A pill to cure loneliness?
Recently a proposal has come forth that a pill might be developed to deal with the symptoms of loneliness. As one of the researchers on the work suggested, the “goal is not to make people stop feeling lonely altogether, but to interfere with the ways loneliness affects the brain and body.”
I can understand the idea of wanting to tackle the physical affects of loneliness as they can be quite harmful. It can make us more susceptible to cognitive decline, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. These are topics worthy to address and find ways to handle.
I have my doubts about medications, though. That’s not to say I’m against medication at all. While I do take pills to handle my anxiety and depression, it’s because there is a chemical imbalance in my brain. It’s something I cannot change.
Yet there are mechanisms available to handle loneliness. These include utilizing the EASE method. Focusing on social skills needed to develop connections seems far more appropriate in addressing loneliness. Also, in utilizing social skills there wouldn't be possible side effects which often come with medication.
There's no doubt loneliness has physical side effects. Yet it's possible the nature of the problem is more with a mental health issue that can come about because of prolonged periods of being alone. A pill to address loneliness may be missing the real issues, which relate more to mental health concerns. Such conditions are treatable through therapy, medications or a combination thereof. In conjunction with learning social skills needed to make connections, undesired effects of loneliness can be overcome.
I’m curious to see more research on the subject, but at this point seeking out a pill to “cure” the physical aspects of loneliness seems to be missing the underlying issues of the situation.
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This blog is an exploration of the subjects of belonging and loneliness. I also look at mental health issues. I seek to provide content to my readers that is informative and helpful. If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for my email list.