‘Social recession’: how isolation can affect physical and mental health
As countries across the globe hunker down, long-term isolation can have profound physical and psychological effects. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, millions of people in the US are coming to terms with being increasingly cut off from society.
Beyond the inconvenience of working from home, or not being able to go to bars, restaurants or cinemas, however, experts have found that social-isolation can have a profound effect on people’s physical, as well as mental health.
Long-term, isolation even increases the risk of premature death. It’s being called a “social recession” to match any economic downturn also caused by the growing pandemic and it can have profound physical and psychological effects.
“People who are more socially connected show less inflammation, conversely people who are more isolated and lonely show more increased chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been implicated in a variety of chronic diseases,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University.
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