Loneliness and MH

Jacqueline Cutting's picture

Just to build on the comments about older age loneliness and the impact on MH, one report shows that GPs are seeing people simply because their patients are seeking company to fill their loneliness - another reason for the NHS to support social connectivity for older people is that it would save them the cost of these consultations! See: http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/blog/lonely-visits-to-the-gp/


Loneliness and MH

Arif Ahmed's picture

Having worked as a GP for many years, my experience concurs with the results of that survey. The worrying thing in addition is that a significant number of those lonely folk would have been medicalised and likely given medication or referred on, which would add to their woes (I'm afraid I was probably guilty of doing so).  I really like the website and the work they are doing.



Loneliness and MH

Oliver Bashford's picture

Thank you for posting this, its very encouraging to see that a campaign has been set up to address this issue.

It brings to mind emerging evidence from neuroscience about the physiological overlap of social pain with physical pain with some even suggesting that the endogenous opioid system is involved in both processes. Of course we don't need neuroscience to tell us that social pain exists, but perhaps this line of research will back up moves to address problems associated with isolation and marginalisation. It may be that chronic social pain is more similar to chronic physical pain that is often acknowledged.

Here's an interesting paper on the subject from Nature Reviews Neuroscience: http://sanlab.psych.ucla.edu/papers_files/Eisenberger(2012)NRN.pdf


Combating loneliness - local info resource

Frances Mortimer's picture

Re: loneliness, I recently discovered this directory of local activities in Oxfordshire, hosted by Age UK: http://communitynetworkdirectory.org.uk

I hadn't been aware of it before and wondered if other areas all have similar, and whether GPs are aware of them? Does anyone know?


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