Wednesday , October 20 2021

Scientists explain where loneliness comes from and why it can cause death


Loneliness poses a deadly danger. for people and animals with a high degree of social organization. This is in agreement with several surveys and accepted notions that a number of experts in different areas was given the task of explaining in detail.

Social animals

According to appointment to psychiatrist Evgueni Kasianov, coordinator of an educational project called Psychiatry and Neuroscience, "solitude can really be deadly"The scientist cites several studies that show higher mortality in conditions of social exclusion, such as the elderly in nursing homes compared to those who live under the care of loved ones.

Fatal examples of loneliness can also be seen in animals as dolphins and killer whales, that they have an entire section of the brain dedicated to empathy and in some respects can be communicate with each other in a way "even more perfect than the human," according to zoologist Grigori Tsidulko, a specialist in cetaceans of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Mortal danger

"The loneliness forced by them it's no less traumatic "said the specialist, noting that orcas, which are practically not reproduced in captivity, live on average only 10 to 12 years in aquariums, while in nature – without veterinarians – they often live up to 80 years.

In experiments with other social animals, on the other hand, it was demonstrated that the isolation induces an activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis with the secretion of releasing hormones. corticotropin and cortisol, who are the "orchestral masters" of stress, says Kasianov.

According to the psychiatrist, this can have several consequences, including effect suppression of dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin – which negatively affects mood and activity level -, weakening of memory and increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

It is not necessarily isolation

Kasyanov indicates that loneliness is usually defined as the discrepancy between the social relations a person wants and those he experiences in reality. Based on this definition, the psychiatrist emphasizes that the feeling of loneliness is "very subjective".

"To experience and to suffer, in fact it is not necessary be completely alone, "said the expert.

In this sense, Gleb Napreyenko, psychoanalyst and art historian, says that the source of human solitude is not found in the lack of interpersonal relations, but in the different structures which can lead to such relationships, which are born as a result of a specific characteristic of social beings.

The language

"Perhaps it was the invention of language that pulled man out of his natural habitat, condemning him to loneliness"says the psychoanalyst.

Napreyenko points out that, from the psychoanalytic point of view, the different structures of interpersonal relations are fundamental to describe the different mental disorders social changes that are evident to date, such as the effect of 24 hours connected among them thanks to technology.

"This only emphasizes the problematic nature of the encounter between two bodies." Today, this meeting, perhaps more than ever, has become a place of meeting for solitude", says the specialist.

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