Eleanor Rigby Has a Lot of Lonely Company

Schoolgirl soccer player alone on bench on school sports field

There is concern about an increase in the number of people who report loneliness.

A recent poll of 20,000 Americans finds nearly half said they don’t have meaningful relationships.

A University of Chicago study is testing students’ response to supplements of the natural hormone pregnenolone, which is being found in lab mice to normalize an exaggerated threat response. They want to test how humans respond.

People have never had easier access to socialize, whether because of improved modes of transportation or the constant-connectedness of social media, yet some therapists say the increase in isolation is alarming.

Psychologist Veronica Sites, a conflict-resolution specialist, says social media is a virtual world and isn’t a means of socializing. We take most of our cues in conversation from body language, she suggests, and shy people can feel the most pain of loneliness. “A need to feel connected through socialization is not going to be met if somebody is more introverted and they are staying in a virtual world,” Sites tells KTRH News. “Adrenal fatigue does impact the body physically, mentally and emotionally. So it’s something that has to be medically addressed, and is being noticed because it’s showing up in the blood work.”

Loneliness, it’s been shown, shortens the path to death, whether that be through heart disease or emotional scars.

Some argue the epidemic of loneliness isn’t real, but is more a reflection of a newfound interest in investigating the topic. Time is going to tell whether the toll of loneliness grows as the population ages and another generation that has always defined relationships by social media approval steps in to take their place.

"All the lonely people.

Where do they all come from?

All the lonely people.

Where do they all belong?"

-"Eleanor Rigby", McCartney-Lennon

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