Can Loneliness Make You Sick

Recent studies at the University of Chicago have confirmed a startling link between loneliness and health. Professor John Cacioppo directed the team studying loneliness as a factor in altering people's cardiac function and disrupting their sleep. In reporting his findings, he said, "The strength of social isolation as a risk factor is comparable to obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and possibly even smoking."

Professor Cacioppo reports that being alone isn't the only cause for loneliness. Loneliness is characterized by three conditions: isolation, feelings of being disconnected, and feelings of not belonging. If loneliness becomes overwhelming, it may lead to depression.

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