Understanding Loneliness

What makes us happiest in life? Some people may point to fabulous fame and fortune. But hands down, surveys show that friends and family are the real prize. Even though our need to connect is innate, some of us always go home alone. You could have people around you throughout the day or even be in a lifelong marriage, and still experience a deep, pervasive loneliness. Unsurprisingly, isolation can have a serious detrimental effect on one's mental and physical health.

Recent Posts on Loneliness

Why I Don't Fear Going Solo

By Sophia Dembling on April 27, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Some people fear they'll be judged and pitied if they do things alone, but it's also possible people will be impressed.

Loneliness And Death

Loneliness may reduce life expectancy more than obesity or smoking.

5 Ways to Know When to Leave the Relationship

You don't want to go home anymore. You don't look forward to seeing or being in the actual company of the person with whom you are intimately involved. You prefer the idea of the relationship to the reality of it; you have an idealized image of the beloved that is far enough removed from the everyday, authentic person that being in his or her presence undermines, erodes an

Developmental Dislike of Parents During Early Adolescence

One function of adolescence is to grow parent and adolescent apart. Dislike of parents is part of what allows this social separation to occur. Most important for parents to remember is that this loss of liking for parents does not mean any lessening of of adolescent love.

What Your Facebook Use Reveals About Your Personality

Research shows the way you interact on social media says a lot about your personality and your self-esteem.

Hoarders and Collectors

By Elias Aboujaoude M.D. on April 16, 2015 in Compulsive Acts
A hoarding diagnosis should have nothing to do with a person’s net worth or a clinician’s take on what is worth collecting and what does not deserve getting attached to.

The Joy of Distraction

Negative affect is among the most important triggers of self-control failures.

Unloved Daughters and the Pain of Mother's Day

By Peg Streep on April 14, 2015 in Tech Support
While for many children, Mother's Day is one of true celebration, it's a day to be gotten through, survived, or ignored for others. Why is it that we continue to look away from an unpleasant truth: that, sometimes, Mother's Day hurts?

Net Losses

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 14, 2015 in In Excess
A number of market research reports have indicated that many office employees spend at least one hour of their day at work on various non-work activities (e.g., booking holidays, shopping online, posting messages on social networking sites, playing online games, etc.) and costs businesses millions of dollars a year. But what can be done to prevent it?

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

The Real Dangers of “Diagnosing” Everyone a Narcissist

By Craig Malkin on April 12, 2015 in Romance Redux
The current promiscuous use of "narcissist" not only trivializes the pain of people who've suffered greatly in abusive relationships, it generates massive confusion about what narcissism really is. Here's the truth about narcissism and narcissists--and why we need to stop, take a breath, and think carefully before we use either word as an insult.

Holding a Grudge Produces Cortisol and Diminishes Oxytocin

Are you currently holding a grudge against someone? Is someone holding a grudge against you? This blog post offers scientific reasons and some basic advice on how-to let go of a grudge and move on with your life.

Promiscuous College Students Have MORE Friends

By Zhana Vrangalova Ph.D. on April 06, 2015 in Strictly Casual
Promiscuity is highly stigmatized in our culture and we often believe that promiscuous people are socially ostracized and lonely. But while slut-shaming can be a serious problem and promiscuous people suffer more interpersonal discrimination and victimization, a new study shows they actually have more friends and feel less lonely.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

How Do You Feel if You Can't Read?

By Peter Toohey on April 03, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
Real literacy rates in advanced economies are lower than you might expect. This reduces the accessibility of digital technology for many people whose literacy is not strong. The common claims that the Digital Revolution is changing the way people experience emotions – such as loneliness, love, jealousy, boredom - may need to be treated with considerable caution.

The Scarcity Mindset

Poverty at it very core taxes self-control capacity.

Do We Project Our Own Personalities Onto Our Dogs' Behavior?

Dogs can be a sort of psychological mirror since people sometimes use their own personality tendencies to fill in the gaps when trying to interpret ambiguous dog behaviors.

Infantasy: The Dream of Unconditional Love Never Dies Young

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Ambigamy
Romantic love and confirmation of our social worth are complexly tangled.

Changes in the Family: Impact on Sexual Development

In modern times, the family unit has been dramatically reconstructed. Regardless of the family’s formation, the behaviors observed by children of both single and two-parent families significantly impact children’s sexual development.

Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Part II

A case study illustrating comorbidity and distinctions between bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and attention deficit disorder.

My Daughter and I Are Both Depressed

Yes, depression is contagious

“Having Guts” to Harden Parents’ Hearts

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
“Do you have the guts? You’re chicken if you don’t!” Remember such taunts to do stupid things in childhood? Apparently they are common in adulthood too—most recently with a doctor advising new parents. Destructive and unethical, let’s take a look.

It’s Complicated: Ten Years After

By A Guest Blogger on March 27, 2015 in The Guest Room
Grief is a fickle and complicated lifelong journey that can assault its victims with debilitating symptoms at any time after its origin. Understanding that grief knows no time limit can ease the path toward acceptance.

Affairs: The Healing Process

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on March 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Affairs are devastating on so many levels, but at its core it is about trust and loss. A map for moving through the normal healing process.

What Makes You Say You’re Lonely?

By Peter Toohey on March 26, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
What does it mean to be lonely and how do say that you are lonely? Is language enough to describe it? Are you lonely just because you think you are lonely and say you are lonely? Or are specific circumstances required for there to be loneliness? What does loneliness mean for the animal and human brain? Is loneliness and the word “loneliness” common to all cultures?

When You Don't Have Time for Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Now that spring has sprung, it's a good time to focus on becoming healthier. For many, this may sound like an overwhelming task. But creating small, reasonable goals is the best way to make lifestyle changes.

Yet Another Study Reporting Loneliness Can Kill You…

By Sean Seepersad Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Web of Loneliness
Apparently the media have long-term memory loss. Every time another study comes out showing that loneliness is indeed deadly, they jumps on it like it was not something we knew before. But I guess you would expect that with a topic like loneliness. After all, who remembers anything about loneliness?

We Really Do Die Alone

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Brick by Brick
When working to improve public health, there are often many things that we simply can't change. Social isolation has proven to be a robust and significant risk factor of poor health and early mortality. And there is something we can do about it.

The Key to Intimacy for Any Relationship

Being human means being vulnerable. But oftentimes we try to control love and intimacy, not realizing that true intimacy can only arise as we develop the awareness to notice and the courage to embrace our vulnerabilities. Our task is not to transcend our humanity or take flight into a spiritual self-image, but rather to engage with vulnerability in a skillful, gentle way.