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Mon May 13, 2013, 04:12 PM

 

The Lethality of Loneliness We now know how it can ravage our body and brain

As W. H. Auden put it, “We must love one another or die.”

At a deeper level, though, loneliness research forces us to acknowledge our own extraordinary malleability in the face of social forces. This susceptibility is both terrifying and exhilarating. On the terrifying side is the unhappy fact that isolation, especially when it stems from the disenfranchisement of the underprivileged, creates a bodily limitation all too easily reproduced in each successive generation. Given that we have been scaling back the kinds of programs that could help people overcome such disadvantages and that many in Congress, mostly Republicans, have been trying to defund exactly the kind of behavioral science research that could yield even better programs, we have reason to be afraid. But there’s something awe-inspiring about our resilience, too. Put an orphan in foster care, and his brain will repair its missing connections. Teach a lonely person to respond to others without fear and paranoia, and over time, her body will make fewer stress hormones and get less sick from them. Care for a pet or start believing in a supernatural being and your score on the UCLA Loneliness Scale will go down. Even an act as simple as joining an athletic team or a church can lead to what Cole calls “molecular remodeling.” “One message I take away from this is, ‘Hey, it’s not just early life that counts,’ ” he says. “We have to choose our life well.”http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113176/science-loneliness-how-isolation-can-kill-you#





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Reply The Lethality of Loneliness We now know how it can ravage our body and brain (Original post)
grahamhgreen May 2013 OP
In_The_Wind May 2013 #1

Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2013, 05:19 PM

1. Loneliness hurts like nothing else can.

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