People who live alone are more prone to depression

Those who live alone are more prone to depression, says a new study.

People who live alone are more depressed – Photo Archive

Adults who live alone are more likely to feel depressed than adults who live with others, according to a new report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Specifically, 6.4% of adults living alone reported feelings of depression, compared to only 4.1% of those living with others, and these differences could be seen across gender, age, income and most racial groups.

Data collected by the NCHS in 2021, from 29,400 people, suggested that 16% of adults in the United States lived alone.

The degree of emotional support people felt they had had a major impact on people's mental health. Adults who live alone and who said they never or rarely received social and emotional support are almost twice as likely to feel depressed than those who said the same but who live with other people (19.6% and , respectively, 11.6%), says the study.

The loneliness epidemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared loneliness “a global public health concern” last year.

Loneliness is associated with depression, anxiety, dementia, increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Another recent study compares the impact of loneliness on health with smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

A European Commission report shows that between 14% and 16% of Romanians feel lonely almost all the time. In the European Union, one in ten citizens feel lonely all the time, and people who feel lonely all or almost all the time are 20% more likely to suffer from depression.

We can combat loneliness and the risks associated with it with the help of friends. Research shows that close friendships boost mental health and well-being, and may even help us live longer.

In the absence of physical interaction, even online interaction is good, especially if we are talking about an already formed relationship, psychologists say. Also, social networks can be a means by which we can meet new people, especially if we are talking about a group that connects people with common passions, but it would be good to bring the friendships connected online and in the physical plane.