Social isolation and physical aging make for a toxic cocktail, resulting in more stress hormones flowing through the body, U.S. researchers say.
University of Chicago psychologists Louise Hawkley and John Cacioppo say the toll of loneliness may be mild and unremarkable in early life, but may accumulate with time. The more years one lives, the more stressful situations one will experience -- such as new jobs, marriage and divorce, parenting, financial worries or illness.
In a study of college-age individuals and adults ages 50 to 68, the researchers found that, even when faced with similar challenges, the lonelier people appeared more helpless and threatened. They were also less apt to actively seek help when stressed.
Hawkley and Cacioppo took urine samples from both the lonely and the more contented volunteers, and found that the lonely ones had more of the hormone epinephrine -- one of the body's "fight or flight" chemicals -- flowing thought their bodies.
The study, published in the Current Directions in Psychological Science, found people who were lonely not only experienced a mental impact, but a biological one as well -- lonely people go through life in a heightened state of arousal.
Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2007, 18:06