The loneliness situation worsened, especially during COVID-19 pandemic among not only senior adults but also young adults in USA
Loneliness has become a serious issue in the United States, causing significant harm to people’s mental and physical health.
The problem has been labelled an epidemic by the US Surgeon General, Dr Vivek Murthy, as it continues to affect many lives across the nation, according to the USA Today.
Loneliness isn’t just about feeling sad and alone; it’s a deep sense of lacking the connections that people need in their lives. Dr Murthy highlighted that it affects individuals in various ways, often triggered by trauma, illness, or the increasing reliance on technology, which sometimes replaces genuine human interactions.
The situation has worsened, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older adults have felt increasingly isolated, but loneliness isn’t exclusive to them – it affects people of all ages. This feeling of social disconnection isn’t just an emotional issue; it’s a significant health concern. It’s been linked to heart disease, stroke, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
The impact of loneliness on health is alarming. An advisory report published by the US Surgeon General shows that being alone can increase the risk of premature death significantly, almost equivalent to smoking a considerable number of cigarettes daily.
Lonely individuals are also less likely to take care of themselves properly, neglecting preventive care and healthy lifestyle habits, according to a Harvard study.
Addressing loneliness requires action both on an individual level and within communities. Experts suggest reaching out to someone regularly, dedicating time to help others, and reducing reliance on devices for social interactions. But it’s not just about personal efforts. Schools, workplaces, and healthcare systems need to adopt strategies that actively combat loneliness.
To tackle this loneliness epidemic effectively, a collective effort from various sectors of society is crucial.
Building genuine connections and creating supportive environments will be vital in addressing this growing concern, fostering a society where people feel valued, connected, and supported.