No one is always happy, always faithful, that incredibly wise,
so incredibly witty, comes up with the best answer for everything, and is never
Thus, many people do not feel
comfortable putting their loneliness out there on the internet, a so perfect
world, to get the help they need. They
do not want to risk the criticism or rejection from the phony society they are
a part of. So even though
there are helpful sites out
there for those lonely souls seeking help , there is not
clear evidence to show
which sites are legit from which ones are facades.
The job market is very
demanding and seldom is a work week 40 hours. Many have few hours left to seek
outside intervention, slash counseling. Some
still see counseling as a weakness, a strike against them. They believe the old wives’ tale that no one else
needs to know what goes on in your house or in your head even if it means it
will clear up the cobwebs and straighten up your thinking to a clearer
path. So they will just work their butts
off and keep their loneliness to themselves letting it eat away at them in the
stillness of the night.
Family breakdowns more and
more these days have caused deterioration in the family network. Thus no longer
do we have families connected where they support each other through thick and
thin. Some families don’t even speak anymore to each other. New families can be a network of friends or
non-existent thus making someone feel totally isolated until a new network is
established creating a placebo family. Until
that is done or if not done, there is a hole inside a person, a void that is
left which can make someone feel empty, thus alone.
Whatever the reasons or
the issues for feeling lonely, real or imagined, the solution is
get help. The consequences are great, to you as an individual
and to us as a society.
The options are
as varied as we are as people. We mustn’t
be shy about reaching out
our hands to help others and point out ideas of paths
to take to aid others on ways to improve their condition. Or we can become part of the solution. We should never try
to become the only
solution, as that would be self-defeating, becoming a crutch for another person. They need the tools so they have the sense of
the ability to go on with or without you.
There really is no excuse
for noticing someone is lonely and not offering a helping hand, pointing out
resources or extending some friendship.
It could be a matter of saving a
life. And one day, that life saved might be yours!