Loneliness and isolation are as dangerous as obesity

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  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    April 4, 2015 3:08 p.m.

    Interesting study. Yet it seems the Mormon church preaches that homosexuals should not participate in any type of intimacy. Leaving those very few gay Mormons being alone and isolated. Yet here they have a study proving contrary!

  • fluffypaws Victoria, 00
    April 1, 2015 5:24 a.m.

    I really worry about lonliness with my spouse. I have always been the misfit in the church because I am different and instead of embracing my differences, I have been judged, bullied, abused (sexually, emotionally, physically) but my spouse he grew up in the church and was really close to his lds family and they have turned their back on him because he isn't with a "traditional sterotypical lds woman" I really worry about the lonliness and depression that sets in to know that he no longer has a mum or dad unless he marries the relief society president or someone very similar in a loveless relationship over someone he does love. I really never know what to do and that makes it harder. There is absolutely no support for him even though I do my very best to make him happy I cant replace his parents who abandoned him.

  • JenniferSLCC Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2015 8:24 p.m.

    I feel like its too general to say loneliness is similar to a death style. There are some people who would rather be alone or are just fine with it. But if it is a big issue, should there be a requirement on having to be social? And so how would we do it. For the elderly, it would be a lot more difficult. It mentioned having technology blooming but I wouldn't expect an elderly person being on Twitter and being as social as a teenager.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    March 30, 2015 1:23 p.m.

    I'm betting there will be more lonely people because of the digital age. Texts, e-mails and social media cannot replace one-on-one interactions with others.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    March 30, 2015 9:34 a.m.

    Not only do I think that this is overblown, but coming from BYU, I suspect the agenda behind it. The LDS Church, and Mormons culturally, make no secret about being dogmatically against those who have no spouses or children. A study that puts the already frowned-upon lifestyle of being unmarried on the same level as other, more traditional vices like smoking, in terms of overall harm, is what I would expect from that culture. The other comments in this section reinforce this point, and are a little more direct about it than the article itself.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 27, 2015 8:08 p.m.

    To elaborate even more...

    We all have a family. We all have parents. Even those who've lost have family history. Family is there. No human being didn't come from somewhere. Genealogy is a powerful way to connect us to our family that came before us. We all have blessings waiting. We just need to look for them and rely on the Lord.

    Loneliness can cause harm. But the Lord is our healer.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 27, 2015 8:05 p.m.

    I've never met a married couple with 5 kids who felt lonely. My point is simple. If you don't have a family, go out and get one!

    That doesn't mean "go have children" if you can't. But that doesn't mean you can't have a family either. Family can mean a lot of things. It can mean a church Ward, a calling, helping friends, hobbies and colleagues. The fact is, we need a family of people in our lives. The real question to me is what are we doing to have that? I believe the commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth is still in force. If you aren't able to have children, then find other ways to multiply and replenish the Earth. Work for good causes and with others who do and make great things happen. If you don't have children or "insert here" then do something about it!

    Everyone experiences loneliness. Some to extremes. But when you pick yourself up and put the best shoulder forward, putting faith in optimism and the Lord's power to solve... there's hope! :) Ask and ye shall receive.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2015 4:46 p.m.

    re Llew40

    A suggestion that I realize you are already aware of, but perhaps you need a push. Try online dating. I wish you all the best.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 25, 2015 10:01 a.m.

    It is not the answer, but it helps to have a good animal (dog, cat, horse) as a pet and loyal dependent companion. (Gives one a responsibility to get up each morning). Also, generally speaking; adult singles (and especially seniors) are somewhat of a misfit in the Mormon church, but there are other good churches that are more embracing and interactive with seniors. One can remain a Mormon and explore circles of friendship and activities outside the church.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 25, 2015 8:42 a.m.

    I also compassionate the married people who are alone.

    When I was single I once gave a talk to a group a similarly-situated people, more or less like this:

    "If you feel you are unhappy because you are single, just take a look around at the married people. Do they look happy?" Many,of course, do not, and I have often noticed married couples not talking or communicating joyfully with one another.

    That is a great pity. No one likes to be regarded as just a paycheck, or other unloved, taken for granted, object. We all want to be loved, sometimes just as we are, as I think we all want to get better- I hope so anyway. As someone once said: Most men live lives of quiet desparation. Recently that quote being made, it got a wave of subdued, appreciative laughter. Life shouldn't be like that, should it?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 25, 2015 8:17 a.m.

    What about if you're obese AND lonely?

    I am neither but I do remember once being in a singles ward, where there were several lonely people yet many of them refused any but a perfect partner (by their own criteria often), refused to consider having children, or were most interested in a career.

    I compassionate the lonely man or woman who just wants to settle down and start a family, who is doing his or her best, or pretty d--n close, and still cannot find anyone. It's a crying shame; I wish them all the blessings in the world.

    I weep for the lonely elderly without family or none who will visit. They will eventually get the blessings they deserve, but I hope we speed up that process with kind attentions now.

    Anyhow you are never alone with God, but he needs angels.

  • Lyn52 Saint George, UT
    March 25, 2015 7:26 a.m.

    My father passed away 6 years ago, my mom was very active in volunteering and kept it up until recently, between that and her friendships and family she has been able to keep isolation at bay. She still volunteers once a week to do welfare checks by phone. She is such a giving person and it shows.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2015 5:08 p.m.

    We need to do something about it! Maybe these issues should be outed! Maybe we should look for ways to solve these issues because nobody should have to spend huge amounts of time feeling lonely. It is not the way it should be. It isn't just the elderly. How many people loose their spouses at a young age and just don't find another? Walk into a care center for the elderly and see how fast they want to talk to you. It is a very important subject. There have been times when I wanted to talk to someone so much, but because I am gay, they have turned away. People that were once very close to me. I think it has been among the most difficult things in my life. I wouldn't wish loneliness on anyone.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2015 4:56 p.m.

    llew40, it hurts a little to read your comment. I relate, but in a different way. I am 50. I am gay and I have had a partner for over 15 years. However, I see the day coming when I probably will be alone. I grew up in a huge family, but time takes people in different directions and none of us are guaranteed anything. I wish I had a place like the church to have those spiritual connections that I once did, but I realize that I don't fit in there. I suffer from bi polar and the worst part of it is the loneliness. I just don't have a lot of friends.
    Maybe you feel some of the things that I do because your life hasn't went like you thought it should based on the beliefs given to us. We have to look outside the box. Whatever you do, don't give up on a relationship. They can be hard at first, but it is worth it. It takes courage, sometimes. It takes a lot of courage when we don't feel like we fit in. Your not alone.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    March 24, 2015 4:03 p.m.

    @Llew40

    I have a 46 year old family member that has never been married and I know it has been a struggle. Big hug. You are of worth!

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    March 24, 2015 2:32 p.m.

    Llew40,

    I have experienced a good bit of isolation as well. Sometimes I choose it and sometimes it just happens.

    I have been in multiple wards where the home teachers rare if ever visit. I think this study helps to show how inspired visiting and home teaching is.

    It is not only important for the reasons mentioned in the article but others as well.

    Visiting and being around others often strengthen and uplifts yourself. It just helps you to know you aren't alone in this world.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2015 11:15 a.m.

    I just took the loneliness quiz and scored in the Extreme Loneliness range. I'm only 40 years old. A single, never married woman who never had the opportunity to marry and create a family. One of the sacrifices of abstaining from cohabitation is living the lonely, celibate life in home of our own creation with no but ourselves to share the ups and downs of daily life with. It can get downright overwhelming at times. It doesn't help that so many of our peers are happily paired off with children of their own which makes us feel unintentionally shut out and excluded.
    This study needs to include people of all ages, not just the elderly.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2015 11:06 a.m.

    It is not just the elderly who need to be included in this study. I'm a 40 year old woman who has never had the opportunity to marry and have a family. I just took the UCLA Loneliness quiz and answered "sometimes" and "often" to all ten questions. One of the sacrifices of abstaining from cohabitation when marriage isn't an option is living a lonely, celibate life. I've always been a shy and introverted person so my social circle is small. Living in family centered Utah where everyone is happily paired off by a certain age, I often wonder how many other mid-singles feel as shut out and excluded by others as I do. We realize it's not intentional but a common complaint from never-married Mormons is wondering where they belong and that no one in their family ward really knows what to do with them.
    Little wonder I scored in the extreme loneliness range.
    Luckily I have plans tonight to see a movie with my best girlfriends.
    If you are overwhelmed and feeling very isolated by loneliness, please reach out and talk to someone you trust like a close friend or family member.