Nearly half of Americans always or sometimes feel alone. Nearly half of Britons over 65 consider the television or a pet their main source of company.
Scientists have long known that loneliness is emotionally painful and can lead to psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. But recently they’ve also discovered how bad it is for the body. Researchers at UCLA discovered that social isolation triggers cellular changes that result in chronic inflammation, and physical conditions like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The health risks of loneliness are comparable to obesity and the dangers of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Lonely individuals had a 26% higher risk of dying, rising to 45% if they were seniors.
But it’s not just seniors. 80% of Gen Z and 70% of millennials reported being lonely in 2019 (and COVID has made it even worse). Believe it or not, loneliness is the number one fear of young people today—ranking ahead of losing a home or a job. Fully 42% of Millennial women are more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis. Anyone, anywhere, of any age can experience loneliness. What’s the solution to the loneliness epidemic? Let’s hear David’s surprising answer in Psalm 62.