The reality of living alone seems so glamorous until you peel back the layers of mental health issues. Statistically, most adults that live alone are likely to have common mental disorders, which include depression and anxiety- the main reason being loneliness.
This is according to a newly published journal PLOS ONE, which gathered data from three different surveys conducted in the United Kingdon over twenty years.
“In our study, the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMDs) was higher in individuals living alone than in those not living alone in all survey years. Multivariable regression analyses corroborated these findings, as there was a positive and significant association between living alone and CMDs,” wrote Louis Jacob, chief author of the research and member of the department of medicine at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.
The experts analyzed a survey date from the United Kingdom during the years 1993, 2000, and 2007, which tested for over 20,000 adults.
They claim that between 1993 and 2007, the percentage of adults living alone consistently increased from 8.8 to 10.7 percent and no surprise so did the rate of mental health conditions from 14.1 to 16.4 percent.
According to the study, the gender did not play a role in those numbers, but the CMDs were “invariably more prevalent in individuals who lived alone.”
In particular cases, those individuals who lived alone were more than twice as likely to couples to have a mental condition.
In addition to the recent study, multiple others have found that living alone with CMD is not healthy.
For example, a research trial of nearly 5,000 adults residing in Finland discovered a twofold increase of anxiety and depression in individuals living alone compared with people who were married or in a relationship.
Also, a 2011 study from Singapore of approximately 3,000 adults age 55 and older discovered that living alone was a contributor to lower mental well-being, with loneliness at the root of the cause.
Experts would describe loneliness as a complex issue, and its association with living alone including mental disorders has developed into a topic of increasing concern for public health officials.
Interestingly enough some experts have accused cities as a whole for promoters of isolation and loneliness. While many would agree with the increase in the use of social media and technology has forced us into a black hole of new isolation. The digital world delivers feelings of FOMO and depression mixed with anxiety. The fakeness behind the lens and marketing of ones “brand” is creating self-esteem and confidence confuser to the max.
Because of the rate of suicide many are trying to highlight the effects of loneliness as a genuine public health concern. Past mental health and well-being, the consequences can also take a physical toll.
According to a 2015 study in the British Medical Journal observed that loneliness and isolation were high-risk factors for both coronary heart disease and stroke.
Jessy Warner-Cohen, Ph.D., MPH, a health psychologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center noted that “The most robust finding of this study is the effect of social support on those living alone.”
“The takeaway message for me from this study is that those not in cohabiting relationships, whether living with a partner or marriage, need to seek means of developing social support more actively,” said Warner-Cohen, who wasn’t associated with the research in any way.
The idea of social support is different among everyone, and the idea is to find what works.
“Look for meet-up groups related to something you enjoy. This will help with meeting other people with similar interests and provide a natural means of developing social support. Fill your life with fun and exciting things,” said Warner-Cohen.