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The Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health

February 21, 2022

Loneliness Caused by Social Interaction 

Over the past two years, people have become increasingly disconnected from one another. We have had to “shelter in place” and “socially distance” in order to keep ourselves physically safe. However, studies show that even before the pandemic, feelings of loneliness and social isolation were on the rise. This seems counterintuitive knowing that much of society is connected through social media these days.

Social Media and Depression 

In actuality, research shows a correlation between increased feelings of loneliness and the amount of time someone spends on social media. While social isolation and loneliness are two different things, both are inextricably linked and both can be harmful for our overall health and lead to increased rates of anxiety, depression and suicide. Bottom line: relationships through our phones, computers and tablets cannot replace human interaction.

Post Pandemic Social Anxiety 

As the world begins to open up, some people are excited to “get back out there” while others feel anxious about leaving their couch and sweatpants behind. Social anxiety was not born out of the pandemic, but it is vastly more common because we all are out of practice. Together we will begin to navigate social interactions again; granted, it may be awkward to start (do we hug or simply wave?), but the awkwardness will subside and our physical and mental health will appreciate it. After all, we are mentally healthier when we are connected to others.

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Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.