America and other democracies around the world are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. This diagnosis stems from research studies
that found loneliness (feeling alone) and social isolation (not being around people) were both associated with a risk of early death that is on par with that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and exceeds the risk of early death from obesity. In May, the insurance company Cigna affirmed that loneliness in America has reached epidemic levels, based on its research findings
from a survey of more than 20,000 American adults.
This should be of concern for all of us, regardless of how we are feeling personally, because loneliness triggers a host of negative effects, including a decline in physical and emotional health, greater incivility and violence, and a rise in addiction and suicide.
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