Twopsychologists, Louise Hawkley and John Cacioppo, have been trying to disentangle social isolation, loneliness, and the physical deterioration and diseases of aging, right down to the cellular level.
The researchers suspected that while the toll of loneliness may be mild and unremarkable in early life, it accumulates with time. To test this idea, the scientists studied a group of college-age individuals and continued an annual study of a group of people who joined when they were between 50 and 68 years old.
Their findings, reported in the August issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, are revealing. Consider stress, for example. The more years you live, the more stressful experiences you are going to have: new jobs, marriage and divorce, parenting, financial worries, illness. It’s inevitable.
However, when the psychologists looked at the lives of the middle-aged and older people in their study, they found that although the lonely ones reported the same number of stressful life events, they identified more sources of chronic stress and recalled more childhood adversity.
Moreover, they differed in how they perceived their life experiences. Even when faced with similar challenges, the lonelier people appeared more helpless and threatened. And ironically, they were less apt to actively seek help when they are stressed out.
Hawkley and Cacioppo then took urine samples from both the lonely and the more contented volunteers, and found that the lonely ones had more of the hormone epinephrine flowing in their bodies. Epinephrine is one of the body’s “fight or flight” chemicals, and high levels indicate that lonely people go through life in a heightened state of arousal.
As with blood pressure, this physiological toll likely becomes more apparent with aging. Since the body’s stress hormones are intricately involved in fighting inflammation and infection, it appears that loneliness contributes to the wear and tear of aging through this pathway as well.
There is more bad news. When we experience the depletion caused by stress, our bodies normally rely on restorative processes like sleep to shore us up. But when the researchers monitored the younger volunteers’ sleep, they found that the lonely nights were disturbed by many “micro awakenings.” That is, they appeared to sleep as much as the normal volunteers, but their sleep was of poorer quality.
Not surprisingly, the lonelier people reported more daytime dysfunction. Since sleep tends to deteriorate with age anyway, the added hit from loneliness is probably compromising this natural restoration process even more.
Loneliness is not the same as solitude. Some people are just fine with being alone, and some even see solitude as an important path to spiritual growth. But for many, social isolation and physical aging make for a toxic cocktail.DQ's notes:
tell me about it. i live it every day for going on 4 years now (the first two, i was occupied with work). i am lucky if i see a human one a month, and that would be the mailman or water delivery. i am a fish out of water here. in college they taught us humans are social creatures. sometimes you cannot always go by that, because some will just plain attack you. but, mainly i just don't know anyone here and while i went out on my own in oregon, i will not do that here. i don't get the same vibes.
my grandpa died of lonliness a few years ago and i seem to pattern my life after him now, unfortunately. he told me that drs said he was dying with heart diease, but he told me it was from lonliness. his wife left him and the kids didn't visit, only one dropped in once in a while. the last time i saw him, everything was coated with dust and he said how lonely he was. this is a guy who had like 9 kids.
thanks. the moment i read your message i started to cry and can barely see the keyboard right now. i hate that, nose gets all stuffed up, it sucks. the last three days, i cry constantly. something is wrong with me and i need my mommy, actually, i guess. but she's 1200 miles away, and generally busy. i miss my friends so much. i had a few older friends. they are the best and the funniest. and you learn a lot from them. i wish there were some here where i live. but california is different. people keep to themselves, not like oregon. i am not used to it. and most old people here are rich. i miss martha. she is in her 80s and a scientologist. she's a kick. we would go to lunch all the time and walk to the healthfood store. i would see her every morning if i looked out my window. a few times i used to hide in bushes and help her deliver scientology literature door to door. i new the police could be called at any moment. it was truly living on the edge, lol. and she would always fight with the christian lady in her 90s, Leona, who was my good friend, too. she moved out a while back to her daughter's and now they are both almost as lonely as me. i don't think you can replace certain people you meet. some just always stand out and when they are not around, life can be miserable.
i have the b-12. it isn't helping, except with energy.
the second link, i cannot get to work.
i have a question for you. i have been searching a long time and cannot find info. if you have stomach cancer, do you burp all the time? 3 months ago, this burping started and i do not do anything different and i eat pretty well, although not enough raw, but some. part of me does not want to know the answer to this.
some say get a dog. you know what..i feel if i got a dog, i'd be sitting here lonely, with a dog. and i'd be neglecting him like i do myself. i don't think it would work at all.
i had written a post to the webmaster about pictures i uploaded and aye said i was not having any problems and asked why i was only posting so that people would look at my pics and said i was always doing this. this came off a few blogs i had removed that i just felt were distasteful, no biggie. but, he was angry about that. so, no, it had nothing to do with my situtation. i have always been the sort who doesn't like being accused of lying. i do not understand why everyone is so concerned with aye and me, though. in my opinion, he has an agenda, he believes people should not eat meat at all and he gets very adament about it. he also is adament about yoga and he professes to see all and that sort of thing. when i read his posts, i feel a force with them, that you need to believe, a cult-like feeling. That's just me, so it you don't, that's fine. with him, i feel if you are in with the crowd, you do ok, but if not, there is a clash. people who have an agenda and push it, i do not get along with, never have.
i appreciate your post. my biggest problem is i have no one here to help me out, zero, nada, it's just me. and i am a strong believer in two heads are better than one. and more would be better. but, i don't mean people online, i mean people who are physically present, a support group, not unlike the friends i used to have back home. i sit here, wronged for nearly 4 years montarily, wronged over 5 years mentally and emotionally, with 1200 emails or more, not wanting to do a damn thing, not even knowing what the hell to do, and i am simply at a loss. and i go deeper in debt and deeper into lonliness every day. to just pack up and go home is not as simple as it sounds. but i may have to, i have no clue. and, many of my friends are gone, didn't keep in contact with them when I moved. one is in a care home. it's just all a mess. i like to hang around christian people, i mean true christian people. most people do not know what that is, nor have they experienced it. i have some friends in washington. we went through school together and grew up together. her and her husband andtheir friends are true christians and are pure people. it is all brotherly love and you do not find that very often. they get together and play board games and cards. i imagine they bowl, too. we did as kids. so, i have considered moving there. i seriously do not know what to do and get sicker every day. people say, go make some friends. well, you have to be careful. and, i wouldn't know how in a big city, too scared. and, when you get into a deep depression, you do not feel like joining a club or whatever.
i don't know about raynbo, but i lost all interest in men when the tubal ligation put me into post menopause. in fact, i found an old thing of birth control pills the drs tried to give me for it and i am taking those out of desperation. i have tried all the other stuff, and i have the natural stuff and it plain does not work hardly at all. it costs tons and does not have enough estrogen or progesterone to do any good. i did not really need a tubal ligation, but thought i did because of a man. the man lied and here i am, never having needed it, unable to have kids now (and i wanted some) and am in post menopause, never went through a normal one, and it happened at age 39 right one month after the tubal ligation. they tell me my fsh is that of a woman in her 60s. i am almost off the charts and it has been like that for quite a while now. before that, i had feminine feelings and stuff, but after that none at all. so, i will never be married. and our society measures a woman's success by her ability to marry and have kids. please do not tell me differently, i am talking about society as a whole.
well, i was just explaining what happened. because of the surgery that i should not have had, i have no female-type feelings. so i will not being marrying is all.
yes, i have that agoraphobia thing. i just developed it in the last year. i HATE going outside and never open the curtains. i cannot stand to be around people or in public. this is all new to me, was never like this before. i heard someone with this the other day...Paula Deen, she had what i had. she said she was a functioning agoraphobic, she could go out when she had too, but didn't like it. most of the time, she didn't.
as far as the success thing...i have had too many people telling me i am not. so, i am not. but, i do not care, so i guess it doesn't matter.
i will tell you something ironic. our society says successful people marry. that is what everyone is to do when they grow up. if you are not married by a certain age, it is deemed there is something wrong with you. i would have family members call me and try to get me to tell them i am gay. funny, i was never with a female, but the conclusion is you are gay. the ironic part: many people are divorced. that's ok. as long as you were married, it shows you were normal and you are even more accepted if you have kids. myself, i see it as more of failure to be divorced than to never be married, but that is just not the perception.
i am not saying you have to believe it or live it or anything, it is just a societal value that i grew up with.
that is great about your life and you worked hard. myself, i am just coming off an extremely abusive situation and on top of it i have no one here to console me and hang out with. so, it is hitting me like a ton of bricks.
no, not that i experience. after a tubal ligation i have heard from tons of women who have zero sex drive. i take the hormones and still nothing. i was 100% fine before it in that dept. i didn't have sex, but i had a sex drive. and i liked fashion and girly stuff. after the tubal, i did not.
yes, i know, i hear that, but i also have gotten hundreds of emails in the last couple years saying they had the exact same thing happen. it is part of post tubal ligation syndrome, and it doesn't happen to everyone, but to a lot of women. i have had the bloodwork done, but they never check hormone levels, because my dr says it is not necessary. he says all that needs tested is the fsh and if that is menopausal, the hormones will be,too. he put me on HRT, which causes cancer. it made me feel better, but i only took it a month because i know about the cancer. so, i went to natural homones or so i thought. i have the made at a compounding pharmacy, but they are synthetic, which i guess is ok, but tey cost a lot and she puts some cinnamon in them that i hate and cannot stand to put on without feeling ill. she won't stop. and it is hard to find one of those places, another one is many miles away. so, i buy it overseas and it costs about the same, expensive. but it doesn't work well at all. compared to birth control pills or HRT, it does virtually nothing. i cannot afford to take half a jar a day or more, since it is like $60 a jar (a small one). i take the dose it says to take and just do not have any luck. i upped it and had no luck. to up it more, would cost me hundreds a month, can't do it and not sure it would work, anyway.
no, i have no one to talk to. you are it. i called my mom the other day to tell her how sick i am, but she can't do much because i am here and she is busy. when someone you look up to treats you liek a dog out back, it is hard. like i said, i got caught up in the abuse syndrome. i am only now starting to stop. i stopped a while back, so it new to me and i'm trying to find something to make me feel good again. i went through this once before. the problem is, i went from one abuser to another. i told the current abuser about the one prior and they couldn't believe i was treated that way...but they ended up treating me worse. many abusers put on a charming act.
no, loss of libido is very common with tuballigation. i have gotten many emails and many calls from women who say the exact same thing. it is part of PTLS.
no, i am not looking for that special someone. i have had no interest in men for about 2 years or so. i have no interest in one true love or any of that.
i cannot go back to oregon until i get well from dental because i am in a lot of pain and in the states, the work would be at least $30,000.
what dreams did i have, i believed the abuser, that he liked me. i also believed i could live well financially. he took both those away and deemed me not worthy. but now, i only would hope to recover financially, i will have to see how that goes. i have been being thrown an old eaten bone instead of a steak for over 3 years now. it is like i am scared of making money. i am scared whoever i choose to work for will not pay me and will suck me back in the other direction. i know it sounds bad, but that has been my fear for quite a while now and why i don't do anything but watch tv and write on curezone. it has gotten that bad. but, the only thing that has helped me a little bit to catapult, was my extreme need for dental work and the help of some of you at curezone. otherwise, i might be heading aimlessly back to oregon searching for something that i don't even know what it is. that may be the best thing, but i have to give this a try with my dental first. i got a call a call from a fellow curzonian from england yesterday because they were worried about me. pretty amazing.
I know what you mean about your mom not being there for you. My mom wasn't either. She had her own severe emotional issues and even as a child, to a certain point I was her caregiver. I always tried to make sure she was happy. When I was immersed in my panic syndrome, I was in California and she was in Florida. Funny, I knew she would have a nervous breakdown if she knew how sick I was and she wouldn't be able to help me anyway. So every Saturday I called and put on this big act how everything was fine so she would feel secure. It wasn't until she first came to live with me that I shared my road to hell and back with her. One thing, with the panic attacks, I learned to be the best actress ever. If people didn't know me, they would think I was the most well adjusted person ever. Because at a certain point I decided that I would act positively, and think positively no matter how bad I felt. After a time, I noticed that something magical happened. The "acting" had turned into "habit." Not only was I well, but I really became a positive person. Not to say that I don't have my moments of discouragement and sadness. We all have that. But that is the normal human condition. Nobody can be happy all of the time. But sometimes I so wish that could be so.
Abusers can be very charming. That's how they trap you and when you are caught in their web it is too late. It is very easy to go from one abuser to the next. Actually, it is a pattern that must be broken. Self esteem and loving oneself is a good antidote. Be discerning the next time you meet that charming, kind, helpful man. Think enough of yourself to not get involved in another abusive situation. The problem with a lot of women, myself included, is that everybody else comes first. We need to make time for the most important person in our lives. Ourselves. I have to remind myself of that as I tend to be a workaholic. There are times that I must schedule relaxing and do it.
I am glad you are making an important step and attending to your teeth. This will improve your health and your self esteem. Tomorrow is the big day. I will be thinking of you. Tomorrow I will be leaving to go to the nursing home and then I will be on the road all day, making deliveries and visiting customers. I should be back by late afternoon. If I am plumb exhausted, I may take a nap before I log on. Sometimes a nap is the most important of all. LOL
I want to leave you with a link. I want you to watch this movie. It is great. This movie changed my life. Again. It can change yours.