Research has shown us that many things can lead to injury. Distraction, alcohol, drugs, and other risky behaviors can lead to car accidents, slip and fall injuries, and other serious injuries in Miami or your community. But what about less tangible risks – such as loneliness?
We rarely think of loneliness as something that could be dangerous; for most, it simply seems like an unfortunate situation. According to scientists, however, lack of social support can also lead to injuries and harm in a number of important ways:
1) Lack of supportive friends and family can put elderly loved ones at risk for nursing home abuse and negligence.
The elderly are especially susceptible to loneliness, especially as friends and family succumb to old age and as they move into retirement homes or other communities far from loved ones. Seniors who are in assisted living facilities and nursing homes can be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect because they don’t have friends and loved ones looking out for their best interests.
2) Lack of support networks can lead to depression and injuries.
Loneliness has been linked to depression, anxiety disorders, and other ailments. In turn, these illnesses can lead to distraction at work and workplace injuries. Distraction can also lead to car accident and other injuries.
3) Lack of adequate numbers of friends can make injuries and illness harder to bear.
If you are seriously injured and don’t have people to turn to, it can be harder to recover. Researchers have concluded that emotional state and well-being are crucial in healing. Patients with poor support networks and patients who suffer from depression or poor emotional well-being take longer to heal from injuries and surgery, according to some studies, when compared with patients who have a more positive outlook.
4) Loneliness can affect overall health and sleep, which can lead to injury.
Loneliness and resulting feelings of depression and low self-esteem can affect sleep and can even lead to sleep disorders. Someone who is tossing and turning can find themselves going through their days feeling worse and being so fatigued that car accidents and injuries are a real concern.
Loneliness feels terrible for everyone, but it can affect your safety and your health. If you don’t have people you can count on, there are several ways that you can reach out:
- Get out and pursue interests. Loneliness can be a vicious circle. When someone does not have friends, they may feel less inclined to go out, which can mean that they meet fewer people and end up more lonely. Getting outside and taking part in activities is a good way to break this cycle.
- Visit someone who is lonely. Do you know someone who is ill, housebound, grieving, or in a nursing home? Make an effort to visit. Not only will you cheer them up, but you will find social interaction for yourself, too.
- Join groups designed for people who are alone. It sometimes feels that everyone else has a close group of friends, but in fact there are many people looking for a group or network. Check for local support groups and meet-up groups centered around your interests and lifestyle or volunteer to meet others.
- Get treatment for social anxiety or any conditions that could be affecting your ability to connect with others. If you suffer from crippling shyness or have a hard time getting out of the house, talk to your doctor. There may be a medical reason for your reluctance to meet others and addressing anxiety, depression, or other problems may make it easier for you to make friends.
Have you suffered a serious injury? Support is available. You can always contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case evaluation to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney.