We hear time and time again that “humans are social creatures.” This statement is repeated so often because, without social interaction, we can become seriously ill. We often take our human connections for granted, thinking that they’re just something to pass the time. In reality, they’re crucial to our mental and physical wellbeing.
Isolating yourself from others can potentially cause you terrible problems, both within your mind and your body. These are 8 terrible ways not socializing for too long can impact your health, according to science.
Without human connection, you can easily become to feel depressed. If it goes on for long enough, your symptoms can develop into a fully fledged depressive disorder. For people who already have this mental illness, isolating themselves can make their symptoms far worse.
2. Shorter Lifespan
Studies have shown that isolation is not only harmful to your mind but also detrimental to your physical health. Being completely alone with no social connection for more than a day can, in fact, shorten your lifespan. Stop socializing entirely and you’re far more likely to die younger.
3. Low Self-Esteem
Along with depression, one of the most common effects caused by not socializing is low self-esteem. Continuous isolation can cause you to have a poor body image as well as losing confidence in yourself.
4. Increased Risk of Tumors
Perhaps the scariest effect of isolation is the increased risk of developing tumors. A recent study has shown that not socializing for long periods of time can increase tumor growth drastically. These tumors can even be cancerous.
5. Difficulty Learning
Feeling lonely can actually rewire the brain in a very negative way. People who spend too much time alone are more likely to have problems with learning new things. They can also have trouble with tasks involving the mind such as puzzles and mind games.
6. Increased Risk of Dementia
Social interactions are vital to defending your mind from dementia. According to psychotherapist Rita Milios, “A 2008 study in the American Journal of Public Health found that older women who had large social networks had 26 percent less risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment.”
7. Decreased Sense of Reality
If you spend too much time away from the rest of the world, you can forget how it really works. Staying home and watching TV or scrolling through social media without real social interactions can cause you to lose your sense of reality. This, in turn, can cause serious depression.
8. Lack of Empathy
Being away from other people for too long can lead you to lose a connection with them. It can change the way your mind works and make you lose your sense of empathy. Even the most compassionate of people can suffer from this if they become isolated from others for too long.
There are some truly awful ways that being alone for too long can impact you physically and mentally. To avoid it, try your best to socialize often. It may not always be the easiest thing to do, but it’s so important for your health and for your happiness.
Share this article with the people that you care about to warn them of the effects of isolation. While you’re at it, why not make arrangements to do something fun together?