This article has been updated on 26 August 2022. It discusses loneliness and early death.
“When Vivek Murthy accepted the role of Surgeon General under Obama, he thought his main focus would be tackling the opioid crisis and obesity. Instead, he discovered a much larger health crisis, one that connects the sick and the seemingly well: loneliness,” says Allen and Unwin, who have just published his book, Together – Loneliness, Health and What Happens When We Find Connection.
When researching for A Good Death a compassionate and practical guide to prepare for the end of life, it was astounding to see how close the link was between death and loneliness.
“Be in no doubt, that sense of loneliness can be a killer both when it manifests as suicide and because of the poor health and disability it contributes to,” I wrote.
Loneliness contributes to the death statistics in other ways besides suicide.
“Loneliness is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day,” says USA’s Amy Morin, who has written on the subject extensively.
This is a major social problem and one that we need to address if we are to claim to be a warm, compassionate and embracing society.
To find out more about Murthy’s book, go to: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/health-fitness/Together-Vivek-Murthy-9781788162777
For a list of the ways in which being lonely can lead to an earlier death than otherwise, go to:
To read more detail from Amy Morin, go to: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201901/can-you-die-loneliness
To buy A Good Death, a compassionate and practical guide to prepare for the end of life, go to: A Good Death by Margaret Rice