All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Loneliness: Bad For Your Physical And Mental Health?

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The Lonely Fishing Hut

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

The headline took me by such tremendous surprise I nearly dropped my sausage roll. At first I thought I was dreaming, perhaps a hallucination (I’m prone to those from time to time), but nope, there it was. After all these years proclaiming the same thing to an unbelieving world there was finally some scientific proof to back-up my belief.

“Loneliness often relates to a lack of support and acceptance within a social context. Removal of social support is almost always to the detriment of our mental and physical health.

It has been shown that loneliness makes it harder to regulate behaviour, rendering people more likely to drink excessive quantities of alcohol, have unhealthier diets, or take less exercise. There is also evidence that loneliness adversely affects the immune and cardiovascular systems, while psychiatric research has demonstrated links to stress and depression.”

Read the complete article at The Independent

Being lonely is detrimental to your health. According to the study it’s as comparable as excessive smoking and alcohol. Woohoo! I finally have a valid scientific reason for my declining physical and mental health! Man, I can’t begin to tell you how nice that feels.

So if loneliness is as unhealthy as this study and I believe to normal ‘housed’ people, how much more damaging do you think it is to the homeless? To the millions of people who have no face-to-face social contact whatsoever?

My mood over the last few days has taken a swing toward the feral. With each passing day it gets worse, because which each passing day the calendar ticks closer to 11 October 2010 – the three-year anniversary of the day I should have died.

If I actually had something in my life this anniversary would be something to sing about but with nothing to my name but a train-wreck of a life and an habitual skill of upsetting everyone I speak/email/tweet to, this anniversary just makes me feel even lonelier than I know I always am.

We all have days that are hard to get through. Days where memories creep back to haunt us, but most have friends who can be with them through these difficult times. Homeless people quite often don’t, they must deal with the hardness of their daily life as well as the trauma of the memories of times past.

With World Homeless Day just around the corner, spare a thought for the lonely men, women and children whose lives are played out on the streets, alleys and parks around you. People who may have little support and are trying to deal with life’s hurdles and heartbreak without the support you may receive from friends, lovers or family.

Would it be so hard to ask if they were ok?

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One thought on “Loneliness: Bad For Your Physical And Mental Health?

  1. The loneliness one feels when they’re homeless is very different from ‘regular people’ loneliness. It truly feels like you’re you’re the only person on earth. Even though we see people sitting in cafes, rushing off to meetings or chatting on street corners, we feel invisible, it’s almost like they see straight through us. I know, because I’ve been there. I learnt to be my own best friend, I had to. Thanks for writing this Addy, hopefully people will see the difference they can make if they simply smile, or ask, “Are you ok?”

    You never upset me Addy, you make my life better ♥●•٠·˙

    I’m in the sky tonight, there I can keep by your side
    Watching the whole world wind around and round. #foowords

    Like

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