Says Prof. Rokach, “There is such a stigma about it. People will talk about having depression or even schizophrenia, but … I’ve been practicing for more than 30 years, and never has anyone come to me and said, ‘I feel lonely.’ But then they start talking and it comes out.”This is why David Sutcliffe has launched a bit of a one-man shame-reduction campaign. …“Social isolation just may be the greatest environmental hazard of city living,” writes Vancouver-based author Charles Montgomery in his new book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design. “Worse than noise, pollution, or even crowding.” And the way we’ve built cities – suburbs with no central meeting place, prioritizing the car and the condo tower, passing restrictive zoning bylaws – has made the problem worse, he says in an interview. “If we’re concerned about happiness, then social disconnection in Canadian cities is an acute problem.”Mr. Montgomery points to cities that have done things right, from Portland, Ore., turning its intersections into urban piazzas to the community gardens built in disused lofts in Berlin. Research has shown that a varied streetscape will cause people to slow down, and perhaps even exchange a smile or flirtatious glance, and that even a brief exposure to nature – cutting through a park – makes us feel more generous, and more social.
Prof. Cacioppo notes that lonely people will either withdraw into their shells or attempt to soothe their pain by lashing out.
Group therapy has been a huge help. He also is evangelical about sharing his story, to combat what he calls “society’s tranquillity mask” – our tendency to pretend that everything is swell, even when it isn’t
“There are a lot of people walking around who feel that they don’t fit in, they don’t belong. That sense of disconnection is really common. But when you realize that you’re like everyone else, not only in your dreams and passions but also in your pain and sadness, there’s incredible comfort in that.”
Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. A partial list of the physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people.“Real loneliness,” as she called it, is not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the “shut-upness” and solitariness of the civilized. Nor is “real loneliness” the happy solitude of the productive artist or the passing irritation of being cooped up with the flu while all your friends go off on some adventure. It’s not being dissatisfied with your companion of the moment—your friend or lover or even spouse— unless you chronically find yourself in that situation, in which case you may in fact be a lonely person. Fromm-Reichmann even distinguished “real loneliness” from mourning, since the well-adjusted eventually get over that, and from depression, which may be a symptom of loneliness but is rarely the cause.
Loneliness, she said—and this will surprise no one—is the want of intimacy.Loneliness “is not synonymous with being alone, nor does being with others guarantee protection from feelings of loneliness,” writes John Cacioppo, the leading psychologist on the subject.A key part of feeling lonely is feeling rejected, and that, it turns out, is the most damaging part.Suomi – in monkeys separated from their mothers in the first four months of life, some important immunity-related genes show a different pattern of expression. Among these were genes that help make the protein that inflames tissue and genes that tell the body to ward off viruses and other microbes.known for insisting that no patient was too sick to be healed through trust and intimacy. She figured that loneliness lay at the heart of nearly all mental illness and that the lonely person was just about the most terrifying spectacle in the world.
I didn’t need genetics, though, to see how defective the peer-raised monkeys’ development had been. Suomi took me outside to watch them. They huddled in nervous groups at the back of the cage, holding tight to each another. Sometimes, he said, they invite aggression by cowering; at other times, they fail to recognize and kowtow to the alpha monkeys, so they get picked on even more. The most perturbed monkeys might rock, clutch at themselves, and pull out their own hair, looking for all the world like children with severe autism.As far as he’s concerned, these are, in too many cases, symptoms of the same social disorder:
the failure to help families raise their children.One of the most effective economic and social policies, he told me, would be “supplementing the parenting environment of disadvantaged young children.”turns out that Tylenol can reduce the pain of heartbreak.
Then suddenly I stopped being lonely. It was too difficult for me to keep being lonely. So I started being curious.
Krishnamurti on loneliness/peace
may 2013 – science of loneliness – how isolation can kill you (via Jennifer)
[same article as above – some different highlights – a yr later]
Fromm-Reichmann would later become world-famous as the dumpy little therapist mistaken for a housekeeper by a new patient, a severely disturbed schizophrenic girl named Joanne Greenberg. ….She figured that loneliness lay at the heart of nearly all mental illness and that the lonely person was just about the most terrifying spectacle in the world.
In a way, these discoveries are as consequential as the germ theory of disease. Just as we once knew that infectious diseases killed, but didn’t know that germs spread them, we’ve known intuitively that loneliness hastens death, but haven’t been able to explain how. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking.
Loneliness, she said—..—is the want of intimacy.
As W. H. Auden put it, “We must love one another or die.”
A key part of feeling lonely is feeling rejected, and that, it turns out, is the most damaging part.
Cole figured that a man who’d hide behind a false identity was probably more sensitive than others to the pain of rejection. His temperament would be more tightly wound, ..His heart would beat faster, stress hormones would flood his body, his tissues would swell up, and white blood cells would swarm out to protect him against assault. If this state of inflamed arousal subsided quickly, it would be harmless. But if the man stayed on high alert for years at a time, then his blood pressure would rise, and the part of his immune system that fends off smaller, subtler threats, like viruses, would not do its job.
natural selection favored people who needed people.
It’s tempting to say that the lonely were born that way—it’d let the rest of us off the hook. And, as it turns out, we’d be about half right, because loneliness is about half heritable.
Deprive us of the attention of a loving, reliable parent, and, if nothing happens to make up for that lack, we’ll tend toward loneliness for the rest of our lives.
Heckman believes that the life of a child at the lower end of the U.S. socioeconomic spectrum is starting to look more like the life of one of Suomi’s lonely macaques.
“As inequality has increased, childhood inequality has increased,” Heckman said, “So has inequality of parenting.” For the first time in 30 years, mental health disabilities such as ADHD outrank physical ones among American children. Heckman doesn’t think that’s only because parents seek out attention-deficit diagnoses when their children don’t come home with A’s. He thinks it’s also because emotional impoverishment embeds itself in the body. “Mothers matter,” he says, “and mothering is in short supply.”
nagging mother app as motivator.. army – better fighters… school – teach social skills..
? non-resonating section for me ie: – nagging mother – as extrinsic motivation – non-lasting and counter to what is needed .. army – said not only helped with ptsd, but made them better fighters..? .. school – takes child from natural attachment (Maté)
Cole can imagine giving people medications to treat loneliness, particularly when it exacerbates chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. These could be betablockers, which reduce the physical effects of stress; anti-inflammatory medicine; or even Tylenol—since physical and emotional pain overlap, it turns out that Tylenol can reduce the pain of heartbreak.
it’s not just early life that counts,’ ” he says. “We have to choose our life well.”
Guy Winch – emotional hygiene
“Loneliness is difficult to confess… Like depression … it can run deep in the fabric of a person.” Superb read brainpickings.org/2016/07/11/the…
How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being?
You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people.
Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired.Unhappy, as the dictionary has it, as a result of being without the companionship of others. Hardly any wonder, then, that it can reach its apotheosis in a crowd.
What does it feel like to be lonely? It feels like being hungry: like being hungry when everyone around you is readying for a feast. It feels shameful and alarming, and over time these feelings radiate outwards, making the lonely person increasingly isolated, increasingly estranged. It hurts, in the way that feelings do, and it also has physical consequences that take place invisibly, inside the closed compartments of the body. It advances, is what I’m trying to say, cold as ice and clear as glass, enclosing and engulfing.
Though it feels entirely isolating, a private burden no one else could possibly experience or share, it is in reality a communal state, inhabited by many people.
loneliness, longing, does not mean one has failed, but simply that one is alive.
We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell. What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last.
most common attribute of people who are waking up: loneliness
But our desire to fit in and be accepted is slowly being drowned out by our desire to be free.
Seeming is but a garment I wear
For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more.
I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.
Carl Jung via ideapod .. on where loneliness comes from
Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
― C.G. Jung
thinking of all the things/people.. but esp of James‘ latest.. on worst thing for survivor w/shrapnel of abuse.. loneliness.. things others find inadmissible to speak out loud:
The child abuse inquiry has been devastatingly inept – but it must go on – We survivors placed our faith in this inquiry. It must go ahead – for us, and for the thousands of children whose appalling suffering continues
I don’t like the term “victim”. I prefer “survivor with shrapnel”. And speaking as one of those survivors, let me make it clear that evenmore debilitating than the physical pain of abuse, is the loneliness.