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Started just before Christmas 2014 as part of Buzz50's Banish Loneliness Campaign for Seniors over 50. Still going strong in 2017!
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TOPIC: Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help

Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3315833

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Meeooow wrote: Not sure about the health thing, I am pretty healthy in mind and body. Maybe it is a mental attitude to lonliness that causes psychosomatic health issues.
I have been living alone for 25 years, and only recently have I started to make contact with the world outside.
Living in a solitary world of my own, books, research, writing, painting, music, movies etc. was okay for then, but now I am needing to go places and see things.
Sometimes the need for a companion to share these things with arises and presents the problem in finding one.
Thank goodness for Skype to be able to chat to people all over the world.
I am not unhappy, just the consummate recluse.
I think the story of Rip Van Winkle was written about me.:dry:[/quot
I'm sure you're right about mental attitude having a great effect on our health. The mere fact that someone complains about being lonely says a lot about them. It sounds negative and self-pitying, and such people do not attract friends! Some people feed on their own misery and become hypochondriacs.

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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3315861

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I totally understand people have commitments in their lives, employment,family,but if a person isolates themselves from the outside world,they are doing themselves no favours,
Fresh air,walking around the country side,can really help clear your mind,
A person has to want to help themselves,
Being cooped up indoors is not good,can cause depression.

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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3315898

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JUJO wrote: I totally understand people have commitments in their lives, employment,family,but if a person isolates themselves from the outside world,they are doing themselves no favours,
Fresh air,walking around the country side,can really help clear your mind,
A person has to want to help themselves,
Being cooped up indoors is not good,can cause depression.


You're absolutely right. I used to help with Age Concern, visiting older people who complained they were lonely and needed someone to talk to. I expected them to be invalids who were unable to get out and meet people. I was surprised that most are perfectly able to get out, they just prefer to have someone come to them.
I must also add that they were all 'whingers'...who did nothing but moan and criticise. I can well understand why they were lonely!

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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3315908

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JUJO wrote: I totally understand people have commitments in their lives, employment,family,but if a person isolates themselves from the outside world,they are doing themselves no favours,
Fresh air,walking around the country side,can really help clear your mind,
A person has to want to help themselves,
Being cooped up indoors is not good,can cause depression.


Some people are housebound for variously reasons, disabled or agoraphobic for example, but would love to do that if they were able.

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Happy to help.
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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3315926

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Pats wrote:

JUJO wrote: I totally understand people have commitments in their lives, employment,family,but if a person isolates themselves from the outside world,they are doing themselves no favours,
Fresh air,walking around the country side,can really help clear your mind,
A person has to want to help themselves,
Being cooped up indoors is not good,can cause depression.


Some people are housebound for variously reasons, disabled or agoraphobic for example, but would love to do that if they were able.







Totally accept and respect this

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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3316101

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'Loneliness can seriously affect your health'. >> Only if YOU let it.
Having lived entirely alone for the past 12 yrs. Initially some apprehension, after decades of a vibrant family life.
Our lives are constantly fluid, unexpected or unanticipated changes occur.
As all things, we have at least two choices. >> Adapt or Wallow. A muddy existence not being this choice.
Have found one is never actually alone or needs to impinge on health.
Despite, it may take patience, when talking to a wall/screen and not getting the response best suited to. :laugh: :laugh:
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"Out of the eyes and words of children, we 'may' best be known."
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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3316204

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I don't live alone, but sometimes feel alone at times, when people are off doing what they want to do. Actually, I find that time very peaceful. My complaint would be doing the same ole boring thing over and over again, when it comes to housework. lol
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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3316368

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I realise this thread is about loneliness affecting your health but after reading this page of posts, please forgive me but I feel I have to ask something. Have any of you actually suffered from depression?

I do understand where each post is coming from and also sure you're aware that there is a big difference between people who enjoy a moan and those who are severely depressed but generalised statements said alone can be rather off putting to those who are encouraged to not remain silent.

For instance, "The mere fact that someone complains about being lonely says a lot about them. It sounds negative and self-pitying, and such people do not attract friends! Some people feed on their own misery and become hypochondriacs." In my experience these people Do attract friends. The Right ones who show kindness, compassion and understanding. I do realise though that there are some people who do seem to enjoy staying home and not making an effort but to look at it from another angle, where do they go? And maybe they would find that motivation if someone would offer to take them there to meet others? Depression takes away your motivation away to make the effort alone, especially if your elderly and have physical problems or no transport. However, depression can affect anyone at any age and still cause the same effect. I would actually much prefer to attempt to help someone who feels depressed than someone who is quite capable and if they wanted a good old moan, I'd let them because in allowing them to release their frustrations you're helping to keep them well by showing they're not alone, someone cares and someone is prepared to listen.

When I lost my father, my mother was alone. She made the effort every day to go for a short walk down the shops and back but she never liked mixing in groups but was very lonely not having someone to talk to so I made a point of visiting every day when possible and if not, ringing her every night. Often she would never stop talking and she knew it but I didn't mind. She also knew I wasn't always taking in everything she said but allowing her to talk or moan I knew helped her. She was my mother and my Best friend.

Jujo. I know you're an Extremely caring person and I do understand what you're saying but sometimes, as I'm sure you're aware, it's not as easy as this. "if a person isolates themselves from the outside world,they are doing themselves no favours,
Fresh air,walking around the country side,can really help clear your mind,
A person has to want to help themselves,
Being cooped up indoors is not good,can cause depression."
This alone is rather generalised so I'm glad you've later added that you understand that not everyone is physically or mentally capable because I know that you do know that. What you've said is your typical good advice that you post on here. The one thing I would add to though is sometimes no matter how much someone wants to help themselves, their mind or situation won't let them. For instance if you said to someone you need to go for a walk to help yourself, as I'm sure you're aware, it's often not that simple because when you already suffer from depression it takes away all your ability to help yourself. Again someone who feels depressed might be encouraged If someone helped to motivate them but someone who is very depressed will find it extremely difficult to help themselves.

QuinT, when you say 'Loneliness can seriously affect your health'. >> Only if YOU let it., this implies that if you get ill because you're lonely then you only have yourself to blame but again it's very generalised because often people are dragged down into the pit and can't prevent it themselves. For instance, if you lose your other half, some will find the loss too unbearable to cope with so they'll retreat to be at home especially if they don't have any friends to turn to. Yes, they can help themselves by finding friends but when you are feeling that low you don't want to feel a burden to anyone so you cut yourself off and fall into depression. Only with help from others is it possible to drag yourself out so it's not always the person themselves to blame by letting it happen. As all things, we have at least two choices. >> Adapt or Wallow. This maybe true but it's a very cold calculating view of approaching loneliness. When you feel that alone, depression can drag you down so quickly leaving you feel powerless to adapt until someone helps you by showing they care and you're not alone. I agree though that some people are stronger than others and they do have the ability to adapt but if someone is feeling very depressed, this and a number of things said here can make the feel that the world id very uncaring when they should be encouraged to reach out to express how they're feeling because that's the only way they can be helped.

Over the years I've heard many news stories but there have been more than a few that have upset me. Years ago when I was going through my very low spell where I took an od that nearly ended my life because I felt so alone and there was no one to talk to, there was a news story I heard on tv where a mother who cared for 2 severely disabled children jumped off a bridge with them. Can you imagine how alone she must have felt caring 24hrs a day because often they feel it's their responsibility and then imagine being told you need to go for a walk, or to stop moaning or that she'll never find friends if she does or that she needs to adapt? Can you imagine just how alone she must have felt and how desperate she must have felt to talk to someone who showed they care? I remember social services saying they did all they could but sometimes we, the public, should look after each other and be more sympathetic and understanding towards people who feel alone no matter what they want to do with their lives.

I can also remember other stories about mothers and their children, and the neighbours being interviewed afterwards saying how shocked they were. Really? If you know someone in your street is caring 24hrs a day we shouldn't just assume that they are happy. After all, put yourself in their position. And it's not just carers, the elderly man living alone or the single woman, not everyone is capable of finding happiness by themselves and if they're neglected or made to feel they just need to nap out of it, they'll be more likely to retreat even more and end up doing what I did more than once.

All I would ask, is be careful about generalising and remember that people in need will hide away if they feel no one is understanding or appears uncaring, even if they actually do care as I know you do.

During my bad spell, a doctor told me that he had genuinely ill people to treat and a nurse told me to think of my wife. Both comments just made me feel I was invisible which added to my feeling of being alone. The one thing that can Really affect someone's health when they feel so alone just as I am now, is being made to feel that people don't understand what it actually feels like to feel alone no matter what I attempt and that no one really cares what happens to me.

Lastly, picture yourself being kept awake every night until 7am, being allowed just a few hours sleep then being left to do all those tedious chores, not even being allowed to use your own loo with no one to comfort you. I know, you'll say I should stop moaning, not be self-pitying and I should leave but life isn't always black and white and I couldn't live with my conscience by enforcing loneliness on to someone I care about, especially when suicide runs in the family.
The following user(s) said Well Said: Jane R, photogeek, Lorna Doone

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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3317390

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I've been thinking since my long post above and I thought I'd share my own personal experience how a combination of loneliness and stress caused my severe anxiety and depression that were diagnosed by my doctor. Men are being encouraged to talk and to reach out so if this helps someone to know they're not alone then I thought maybe it'll be worth sharing.

Firstly though, whenever I have reached out to the "professionals", the help was either not there or they made me feel even worse. There were only a couple of psychologists who truly helped me and all I can hope is that many more will be following there example.

My problems began when I was attempting to work full time in an environment which was very stressful combined with a very stressful home life which later became my full time caring role. I tried desperately to hide how I was feeling at work because the pressures were getting too great. I was feeling panic, needing to escape and then suicidal thoughts started. When I got home after work I never had any peace or escape. I had no one I felt I could share with. I was feeling very alone, even at work with colleagues I had known a long time.

One day during a meeting, my mind just couldn't focus any longer and afterwards my female boss asked me where I was because I gave no input during the meeting. At this point I asked to talk to her in a private room and told her about the pressures at home and my suicidal thoughts. By the time I had finished, she was in tears because we got on so well together. After that I took sick leave but when I returned to work after a short while, the same feelings returned so this time the short sick leave just grew longer.

During that time I can remember the first day I really felt I saw that black dog within me. It was in the October after a few weeks off work that one Saturday evening I was doing a jigsaw puzzle to try and keep my mind off things. I had previously prepared, cooked and eaten dinner but decided to have a break before facing the washing up. However, when I did go to clear up, I can remember looking in the sink at the plug hole and in my mind it just grew bigger and deeper to the point that I felt I was falling down inside it and everything around me was black. I admit it frightened me so much that I immediately left the room to lay on my bed. My wife followed me asking what was wrong but I couldn't answer her because I didn't even know myself. All I wanted was to curl up, forget the world and to feel safe.

The following Monday I went to see the doctor who diagnosed my depression and put me on antidepressants which for a little while seemed to help but then later my depression returned with a vengeance. By then I had seen a psychologist who put it plain and simple to me that I was taking on too much and I had a stark choice before I imploded - it was my wife or my job. I decided on the former but without realising it I had cut myself off from my colleagues and imprisoned myself in a house full of stress and feeling terribly alone with no one to confide in or comfort me. As a result, my depression deepened and I started self-harming to relieve the pain of life. It was only mild but I'd take a hammer and bang my hand or lightly cut my wrists which I would hide or explain away as saying I had accidently banged myself or been in the garden fighting the brambles. However, even when they did find out what I was doing to myself, that's when one doctor told me he had "genuinely" ill patients to see.

When even then no one stepped in to help with the pressures at home, that's when I turned to the odd bottle and then mixing it with pills, often the antidepressants that I had been prescribed. Sometimes it would be a concoctions as if m thinking was let's see how many I can take before I kill myself. My mind was all over the place. Each time they would say to make my way to hospital, and each time I'd stop at the pub on the way for good measure. I was often told by the nurses to think of my wife. No one seemed to understand what was going on even though it should have been as plain as day when they knew about my caring responsibilities and that I had been forced to give up work.

When I suffered a panic, they sent me home saying there was nothing wrong with me. There was no follow up. It felt pointless trying to even attempt to tell them anything. Eventually after a series of antidepressants had been tried with no effect, they offered me ECT. I still remember every detail of that experience after which I refused to ever have it done to me again. Now I look back and think to myself, how did they really think that would help me when the causes should have been obvious to them.

It was only after my last od that the doctor told me one more of them and I wouldn't be here and then the penny seemed to drop within me what I was doing to myself. It's strange how before those events I used to think to myself how could anyone do such things to themselves, and now I look back thinking how could I have done all those things and yet no one helped me with the actual causes at home (which is another story of lack of care and support which is now repeating itself due to the cuts over all these years).

Something that was said in one of the posts above, I did find to be completely true. The only person you can really rely on to help you is You. I have felt invisible for Years and I know if my mood falls even further, not to rely on anyone to help me. I know I should finish this with a happy ending to show I'm not just moaning but at the moment I can't see any. All I can say though, is if you're feeling like I used to, there are others in the public who do understand so don't stay silent. No one need feel alone in this digital age. The help from professionals may not be there but there are plenty of others who are, who will support you. Buzz is one such place to start which is why I'm here. I'd rather keep clinging to a faint hope of finding happiness than to cut myself off completely, even if I'm sure there are some on here who don't agree with my views but I have to be able to live with my conscience just as I did when my self-imposed trap began all those years ago.
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Loneliness can seriously affect your health - Buzz50 can help 2 months 2 weeks ago #3317488

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Dear WP,

I'm glad that you are able to use the forum to express the inner turmoil you have experienced for so long. Buzzers who read your story will feel enormous sympathy and want to show their support. Forgive us for our sometimes glib words and solutions but we are not qualified to give you the help you need and deserve.

Like you, I remember some of the tragic incidents you have mentioned, and when they occur, we shake our heads and say how awful, why didn't somebody do something.
The only thing any of us can do is listen to your words, try to put ourselves in your shoes so that we better understand and offer you some words of comfort and support.

It makes me so angry and frustrated that there is not more response from the 'caring agencies' to your cries for help. I understand that when one is in the grip of such terrible depression, one is sapped of physical and emotional energy and quite unable to motivate themselves to look for and take steps to find a way out.
But for now, just know that we have heeded your words and you are cared about, you are not invisible !!! :xxx:
The following user(s) said Well Said: pascalou, Jane R, QuinTSensual

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