why is social isolation bad for your health?

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why is social isolation bad for your health?

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It has many components but to eli5 psyhological witdrawal from social circles makes you depressed which leads to inhibitor systems activating and your boddy not functioning optimal, when you get sick you cant find medical help and social help (whether talking nor care) early or sufficient enough. All these are minor step stones but make a skyscraper that will let you fall eventually

We’re tribal & social creatures going back millions of years, which is why we tend to function best being in regular contact with small, compatible groups. If that basic need gets messed with too much, a sense of dis-ease is created. Not unlike a zoo animal placed in an artificial environment which doesn’t suit it well, causing the animal’s health and emotional state to degrade.

I would argue that it’s not. I really just do NOT fit in. I’m better off alone. I also cannot catch colds from people I’m not around…. I still do the same amount of physical stuff. So…. Idakno.

It is a “psychological need”

We evolved as social bonding mammals. It’s how we know to feel safe and secure. If the tribe stopped liking you, ostracized you, you’d die. As such, our brains evolved to notice our social standing. Whether people like us and care about us. It was crucial for our survival.

Your brain is wry good at being able to tell if people like you or not, how much social interaction you are getting, etc.

So when other people aren’t around, when we don’t have anyone to connect or bond with, to form a secure attachment with, our body notices, and freaks out a little. It knows it’s dangerous to be isolated. This can begin with feeling lonely or anxious. In my mind these are signals that you need to reach out to someone. Essentially your are having a low grade fight or flight response. This causes a lot of physical reactions, quickened heart rate and inflammation for example. This is a really good response, if you are like, about to be attacked by a lion. But to constantly have that stresss response, is extremely unhealthy. It stops your body from taking care of itself as it is focused on the “threat” of social isolation.

This stress, in not properly addressed, then accumulates. It can be harder to sleep., which makes it harder to deal with the stress. You can start to feel neurotic/ anxious and yes, even depressed. This is not the only cause of depression, but it is certainly a factor.

Often times the best cure for this type of stress is to be around someone who loves you. Someone who you feel safe around. Someone you can make eye contact with. Someone you can open up to and talk to about your problems/ experiences. This allows you to actually process your emotions and not keep them bottled up.

Furthermore Skin to skin contact releases oxytocin/ Vasopressin and generally makes us feel good. Oxytocin is in Many ways the opposite of cortisol. It is relaxation. It counteracts the negative effects that cortisol has on your body.