The Sun’s ‘Fabulous’ published a timely feature on the challenges that Christmas can present and how to overcome loneliness, which can be a huge problem for many in the UK.
Loneliness can lead to depression, stress and even heart problems. Smart TMS provided expert advice for the feature.
While the media portrays Christmas as a time when everyone is happy and joyful, loneliness can leave you feeling isolated, moody and sad.
Smart TMS Technician Abie told The Sun:
“One of the reasons loneliness is so bad for us is that it makes it harder for us to control our habits and behaviour.
“Tests by US psychologists showed that the expectation of isolation reduces our willpower and perseverance and makes it harder to regulate our behaviour.
“Lonely middle-aged adults drink more alcohol, have unhealthier diets and partake in less exercise than the socially contented.”
“Finally, tests have shown that loneliness can affect the immune and cardiovascular systems placing individuals at risk of health problems.
“A proven consequence of isolation for physiological resilience and recovery has been linked to the basic human need for sleep – lonely people experience more difficulties sleeping and sleep deprivation is known to have the same effects on metabolic, neural and hormonal regulation as ageing.”
“Lonely people are more likely to suffer from more depressive symptoms as they have been reported to be less happy, less satisfied and more pessimistic.
“Research on suicide has revealed that there is a strong association between suicide ideation, parasuicide and loneliness, meaning that the prevalence of suicide ideation rises with the degree of loneliness.
“It has also been found that loneliness puts individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline and have a 64% increased chance of developing clinical dementia.”
Tips for Overcoming Loneliness
As Featured in The Sun
1. Social media
Abie suggested using social media to reach out to others
“Everyday modern technology can help reduce isolation as it can facilitate and strengthen relationships”
2. Exercise more
“Physical activity of any kind will stimulate your brain and body to produce feel-good hormones that help you to feel better and more in control.”
Abie explained that volunteering is a social activity which has great benefits:
“Volunteering helps to reduce loneliness due to its social components so someone who is suffering from being lonely might benefit from helping others.
4. Seek Help
If you’re struggling and finding that Christmas is accentuating the problem, do seek help. Abie says:
“Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists can help people who feel lonely by addressing emotional issues that make it hard for them to form relationships or that reinforce their sense of isolation.”
The Sun feature suggested that one option for treatment might be Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy. The feature says:
“It’s a NICE approved, non-invasive treatment that uses pulses of magnetic energy to stimulate areas of the brain known be under-active in patients with depression.”
Read the feature in full at https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7981657/how-overcome-lonliness-christmas/
Abie, TMS Technician at Smart TMS
Abie is a member of the Smart TMS team of technicians at our Manchester TMS Clinic.
Her qualifications and experience prior to working at Smart TMS include:
- Psychology Bsc (Hons) at Lancaster University, with a certificate of distinction
- Currently studying MSc in Developmental Disorders
- N-compass Northwest volunteer – advocacy and carer support
- Experience of peer mentoring, supporting disaffected youth and co-facilitating support groups for mental well-being
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment is now available for private patients at Smart TMS, a specialist provider of the innovative treatment with an expanding network of locations around the UK and Ireland. For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:
Tel: 0345 222 5678