Feeling lonely is every bit as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – so says the U.S. surgeon general.
In an 81-page report, issued Friday, Dr. Vivek Murthy declares “loneliness” to be the latest health epidemic – and he says its damage to one’s health is far worse than most of us realize.
“Millions of people in America are struggling in the shadows, and that’s not right,” Murthy explains. “That’s why I issued this advisory, to pull back the curtain on a struggle that too many people are experiencing.”
Loneliness increases the risk of premature death by almost 30-percent. And it puts people at a greater risk for stroke, heart disease, dementia and depression, Murthy says.
“There’s really no substitute for in-person interaction,” he concludes. “As we shifted to use technology more and more for our communication, we lost out on a lot of that in-person interaction.”
If you are feeling lonely, reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Or see a counselor, perhaps. This should not be our “new normal.” You are worthy of company; worth being with.
NAMI can help, big-time. From the NAMI website:
Because we’re in this together, you are not alone.
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