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Chapter 5: The Gnawing Parasite

of Loneliness
Why feeling all alone may impact your longevity


Loneliness ups mortality

by 26%

Why loneliness is bad for your health

"Large, high-quality research conducted in Alameda County, California, has shown that people who score low on social integration — have few friends and relatives, aren’t married, don’t belong to community organizations — are even three times more likely to die over the next seven years than are those blessed with close-knit relationships. You might think that such effects of friends and family on longevity might matter only for seniors. It could be, after all, as simple as having someone check up on you regularly to make sure you haven’t fallen down the stairs and broken your hip. But that’s not the case. It’s been shown over and over that people of any age who have poor social relations suffer more heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and even pregnancy complications..." [excerpt from Growing Young]


Alone in the crowd: Oslo, Norway, the European capital of solitude:. Here 52.9 percent of households are run by singles

Ostraka — shattered fragments of pottery used in ancient Greece to vote people into exile

Cyberball - a tool to measure the effects of social exclusion on mind and body


Psilocybe semilanceata (Magic Mushroom)

  • How can a hot shower make you feel less lonely?

  • Are your genes making you prone to loneliness?

  • What's behind current epidemic of loneliness -- and how does it impact longevity?

  • How much does loneliness cost public healthcare?

  • Why does feeling lonely mess up your sleep?

  • Answers to these questions (and much more!) in the book

A few links worth checking out:

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