The most common mental disorders include depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and so on. According to various
, one out of three of us encounters these conditions throughout our lives. All of them significantly affect both the person himself and society as a whole. That is why scientists are striving to identify the whole range of factors that affect mental health.
So, the authors of a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE found a connection between loneliness and some mental disorders.
Early research was mainly focused on only one mental state - depression. In addition, they did not show what role other, related factors play. For example, people who live alone, are most often overweight, smoke, use drugs and cannot rely on social support. Which of these factors is the main driver of depression? The authors of the new study tried to fill in the gaps.
Scientists from France analyzed the profiles of 20 503 adults aged 16 to 74 years living in England.
The data was obtained as a result of three national psychiatric examinations conducted by experts in 1993, 2000 and 2007. They were questionnaires in which, in addition to general questions to the participants (height, weight, education), there was a request to talk about attitudes to alcohol and drugs, social support, and whether they feel lonely.
As expected, the authors found that the number of people who live alone is growing steadily. In 1993, there were 8.8% of those surveyed, and in 2007, 10.
7%. In addition, scientists found that loneliness accounts for 84% of cases of mental illness.
Previous studies have also shown a connection between loneliness and depression and anxiety. Moreover, of course, not everyone who lives alone is alone. However, for people who feel like this, there are special ways to help, such as psychotherapy.
The next and most difficult step will be the search for opportunities that will provide the needy people with the necessary help.