5 Ways Loneliness Affect Physical Health

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared loneliness as a global health threat. Loneliness is often depicted as an ever-present feeling of aloneness, triggered by a lack of social interaction combined with several internal factors.

The cause of loneliness varies, such as physical isolation, moving to a new place, separation, or depression. Loneliness indeed causes discomfort and emotional numbness, but it also creates several physical health problems.

Thus, what are the negative impacts of loneliness on our health?

1. An increased level of depression

Citing, loneliness is the main factor to triggers depression. Those who feel lonely could end up feeling depressed and hopeless, as well as lose all interest in things that bring them joy.

2.  A threat to heart health

Loneliness could increase the threat of cardiac arrest by 29 percent and 32 percent of stroke. A study found that lonely people aged 45 and above have a 24 percent increased risk of death by cardiac arrest.

3. Encourages bad habits

Citing WebMD, loneliness encouraged people to be addicted to cigarettes and alcohol. Loneliness also causes people to over-eat and not move for a long period. If this condition was left to fester, it could cause various health problems such as hypertension, obesity, and heart diseases. 

4. Lowers the immune system

Feeling lonely for a long time will lower the immune system, causing the body to have a hard time fighting diseases. 

5. Death

Loneliness significantly increased the risk of death, surpassing the mortality risk of smoking and obesity. The death rate of loneliness reached 1.5, on par with smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and exceeded the risks posed by obesity.


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