Loneliness, Depression, and Health

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In the 1950s, one in every 10,000 households had only one person in them.  Today, one in four households is a single-person household.  Loneliness has become a national crisis.

With text messaging, e-mail, and all the technologic contacts available to a person, it seems illogical that loneliness should be so rampant.

Depression, likewise, has become a national epidemic.  There is an actual chemical process that takes place during face-to-face communication.  That physical contact is what is missing, causing our society to be more lonely and depressed.  There are also many health problems associated with loneliness and depression.

We have read that people live longer when they are married or if they have a pet.  Many types of physical contact can combat loneliness and depression.  And there are many people in our society at risk of isolation. The elderly, unemployed, and disabled are just a short list of those more prone to the health risks associated with both loneliness and depression.

“What can I do?” is a question many can ask.  Whether you are suffering from one of these maladies or not, befriend a person in any form of isolation or someone you feel may be lonely or depressed.  Provide that physical contact so often missing in our society.  I’ve experienced people who text-message a friend in the next room rather than physically getting up and talking to them.  Is this a little extreme?

Realize that physical contact benefits both participants.  If you are lonely, depressed, or isolated, you can initiate and activate contact with another person you feel may be as lonely or more lonely than you.  People are embarrassed to admit they are lonely. Reach out for both parties’ sake.

Would you rather experience the results of loneliness or depression?  These effects may include stress and a more poorly functioning immune system or cardiovascular system.  Lonely people tend to drink more alcohol and have poorer diets and exercise less than their more socially contented counterparts.

Or, would you rather take the initiative?  Even if you are the lonely or depressed individual, if you reach out and befriend someone who may feel as lonely or depressed, you’ll be less lonely and depressed.

The mere act of helping another person cope with their lonely or depressed state will help you diminish or eliminate your own.

Actively and purposefully spend time with others in need of countering their depression or loneliness.

Come and have your teeth examined.  I’ll gladly visit with you twice a year, on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading and blogging!

Smile often,
Dr. James G. Hood

 

Dental Care Associates of Spokane Valley, P.S.

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Welcomes Patients from Age 2 to 102!

James G. Hood, D.D.S., M.A.
507 North Sullivan Road, Suite A-1
Spokane Valley, WA 99037-8576  USA
Phone: (509) 928-9100  |  Fax: (509) 928-0414
Email: drhood@drhood.com

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