Loneliness is a New Epidemic: WHO

WHO Chief

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is trying to hire specialists to combat loneliness, a recent epidemic in the field. It is an unpleasant emotional response to feeling alone. Another term for loneliness is social pain, a psychological process that drives people to seek social interactions. It is frequently linked to a feeling of estrangement and detachment.

The specialists will join its recently formed technical advisory committee on the subject, tackling the unsolved concerns surrounding the growing rate of loneliness in society. This comes after several nations, notably the US, stated that “loneliness” was an epidemic in their particular areas.

Alos Read: YouTube Responsible for Loneliness?

Hiring the Specialists:

According to the WHO, people who experience social isolation or loneliness and have symptoms of a lack of social connections are significantly impacted in terms of both their mental and physical health. According to the WHO, this epidemic can affect people of all ages and raises the risk of death by roughly 25–30%. This higher risk of passing away is bigger than the danger associated with issues like obesity, smoking, and inactivity.
As per the UN nodal office on public health, the specialists would aid in devising approaches to reposition the problem as a global public health concern. In the past, the World Health Organisation established a panel to discuss the problem of social isolation and loneliness among individuals.

Also Read: Impact of Loneliness on Mental & Physical Health

Survey Conducted by Agewell:

A recent survey by Agewell in 2021 among 10,000 senior citizens found that there was a significant increase in a sense of loneliness or social isolation amongst the respondents. Since then, surveys and publications have reaffirmed how critical it is to close the generational and technological gaps.
Since 1999, the Agewell Foundation, India, a non-profit organisation, has worked to improve the welfare and self-determination of India’s elderly population. The Agewell Foundation has established a network of volunteers throughout India, and it uses this network to regularly engage with senior citizens.
“A very minuscule percentage of old people are digitally literate today and remain self-conscious about it. This is creating a strained relationship between generations and creating an uneasy atmosphere within the four walls of nearly every home in the nation,” Agewell Foundation founder, Himanshu Rath said.

Also Read: Study Reveals Alarming Health Risks of Loneliness! 

Coping Strategies from Loneliness:

Even in social situations, loneliness is a common emotion for everyone, as long-term feelings of loneliness and isolation, however, can negatively affect mental health and give rise to disorders including panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.

We can combat these feelings by using several coping strategies, including;
  1. Resist the Urge of Withdrawal: Isolation, loneliness, and the belief that no one cares, might push you to become even more secluded and make interacting with others seem like an enormous efforts consuming task, it is a simple activity like going for a walk or doing some shopping will be beneficial.
  2. Self-care: Having a consistent self-care routine for yourself can have a profound impact on your emotional and physical well-being. Eat as healthily as you can, and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water regularly. Establish a bedtime for yourself and wake up at the same time every morning.
  3. Support from Family and Friends: It’s not necessary to conceal your emotions or feel guilty. Try to communicate with your loved ones and let them know if you’re feeling alone, ask for their support.
  4. Seek Professional Support: There are moments when loneliness and isolation seem so overwhelming that overcoming them seems nearly impossible. If so, you must get professional help to process your emotions and collaborate on creating coping mechanisms.
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