Is There a Pill for Loneliness?
Every person has probably been lonely even if it was for a very short time. A child away at camp might feel lonely at first until he gets to know other kids and begin to have fun. A college student might experience the same emotion until he gets involves in classes and extra-curricular activities. These cases are expected, but what happens when a person stays lonely when he is not at camp or on a college campus?
According to most dictionaries, loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response when one feels isolated. Loneliness can happen when a person is alone with no one else is around or even in a crowd of people when there is no connection or communication with others.
Loneliness is a human condition that millions of people experience from time to time. So, what are the causes of loneliness?
Causes of Loneliness
The causes of loneliness vary from person to person. According to research, loneliness can happen to all people in marriages and other relationships, in the workplace, in the church, and in one's community. Loneliness has been described as social pain when a person does not have connections with other humans.
Loneliness can be summed up as the unpleasant feeling a person experiences when there is a deficient in his social relations with others on a regular basis.
People experience loneliness throughout their lives. Babies show signs of loneliness when they are left alone as infants. When they cry, it is not always because they are hungry or wet. They want contact with their parents or caregivers. If they don't get the connection they require, then they cry out to get attention because they are lonely.
Loneliness continues throughout one's life if there is no social contact. Spouses in marriages can be lonely if they do not connect and have regular conversations. That emotion may occur when someone misses a specific person brought on by death or divorce.
A person could become homesick and lonely if he moves away from a community he is accustomed to being in. The loneliness fades away after he adjusts to his new surrounding, become involved in events and makes friends.
Loneliness can become an epidemic. Statistics show that approximately 60 million people in this country are lonely. That's 20 percent of the total population that includes those who do not have social connections with others.
The United States reports more loneliness than most other countries. A study in the American Sociological Review found that the average person has only two close friends they feel comfortable enough to confide in and share their intimate secrets.
Over the last decade, both older and younger people rely on technology and social media. Interacting digitally with others is not the same as having eye-to-eye contact with an occasional human touch.
No One Is Exempt
No one is exempt from being lonely at some time. It becomes a problem when a person is lonely most of the time.
According to The Campaign to End Loneliness, over 9 million adults in the United Kingdom report being lonely on a regular basis. About 2.4 million of those suffer from chronic loneliness, and about 1.2 million of those are older people. Most of them live alone. However, living alone is not the reason most people are lonely.
No Pill Available
As of now, there is no pill or medication of any kind to eliminate loneliness. However, research by scientists to determine if a pill would be beneficial to those who suffer from loneliness. If such a pill existed, would you take it?
Loneliness can become a mental health issue if it is untreated. Instead of prescribing a pill for loneliness, psychiatrists and other medical professionals have a solution for loneliness. It is called a social prescription.
A social prescription is simple what the doctor recommends for loneliness. The physician might suggest activities to combat loneliness that could include the following:
- Dance lessons
- An exercise class with people your own age.
- A cooking class with others
- A competition of some kind
- Any class that involves others. Stay away from classes and events that require you have to do individual things.
So, you see there are better options than a pill for loneliness.