Fascinatedly, researchers have recently found three age periods in a person’s life where they are susceptible to feeling the loneliest. Most people reported feeling moderate-to-severely lonely during their late 20’s, mid 50’s, and late 80’s.
Dr. Dilip Jeste, senior author of the study and a professor of psychiatry at the University of California stated, “One thing to remember is that loneliness is subjective. Loneliness does not mean being alone; loneliness does not mean not having friends… It is the discrepancy between the social relationships you want and the social relationships you have.”
However, it is found that the more wisdom a person has the less lonely they seem to feel and vice versa.
75% of all study participants reported moderate-to-severe levels of loneliness. This dominance of loneliness within the majority of the participants was surprising to the researchers conducting the study. Jeste states that they thought the percentage would be “a little more than a third,” not over three fourths.
The study also showed the association between physical and mental health, with research showing that loneliness is associated with a reduced lifespan, similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
With suicide and opioid abuse continuing to be on the rise. Jeste admits that more research needs to be conducted to answer the question, “How to reduce loneliness?”