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The Effects Loneliness Can Have On Your Health

Loneliness can commonly make people feel miserable, but in some more extreme cases, can also lead to serious problems such as alcoholism, depression and malnutrition.

Resident reading at Wellcross

Alcoholism

As a result of loneliness, some people can turn to alcohol as a way to escape the feeling of loneliness or to help ease their pain. If you notice you or your loved one have begun to drink alcohol in a large volume, more regularly then it is important to reduce the intake to a moderate level. Most people find it may help to not keep alcohol in the house at all, as this can lead to temptations and snapbacks.

If you feel that you or a loved one are beginning to have an issue with alcohol intake, then it is important to seek further help if you are unable to resolve advice from your GP. If you are concerned for a loved one, it can be difficult to breach this subject with them, especially if they are in denial about their issue. However, it is important to get them to their GP if you notice this issue, as it will only progress further which can make their health issues deteriorate quicker.

Depression

Depression is one of the most common side effects to loneliness and can be triggered from a range of different events: bereavement, health worries or loss of indepence. Some symptoms of depression can be sadness, tiredness, lack of energy, lack of confidence, reduced ability to concentrate and long term sleep deprivation. It is important if you feel or notice the signs to seek further help from your GP to help to prevent the feelings of depression as this can lead to further issues.

Malnutrition

Living alone can have a great impact on your eating habits, especially if you are used to cooking for more than just yourself. If you are feeling lonely, this can have an effect on your appetite, making you feel less hungry. Or you could simply feel that cooking yourself a well balanced meal is pointless if you are just cooking for yourself.

A reduced mobility issue may restrict you from being able to get to the shops which could be a reason behind eating less or more unbalanced meals.

If you notice your loved one is doing any of the above or struggling with getting to a shop, then it is important to resolve this by planning their meals in advance and giving them access to shopping online with home delivery. If planning meals and getting food delivered to the home does not fix their malnutrition then it is important to contact their local GP for further help.

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