Completely Alone And Utterly Depressed

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Do you ever feel like you have been completely abandoned by the world?  Do you struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression?  If so, you are far from alone.  Thanks to technology Americans are more isolated than they have ever been before, and as you will see below, this is really starting to cause a major national crisis.  Humans were designed to be social creatures, and researchers have found that a lack of interaction with others can cause major mental, emotional and social problems.  Not only that, it can also lead to premature death.  We actually have a need to love others and to be loved by them, and if those needs are not met the consequences can be quite dramatic.

 

Unfortunately, our society has evolved to the point where we hardly interact with one another anymore.  First of all, the size of the average household has declined from about 4.5 people to about 2.5 people over the past 100 years, and we lead the world in the number of one person households.

So for most of us, the number of people that we interact with in our homes is quite limited.

For children, at least there is quite a bit of interaction with others at school, but once you become an adult things are very different.

Most adults get up in the morning and drive by themselves to work.  Even if you take mass transportation, it is very rare to actually have a meaningful discussion with anyone.  I remember the days when I would take the Metro into Washington D.C. every morning, and most of the time there was complete silence even though the trains were usually completely packed during rush hour.  Most people would either close their eyes, read a book or spend the entire trip staring into their phones.

I have to say that cell phones have probably done more to damage real human interaction than almost any other invention in human history.  So many people just walk around like zombies obsessively staring into their little phones while life goes on all around them.  And it is the worst with young people.  For some of them, it is virtually impossible to get them to put those things down long enough to have a real conversation with them.

Once most Americans get to their places of employment there is some human interaction, but it is generally limited to topics related to work.  Yes, some very deep and meaningful relationships can be built at work, but these days that is fairly rare.

At the end of the day, most people get back into their vehicles and head home.  Perhaps a stop is made for a quick shopping trip, but randomly engaging other shoppers in conversation is not something that is typically done.

In the evenings, the vast majority of us spend several hours staring into our flickering television sets consuming whatever “entertainment” the corporate media giants have concocted for us.  Like the cell phone, the television has been one of the worst things to ever happen to human interaction.  In the old days, families would sit out on their front porches and get to know their neighbors, but these days a lot of people don’t know their neighbors at all.

What I am trying to point out is that we have become a deeply lonely nation, and some are describing this as “a public health crisis”

Truly, a public health crisis is in the making. Transcending all demographics, loneliness is an epidemic which is literally killing us.

After 35 years of multiple studies, Brigham Young University researchers have found that loneliness and isolation increase the likelihood of premature death by 32 percent (on par with the risk of obesity). In our ever “connected” world of the Internet and social media, reaching out to someone is as easy as tapping a few buttons, but the amount of people that say they have no one to talk to has tripled in the last 20 years.

In addition to greatly increasing your risk of dying early, loneliness has a whole host of other negative health effects as well

Research indicates that perceived social isolation (i.e. loneliness) is a risk factor for, and may contribute to, poorer overall cognitive performance, faster cognitive decline, poorer executive functioning, increased negativity and depressive cognition, heightened sensitivity to social threats, a confirmatory bias in social cognition that is self-protective and paradoxically self-defeating, heightened anthropomorphism and contagion that threatens social cohesion.

I don’t know what all of that means, but it sounds really bad.

Sometimes I wish that scientists would just speak to us in plain English.

Loneliness is particularly chronic among the elderly.  The following comes from the New York Times

“The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem,” said Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. “It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore older adults who feel lonely and marginalized.”

In Britain and the United States, roughly one in three people older than 65 live alone, and in the United States, half of those older than 85 live alone. Studies in both countries show the prevalence of loneliness among people older than 60 ranging from 10 percent to 46 percent.

If you have a parent or a grandparent that is living alone, please visit them on a regular basis.

You may never know how much it means to them.

Of course loneliness is a big problem on the other end of the age spectrum as well.  The following comes from U.S. News & World Report

The American Freshman Survey collected responses from about 153,000 full-time, first-year students at more than 200 four-year public and private institutions in 2014. An increasing number of students – now 38.8 percent – said they spend less than five hours each week with friends, while just 18 percent said they spend more than 16 hours weekly with friends. It’s the opposite of the picture student responses painted in 1987, when two-thirds said they spent more than 16 hours each week socializing.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering.  Because so many of us are feeling so lonely and so isolated, it should come as no surprise that depression is at epidemic levels in this country.

In fact, the number of Americans that have been formally diagnosed with depression is increasing at a rate of about 20 percent a year, and at this moment approximately one out of every six Americans is on an anti-depressant or some other sort of psychiatric drug.

According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans are currently taking antidepressants, and each year more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants are issued.

As technology takes over our lives, the trends that I have discussed in this article will likely accelerate even more, and our need for real human interaction will become even greater.

So make it a point to reach out and love those around you, because our world is becoming a very cold place.

 
  • shots autism

    Antidepressants are a big pharma scam and do not work.

    • Burt Gummer

      While I agree that depression and anxiety can be managed with diet for some, there are those of us that have to deal with genetics as well. The reason, I believe is, our environment has been damaged by sin, and man-made poison throughout our world.

      • poor eunuch

        Bernardo Lapallo, age 114, says, “You are what you eat.”

        If you eat a cupcake, you BECOME that cupcake.
        It is not genetics. Read Extraordinary Centenarians in America. The book is full of people with family members that died many years before them (they have bad family history)

        • Burt Gummer

          My grandmother lived to 108, and she ate a high fat diet most of her life. Lot of folks can’t do that because their bodies can’t handle it. Genetics can be a factor… With all due respect.

          • muslimsuck

            Depends on the kind of fat and especially what the animal ate. Some fats are critical for longevity.

          • Burt Gummer

            Pretty much what we eat nowadays. Ask any health professional. Genetics do play a role.

          • muslimsuck

            You should also buy Transcend by Ray Kurzweil. It says stuff like “because of your genetics, you’d naturally be at high risk of a heart attack, but by following our recommendations, you reduce your risk by 95 percent.
            I think Dr. Richard Schulze, the doctor Bernando LaPallo (age 114) followed also said it’s mostly diet. Genetics seems to be a minor factor based on what my centenarian book says.
            Of course affording health food is a BIG problem in 2017 because the bankers (“Federal” Reserve) & CEOs are funneling all the wealth into their own pockets.

          • Burt Gummer

            Thanks! I’ll look it up.

  • DJohn1

    I know a lot of people who are not lonely and they are not depressed.
    The key isn’t hard it just takes work. Because these people are all involved in helping others.
    Locally we have about 5 churches of various denominations involved in feeding the community at least once a week. They are all working together.
    We have something called the Master’s Closet that helps clothe both adults and kids in decent used clothing.
    When I was newly married many years ago I worked the night shift. Each night I delivered my wife as a volunteer with our local Salvation Army. They took her home for me at about 11 each night.
    One long time friend trained poor kids to be basketball players for the Salvation Army.
    Last year he visited some of his “kids”. They donated 40 million to the Salvation Army that year.
    Changing the chemistry of the brain is not the answer.
    The answer is to become someone helping others.
    Your local churches always need volunteers.
    I cannot begin to tell you the rewards that happen when you give yourself to others.
    None of these people I know have any signs of depression.

    • poor eunuch

      Just be careful. In some states the “law abiding” police officers threaten those who feed the homeless.

      Just like police raiding the raw milk co-ops and kidnapping children when the parents refuse to medicate them with big pharma pills.

    • jaxon64

      Nailed it—the key to not being self-focused and obsessed ( which is the foundation of depression) is to be charitable and helping out in your church/community/neighborhood.
      The happiest and most cheerful people I know are involved with things from “Meals on Wheels” to
      Habitat for Humanity or Christmas in April…passing out bags of food at the food bank or visiting nursing homes—you get far more than you give.

  • greanfinisher

    In this country at least, neighbors are more of a liability than anything else. They either want something from you, or simply complain.

  • Richard Broberg

    All friends do is borrow money with no hope of repayment. Cats are far superior to people as friends. And cats keep he house free of rodents.

    • krinks

      .and rabbits. I have to say I miss the headless rabbits I would find on my front porch when the cat died.

      • Sam

        If you want to keep the cat alive the answer is calorie restriction, filtered water, no GMO’s in their food.

        I bet GMO is a big reason depression is increasing. GMO causes every kind of health problem in existence. Hybrid is bad, but GMO is death.
        gmo versions include
        cotton
        papaya
        potato
        alfalfa
        apple
        wine yeast
        corn
        soy
        salmon
        yellow squash
        zucchini
        canola

        • GetReal4U2

          salmon?

          • poor eunuch

            I missed eggplant & pineapple. If you have pet cats, dog, fish; the main thing you need to check is corn & soy.

            some Hawaii pineapple
            some Hawaii papaya
            possibly cacao (i need to check before I get organ failure)

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  • US

    Some people NEED a smartphone for their job.
    My grandma is under 100 and needs a TV so she won’t feel alone.

  • Ray S.

    People don’t call anymore. It’s funny that we even call them phones when they aren’t really used for that. Everyone texts. People don’t write letters anymore. They text each other or they contact you through social media. And then when something is planned for everyone to be there interacting with one another, all you see is people glancing at their cell phones and being distracted by whatever they are looking at. It’s quite depressing to watch.

    I know you keep this site on a spiritual side. What I see happening is that all these ways of communication that we have today are really distracting us from some of the things that technology can’t really teach you, like hearing God’s voice, or becoming spiritually mature. Or learning to spiritually discern things. The more you spend on a computer or cell phone, the less time you spend with the Lord one on one.

    • KMH

      Jesus has left the church. It is too busy to listen to His voice. Therefore, the churches are either empty or mega and busy busy. There is no depth anymore to fellowship. All people at church talk about is health and wealth- Just another social club.

      • Burt Gummer

        It’s called, the Church of Laodicea. Revelation, Chapter three.

    • Understanding 18

      Well said.

  • cops kill 3 a day

    Some people NEED a smartphone for their job. People need a phone to call a tow truck if they break down. Some truckers need a phone to find locations.

    My grandma is under 100 and needs a TV so she won’t feel alone.

  • Get Sodium Bicarbonate aka Baking Soda…The reason Egyptians were obsessed with it. It will remove all depressions. 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. They are killing good gut bacteria by GMOs

    When your Gut is healthy you are healthy. Get Baking Soda…The miracle cure which will help microflora grow back in your gut

    • poor eunuch

      Over the Counter Natural Cures, Chapter 12, The Rare Mineral that Wards off Depression
      Lithium Orotate
      Occurs in some drinking water, pill form, mineral baths.

  • John

    You don’t have to be lonely any more. Its His Story dot com for the best friend you will ever have.

    • iris

      Amen!

  • Burt Gummer

    Sad to say, we introverts are better equipped to handle rejection and isolation.

  • GetReal4U2

    look to God to replace the “spirit” of loneliness….Jesus is real…