Many of my clients simply need to talk. They are facing life crises during which they often stay social isolated. Years ago, most of our problems were discussed and resolved with help of friends and families. Modern age has brought us the epidemic of loneliness.
Scientists are showing that the loneliness has become a crisis and social isolation is emerging to pose as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse. Neuroscientists have identified regions of the brain that respond to loneliness, and a powerful body of research shows that lonely people are more likely to become ill, experience cognitive decline, and die early.
Lori (the names are changed due to privacy), has come to look for help with her separation agreement from many years ago. The biggest challenge we had was finding her ex husband who had disappeared on her very long time ago. In many of our get together meetings, I was learning more about Lori. This wasn’t a about Lori getting more money from her ex husband. This was about Lori who carried a pain of isolation and loneliness caused by her addictions. One of them was alcohol. She was in recovery phase when I met her. Lori kept finding “legal reasons” to meet with me several more times. I knew this was not about paperwork. She needed to talk and she needed a friend.
Isolation is a serious cause of depression. The more we are isolated, the more we feel hopeless. My Lori didn’t end well. She moved again and this time she stopped contacting me. How many Lories do we have trying and living out there? Social media and instant messengers have replaced much of face to face interaction. More often than not, they contribute to overall loneliness of modern times.
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