Tag Archive | “The Silver Line”

100 days – Day 66: All the lonely people.

100 days – Day 66: All the Lonely People

 

Two news stories particularly caught my attention today

 

A Scottish pensioner who lived in Bournemouth lay dead in her flat for SIX YEARS while neighbours held garden parties outside.

Anne Leitrim, in her 70s, hadn’t been seen since 2008. She was only found after the money in her bank account ran out and bailiffs went to her home to collect months of mortgage arrears.

They got in through one of two windows which were ajar at the flat throughout the six years, and discovered “soft-spoken and friendly” Anne’s remains.

 

AND:

 

Britain has been declared the loneliness capital of Europe.

The Office for National Statistics found that we are less likely to have strong friendships or know our neighbours than inhabitants of any other country in the EU.

 

Also a survey conducted last year by The Silver Line discovered that 2.5 million older people in Britain described themselves as lonely.

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that feeling lonely increased the risk of heart attacks, dementia, depression, and could disrupt sleep, raise blood pressure and lower the immune system. Those who felt isolated from others were 14 per cent more likely to have an early death.

With the percentage of households occupied by one person doubling between 1972 and 2008, and  with the decline of community and an increased focus on work,  that makes for a lot of disconnected people.

 

This is a shocking state of affairs

 

image

 

I remember, as an assistant Minister, in 1973-4, visiting a particular lady who would be in her late sixties and single; she lived on the top floor of a block of flats in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh – a soulless housing estate on the western edge of the City.  There was little, if anything, to do there – and elderly folk didn’t particularly like going out after dark.  Her apartment was on the same floor as three other flats.  But she NEVER saw her neighbours; they would either be out at work during the day (or out in the town), and, at night,indoors watching TV.

No wonder this elderly woman suffered from depression and stress, and, on one occasion that I know of, tried to take her own life. 

 

image

From “Mind”:
As social beings, most of us feel the need for rewarding social contact and relationships. One common definition of loneliness is that it is the feeling we get when our need for this type of contact is not met.

However, loneliness is not the same as being alone. You might choose to be alone and live happily without much contact with other people. Or you may have lots of social contact, or be in a relationship or part of a family and still feel lonely.

Loneliness is not feeling part of the world. You might be surrounded by loads of people but… you are [still] lonely.

Loneliness can have a significant impact on your mental health. It can contribute to mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Having a mental health problem can also make you feel lonely. For example, your condition may mean that you find social contact difficult or that you find it hard to maintain friendships, or you may feel isolated because of stigma and discrimination.
Loneliness has many different causes and affects people differently. Often people feel lonely because of their personal circumstances. But sometimes loneliness is a deeper, more constant feeling that comes from within.
Certain lifestyles and the stresses of daily life can make some people socially isolated and vulnerable to loneliness. There are many situations that might make you feel isolated or lonely.

For example, if you:

lose a partner or someone close to you
go through a relationship break-up
are a single parent or caring for someone else – you may find it hard to maintain a social life
retire and lose the social contact you had at work
are older and find it difficult to go out alone
move to a new area without family, friends or community networks
belong to a minority ethnic group and live in an area without others from a similar background
are excluded from social activities – for example, because of mobility problems or a shortage of money
experience discrimination and stigma – for example, because of a disability or long-term health condition, or your gender, race or sexuality
have experienced sexual or physical abuse – you may find it hard to form close relationships with other people.

Some people experience deep and constant feelings of loneliness that come from within and do not disappear, regardless of their social situation or how many friends they have.

There are many reasons people experience this kind of loneliness. You might feel unable to like yourself or to be liked by others, or you may lack self-confidence. This may come from having been unloved as a child so that, as an adult, you continue to feel unlovable in all relationships. Or sometimes, consciously or unconsciously, people isolate themselves within their relationships because they are afraid of being hurt.

Loneliness, for me, is a side effect of the barriers I’ve put up over the years to protect myself from the world, and the world from me.

If you experience this deeper type of loneliness, you may try to avoid being on your own and spend a lot of time socialising. Or you may react in the opposite way, hiding away on your own so you don’t have to face a world of people you feel unconnected to. You may also develop unhelpful habits, such as using alcohol or drugs, to escape your feelings of loneliness or to face social situations that you can’t avoid.

 

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheWeeFlea.com

The Blog of David Robertson

More Enigma Than Dogma

Relationships, Culture & Current Events

Curriculum of the Spiritual Life

Poems, Prayers, & Proverbs that speak to what it means to be a "living curriculum" of the Christian Life.

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others

Iain Macwhirter

Read Iain in The Herald and Sunday Herald, every Wednesday and Sunday.

Sky Pilot

ramblings of a reformed ecclesiastic

lizlovingandlearning

personal reflections on life, the universe & everything

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

100 DAYS

various positions

lauraagudelo272

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

TextsInContext

Faith Seeking Understanding

Richard W. Strachan's Blog

Writing and reading

bigirishman

Just another WordPress.com site

In an Irish Home

What Life is Really Like Behind the Hall Door

Guido Fawkes

Parliamentary plots and conspiracy

waverley710, The Ramblings of a Wannabe theologian.

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Jim Palmer

Inner Anarchist

Love's Work

Reflections on living into ministry

It Is What It Is

Dr. Rex .... Blogging for change.

thewayhomegamer

Just another WordPress.com site

You Got to be Kidding's Blog

Humor and musings from all around the Internet

David's Commonplace Book

Random stuff that interests me

Tentsmuir

"Haud Gaan!" - Scots for 'Keep Pressing Forward!'

Soul Destruction

London call girl book & diary series - exposing the dark world and harsh reality of life as a drug addicted call girl

beyondentertainmentblog

entertainment without boundaries

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam

Thoughts Of A Near 40 Something

Nothing Exciting But True - May Contain Trains

Toad's Great Adventure

"I will, then, be a toad." -- Stephen Crane

Leaving Fundamentalism

various positions

All Things Rabyd

A blog dedicated to the thoughts, opinions, ideas and random madness of Edward W. Raby, Sr. - Pastor, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Bodybuilder and Football Fan. "Yes, the dog is foaming at the mouth. Don't worry, He just had pint of beer and is trying to scare you." This is a Theology Pub so drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home as theology can be as intoxicating as alcohol.

Soul Gatherings

Spiritual Moments in the Human Experience

Anglican Memes

a humour site about the Church of England

A Sacred Conspiracy

To conspire is to act in harmony towards an agreed upon goal. God wants to conspire with us in unconditional, reckless, surrendered love.

Lavender and Broken Bones

FOREVER REINVENTING

Christus Pro Nobis

Christ for us

revjamespb

Developing Theological ideas

Laodicea

Qui vicerit, dabo ei sedere mecum in throno meo

NUCLEARMIND es PLUS ANIMI EST ...

More than a feeling ...

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

dghealth

Opinions & ideas in NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Chicks In The Mitt

...we have a blog, therefore, we must be interesting...

The China Penguin

waddling from rice fields to ice-fields

peterstudyleave

A blog of Peter's Study Leave 2012

Journey to a healthy life...

and the maddness on the way there

%d bloggers like this: