Loneliness reaches debilitating levels, as UK appoints Minister for Loneliness
Despite society supposedly being more sociable than ever, the phenomenon of loneliness is growing to epidemic levels.
In quite a paradoxical and counter-intuitive twist, reports out of the UK suggest loneliness is reaching debilitating levels, despite platforms like social media being so conducive to interactivity. Some half a million UK people regularly go over a week without seeing anybody. More than half of those aged over 75 self-identify as “chronically lonely,” while two-fifths of the elderly demographic cite the television as their primary source of company.
The problems become so widespread, that British Prime Minister Theresa May felt it necessary to appoint the world’s first Minister for Loneliness.
Psychologist Michelle Lim says the problem isn’t isolated to the UK.
“This is actually a very costly issue here,” she explains to Michael McLaren.
“People are turning up to emergency not in terms of health problems, but for social contact. GP’s see a huge number of social visits because patients have nobody else to talk to. This is a huge social problem that is actually costing the government in terms of health and other kinds of resources.”
With loneliness said to be as bad for one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and twice as bad as obesity, it appears to be a real cause for concern.
“It’s actually quite a detrimental feeling, if it’s not mitigated or addressed.”
Click PLAY below for the full interview