LONELINESS: IS IT INEVITABLE IN A MODERN WORLD?
Very Interesting|January/February 2022
Young or old, rich or poor, many of us will experience a longing for social contact at some point in our lives. But loneliness doesn't have to be inevitable...
DEAN BURNETT

It may seem an obvious outcome of a pandemic where social contact is discouraged, or even made illegal, but concerns about rising levels of loneliness were common before the coronavirus and will likely persist for the foreseeable future. Humans are an incredibly social species. It's one of the reasons we have such powerful brains and advanced intelligence - to better keep track of and maintain numerous relationships. Our social interactions are a huge factor in how we think, act and see ourselves, because much of our brains are dedicated to social cognition. Completely depriving someone of human contact is a recognised form of torture. Human wellbeing depends on interpersonal interactions and relationships. It's no wonder that prolonged loneliness is associated with many serious health consequences, such as an increased risk of depression, anxiety, dementia, stroke and heart disease, so an epidemic of it should be taken very seriously.

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