Human interaction important to mental health, stress relief

Ashton Rushing, Opinion Editor

This is one of the most connected times in history, yet an increasing amount of people say that they often feel lonely. This is not something to overlook in the world as humans are biologically social creatures, and the effects can target anyone mentally, socially, and physically.

The feeling of loneliness is used by the body as a deterrent to stop destructive behavior according to a Cigna study done over how humans react to social situations. It found that most people who receive negative feedback in a social situation change what they are doing. This has been also thought to be the reason humans advanced as a species.

When the body is put under mental stress it can cause issues with how your brain is able to effectively process things, causing higher risks of depression and other disorders. These feelings can cause overproduction of stress hormones like cortisol along with several other effects. Cortisol however, is the only stress hormone that is produced when pressured in a social way. It can lead to suicidal thoughts and advanced forms of depression, along with physically changing the way the brain works. Overproduction of cortisol can lead to a higher probability of drug dependency and health issues involving auto-immune diseases.

 Impaired cognitive function, weakened immune system, increased risk of cardiovascular problems and heart disease are all issues that can arise for a body under mental stress according to healthessentials. Suicide rates in the U.S. have also been on the rise with around 47,000 sucides in 2017 with most being middle aged men, and senior citizens. Sucide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.. Around 55% of the recorded suicides were reasoned to be caused by major depression due to feelings of loneliness or extreme social anxiety. Feelings of seriousness around this problem are not felt by everyone however.

A common misconception is that feelings of loneliness only affect a certain group. This however is wrong with these feelings affecting everyone. A 2015 study found that most people who report feelings of loneliness have better social skills than what is considered average showing how even the social can be affected. 

The causes and effects of loneliness and depression are still not fully understood. What needs to be understood however is that depression and loneliness are top killers and that they are to be taken seriously. And if someone feels symptoms of this, they need to seek professional help because it can cause a snowball of feelings and emotions not healthy for the human mind and body.

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