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Loneliness / Isolation As Harmful As Obesity For Longevity

Discussion in 'Health' started by haidut, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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  2. Waremu

    Waremu Member

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    I heard Ray Peat talk about this once and he mentioned that he had pet hamsters to ward off the loneliness from not being married.
     
  3. mujuro

    mujuro Member

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    I had been researching this myself for the past 2 weeks or so. My findings motivated me to get out and do something about it. I found that in addition to reduced longevity it leads to sub-chronic inflammation, poor immunity, elevated stress markers, and higher incidence of cancer and serious diseases. In rodents social isolation reduces brain 5-alpha-reductase levels by 50%, thus reducing levels of progesterone and pregnenolone neurosteroid metabolites.

    Since September I have essentially been a hermit. Partially by choice, if only because at the start I had no tolerance for social interaction. But things in my life also fell through. I had to drop out of university due to my bipolar, I had no work, I have few friends who have time to spend with me, etc. It begins to feel surreal. Each day is the same, you have nothing to do to pass the time, and inevitably depression creeps in, creating a waking nightmare.

    I'm back at work these past 2 weeks with good people and can already feel a balance returning.
     
  4. sm1693

    sm1693 Member

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    I'm surprised you would post such a poor study. You have often put me on the right track in the past, but that article is like a step backwards in our greater understanding.

    I believe this to be a much greater explanation of the larger phenomenon at work:
     
  5. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    But the article doesn't attempt an explanation, does it?
     
  6. BobbyDukes

    BobbyDukes Member

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    If you want dominant status, you will also need to be equipped to handle it, too. Just because you've lowered serotonin, raised dopamine/testosterone - doesn't automatically mean that life is better. A new reality brings new challenges and hurdles.
     
  7. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Um, sorry about that, but if you read the study it just says loneliness and isolation correlate with risk for mortality. It does not try to explain the mechanism, even though I agree with the quote you posted on the study @Such found. So, I am not sure why you think it is a poor study given that all it does is report correlation.
    Care to elaborate?
     
  8. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    Maybe that feeling of curling up and dying really is mediated by serotonin, makes sense!
     
  9. sm1693

    sm1693 Member

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    Absolutely, why would any of us think any differently?
     
  10. sm1693

    sm1693 Member

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    The (sometimes) unspoken idea behind Ray Peat's work is an explanation of behavior through biological mechanisms. Therefore, biological mechanism precedes behavior. Any attempt to describe behavior preceding the biological mechanism is unhelpful at best, and likely severely distracting any attempt to understand the entirety of how the species operates.

    No personal insult is meant by disagreeing with you here.
     
  11. sm1693

    sm1693 Member

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    I believe you may be distracted by the word "dominant." This word is often used to describe the normal social order in non-human animals. Unfortunately, when applied to humans, it has a negative connotation. The study name could be rewritten as "serotonin lowers social status."

    Haha, that's exactly what it means (in my experience). Why would anyone pursue this Ray Peat thing unless some form of happiness came from the result?

    These could be assumptions by me, but my life experience says that people of lower social status are often less social in general. People of lower social status often self-isolate, somewhat similar to the way a sick animal will find an isolated spot to either recover from an illness or die. No matter how much any one of us social misfits wants to believe otherwise, biology seems to imply that high social status is a good thing most of the time.
     
  12. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I am under the impression that the only viable representation of Ray Peat's thought is more like biological mechanism and behavior precede each other, or body engenders mind engenders body, etc.
     
  13. tara

    tara Member

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    I can feel the physical difference in myself between isolation and good in-person human contact too. Mostly more relaxed and happier. Unless the interaction is particularly bad.

    There is nothing else in the world as complex and interesting as another human being. Stimulating interactions affect us physically. We are social creatures, and absence of social interaction is stressful.

    I think there are studies showing physical contact makes a measurable difference too.

    I have wondered whether, along with the mental stimulation and affirmation, and physical pleasure, etc. involved in contact, whether there is sometimes useful conservation and sharing of cellular red light or other energy resources when we are in physical touch. And whether people reputed to have healing touch may sometimes have an ability to consciously direct such resources. This last is wild speculation, not based on any scientific studies.
     
  14. sm1693

    sm1693 Member

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    It is immediately obvious to me that you are correct here. And it is enjoyable to learn about how the mind affects the body.

    I think when people hear that "loneliness causes higher mortality," they will think, "oh well, it is what it is."

    If they hear "gut-chemical serotonin causes loneliness," it will possibly spur a positive change in our environment here on earth.

    It is not enjoyable to me to be surrounded by people who are emotionally crippled by food chemicals (etc), knowing that there is now a (somewhat) clear way to health and happiness freely available. I feel partially responsible.
     
  15. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    Yes I see what you mean. I have seen depressed people complain about medical news because it has nothing to do with this, etc. I think this comes partially from the experience with useless chemicals from the mainstream and partially from an attitude of "it's all other people's fault" or "it's all my fault" as though it were simply a proper attempt at feeling better that could change everything.

    This would be especially understood by chronic fatigue sufferers and the likes, who are told it's just a "matter of willpower" and "just do it", as though gathering that strength would not involve at least some amount of mortgage from your body to your body which makes things worse.
     
  16. kineticz

    kineticz Member

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    Are there any ways to stimulate the benefits of social interaction in other ways than socially interacting :)
     
  17. Dean

    Dean Member

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    :rofl

    I'm with you on that one. A blow-up doll, maybe? As long as it isn't wham, squeak, thank you ma'am.
     
  18. kineticz

    kineticz Member

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    I've tried that, the seams don't last long.
     
  19. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Hi,

    Seth Roberts wrote some observations about it. Movies and soap-operas can trick your brain effectively and can replace those missing interactions; better during the day and avoided at night.
    If you find yourself watching some Youtube videos where people log their life, it's a great indicator of missing interactions. Just like when people are starved, they enjoy seeing and seeking everything that resembles food. If I recall correctly, during the Minnesota Starvation Exp. some participants started to collect pieces of papers that had something related to food.
    So your behaviour will give you clues..
     
  20. tara

    tara Member

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    I doubt it, but lots of people find a cat or a dog etc better than no company.
    I sometimes find being in a class for something I'm interested in to provide some of the benefits of having other humans around without being so demanding on me personally interacting. I guess for some people church etc does this. Or choirs.
     
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