Isolation and Its Negative Impact on Physical and Mental Health
Chronic social isolation can have a detrimental effect on both physical and mental health, according to Dr Varun Bansal, Senior Consultant of Cardiology and Cardio Thoracic Surgery at Apollo Hospital. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information also highlights the increased risks of morbidity and mortality associated with chronic social isolation.
Symptoms of isolation can contribute to this increased risk, including:
Psychological Stress: Isolation can lead to chronic psychological stress, which triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline hormones that can increase blood pressure, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.
Lifestyle Factors: Isolated individuals may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as poor dietary choices, a sedentary lifestyle, unregulated sleep schedule, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or drug abuse.
Limited Support System: Social isolation often means having limited access to emotional support, encouragement, and assistance from others which can increase feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Health Monitoring and Care: Isolated individuals may be less likely to receive regular health check-ups and medical care resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment.
It is important to recognize the negative impact of isolation on physical and mental health and take steps to address it. This can include reaching out to friends and family, joining social groups or clubs, seeking professional help, and prioritizing self-care. By taking proactive measures, individuals can reduce the risks associated with chronic social isolation and improve their overall health and well-being.