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The Raw Truth of Loneliness

Writing for O Magazine, psychologist Shira Nayman gives a poignant overview:

Loneliness is perhaps the greatest of human aches. It thwarts our fundamental urge for connection. Even as infants, we look into the eyes of our parents to seek the reassurance of their mirroring gaze. In our early lives, the security of our attachments with our caregivers helps shape the degree of confidence with which we’ll move through the world. And the unique gift of … the beauty and complexity of language – is most priceless because it allows us to share each other’s delights, burdens and amazements.

Extensive surveys have found that:

-20% of Americans say they rarely or never feel close to people.

-78% of Americans when lonely distract themselves with TV, computer, or video games.

-There is a 26% increased risk of early death for those suffering from loneliness.

Timothy P. Carney, author of Alienated America, writes about the reality of not knowing one’s neighbors:

Rotary clubs, churches and civic organizations allow us to be part of something, but Americans don’t join as much as they used to. ... A community offers peace of mind because we know others will be there to help, but the flipside is just as important. Having people rely on us gives us purpose. Life can’t be fulfilling unless we feel needed.


Jacqueline Polzin, “Suffering in Silence,” O Magazine, (November 2019); Timothy P. Carney, “Alienated America” (Harper, 2019), Pages 13, 134

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