Why There is More Proof That Going to California City Was Not A Good Idea

February 18, 2014 at 1:43 am Leave a comment

This is what I was afraid when I applied for that prison job in California City.  As reported by the Independent in the UK

Feeling extreme loneliness on a long-term basis can be worse than obesity in terms of increasing the potentially lethal health risks that lead to premature death, scientists said.

Chronic loneliness has been shown to increase the chances of an early grave by 14 per cent, which is as bad as being overweight and almost as bad as poverty in undermining a person’s long-term wellbeing, a study has found.

As more people live longer, they are spending a bigger part of their lives feeling lonely. This is having a significant impact on their physical as well as mental health, the researchers found.

Loneliness is also becoming more common as people live alone or become isolated from relatives and friends, especially in retirement. Research has shown that at any given time between 20 and 40 per cent of older adults feel lonely.

A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that 10 per cent of Britons often feel lonely, a third have a close friend or relative who they think is very lonely and half think that people are getting lonelier in general.

A study of more than 2,000 Americans aged over 50 who were followed-up over six-years found that the degree to which they felt lonely could be linked to their overall risk of death due to ill health at the end of this period.

Professor John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, said there are dramatic differences in the rate of decline in physical and mental health as people age and that these can be linked to the number of satisfying relationships people continue to keep with friends and relatives as they get older.

“We have mythic notions of retirement. We think that retirement means leaving friends and family and buying a place down in Florida where it is warm and living happily ever after. But that’s probably not the best idea,” Professor Cacioppo said.

“Retiring to Florida to live in a warmer climate among strangers isn’t necessarily a good idea if it means you are disconnected from the people who mean the most to you,” he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Precisely, that is why I am afraid to live in a small city.  When I had a stable job, I drank at loneliness and boredom.  Even if I moved to another city like Sacramento or San Diego, there are plenty of Meetup groups and recovery meetings to meet new friends. It might take about a year or two, but I can easily will have a group of friends in the town.  In a small town, you are gambling that are you are going to fit into a community of people. If the community accepts you as individual, than you are okay and you will not suffer from social isolation.  You might be bored, but you will have a strong base of friends who will be there to support you.  If the community is too loaded with cliques and does not accepting outsiders. 




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