ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
Loneliness


Everybody feels lonely from time to time. When we have no one to sit next to at lunch, when we move to a new city, or when nobody has time for us at the weekend. But over the last few decades, this occasional feeling has become chronic for millions. In the UK, 60% of 18 to 34-year-olds
say they often feel lonely. In the US, 46% of the entire
population feel lonely regularly. We are living in the most
connected time in human history. And yet, an unprecedented number of us feel isolated. Being lonely and being alone are not the same thing. You can be filled with bliss by yourself and hate every second surrounded by friends. Loneliness is a purely subjective, individual experience. If you feel lonely, you are lonely. A common stereotype is that loneliness only happens to people who don’t know how to talk to people, or how to behave around others. But population-based studies have shown that social skills make practically no difference for adults when it comes to social connections. Loneliness can affect everybody: money, fame, power, beauty, social skills, a great personality; Nothing can protect you against loneliness because it’s part of your biology. Loneliness is a bodily function, like hunger. Hunger makes you pay attention
to your physical needs. Loneliness makes you pay attention
to your social needs. Your body cares about your social needs,
because millions of years ago it was a great
indicator of how likely you were to survive. Natural selection rewarded
our ancestors for collaboration, and for
forming connections with each other. Our brains grew and became more and more fine-tuned to recognize what others thought and felt, and to form and sustain social bonds. Being social became part of our biology. You were born into groups of 50 to 150 people which you usually stayed with for the rest of your life. Getting enough calories, staying safe and warm, or caring for offspring was practically impossible alone. Being together meant survival. Being alone meant death. So it was crucial that you got along with others. For your ancestors, the most dangerous threat to survival was not being eaten by a lion, but not getting the social vibe of
your group and being excluded. To avoid that, your body came up with ‘social pain’. Pain of this kind is an
evolutionary adaptation to rejection: a sort of early warning system to make sure
you stop behavior that would isolate you. Your ancestors who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to change their behavior when they got rejected and thus stayed in the tribe, while those who did
not got kicked out and most likely died. That’s why rejections hurt. And even more so, why loneliness is so painful. These mechanisms for keeping us connected worked great for most of our history, until humans began building a new world for themselves. The loneliness epidemic we see today
really only started in the late Renaissance. Western culture began to focus on the individual. Intellectuals moved away from the collectivism of the Middle Ages, while the young Protestant theology stressed individual responsibility. This trend accelerated during the Industrial Revolution. People left their villages and fields to enter factories. Communities that had existed for hundreds of years began to dissolve, while cities grew. As our world rapidly became modern,
this trend sped up more and more. Today, we move vast distances for new jobs, love and education, and leave our social net behind. We meet fewer people in person, and we
meet them less often than in the past. In the US, the mean number of close friends
dropped from 3 in 1985 to 2 in 2011. Most people stumble into chronic
loneliness by accident. You reach adulthood
and become busy with work, university, romance, kids and Netflix.
There’s just not enough time. The most convenient and easy thing to sacrifice
is time with friends. Until you wake up one day and
realize that you feel isolated; that you yearn for close relationships. But it’s hard to find close connections as adults and so, loneliness can become chronic. While humans feel pretty great about
things like iPhones and spaceships, our bodies and minds are fundamentally
the same they were 50,000 years ago. We are still biologically fine-tuned
to being with each other. Large scale studies have shown that the stress that comes from chronic loneliness is among the most unhealthy things
we can experience as humans. It makes you age quicker, it makes cancer deadlier, Alzheimer’s advance faster,
your immune systems weaker. Loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity and
as deadly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. The most dangerous thing about it is that once it becomes chronic, it can become self-sustaining. Physical and social pain use common mechanisms in your brain. Both feel like a threat, and so, social pain leads to immediate and defensive behaviour when it’s inflicted on you. When loneliness becomes chronic,
your brain goes into self-preservation mode. It starts to see danger and hostility everywhere. But that’s not all. Some studies found that when you’re lonely, your brain is much more receptive and alert to social signals, while at the same time, it gets worse
at interpreting them correctly. You pay more attention to others but you understand them less. The part of your brain
that recognises faces gets out of tune and becomes more likely to categorize neutral faces as hostile, which makes it distrustful of others. Loneliness makes you assume the worst
about others’ intentions towards you. Because of this perceived hostile world, you can become up more self-centered to protect yourself, which can make you appear more cold, unfriendly and socially awkward than you really are. If loneliness has become a strong presence in your life, the first thing you can do is to try to recognise the vicious cycle you may be trapped in. It usually goes something like this: An initial feeling of isolation leads to feelings of tension and sadness, which makes you focus your attention selectively on negative interactions with others. This makes your thoughts about
yourself and others more negative, which then changes your behavior. You begin to avoid social interaction, which leads to more feelings of isolation. This cycle becomes more severe
and harder to escape each time. Loneliness makes you sit far away from others in class, not answer the phone when friends call, decline invitations until the invitations stop. Each and every one of us has a story about ourselves, and if your story becomes that people exclude you, others pick up on that, and so the outside world can become the way you feel about it. This is often a slow creeping process that takes years, and can end in depression and a mental state that prevents connections, even if you yearn for them. The first thing you can do to escape it is to
accept that loneliness is a totally normal
feeling and nothing to be ashamed of. Literally, everybody feels lonely at some
point in their life, it’s a universal human experience. You can’t eliminate or ignore
a feeling until it goes away magically, but you can accept that you
feel it and get rid of its cause. You can self-examine what you focus
your attention on, and check if you are
selectively concentrating on negative things. Was this interaction with a colleague really negative,
or was it really neutral or even positive? What was the actual content of an interaction? What did the other person say? And did they say something bad,
or did you add extra meaning to their words? Maybe another person was not really
reacting negatively, but just short on time. Then, there are your thoughts about the world.
Are you assuming the worst about others’ intentions? Do you enter a social situation
and have already decided how it will go? Do you assume others don’t want you around? Are you trying to avoid being hurt
and not risking opening up? And, if so, can you try
to give others the benefit of the doubt? Can you just assume that they’re not against you? Can you risk being open and vulnerable again? And lastly, your behaviour. Are you avoiding opportunities to be around others?
Are you looking for excuses to decline invitations? Or are you pushing others away
preemptively to protect yourself? Are you acting as if you’re getting attacked? Are you really looking for new connections,
or have you become complacent with your situation? Of course, every person
and situation is unique and different, and just introspection alone might not be enough. If you feel unable to solve your situation by yourself, please try to reach out and get professional help.
It’s not a sign of weakness, but of courage. However we look at loneliness, as a purely individual problem that needs solving to create more personal happiness, or as a public health crisis, it is something that deserves more attention. Humans have built a world that’s nothing short of amazing, and yet, none of the shiny things we’ve made is able to satisfy or substitute our fundamental biological need for connection. Most animals get what they need from their physical surroundings. We get what we need from each other, and we need to build our
artificial human world based on that. Let’s try something together:
let’s reach out to someone today, regardless if you feel a little bit lonely,
or if you want to make someone else’s day better. Maybe write a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Call a family member who’s become estranged. Invite a work buddy for a coffee, Or just go to something you’re usually too afraid to go to or too lazy to go to, like a D&D event or a sports club. Everybody’s different,
so you know what’s a good fit for you. Maybe nothing will come of it, and that’s okay.
Don’t do this with any expectations. The goal is just to open up a bit; to exercise your connection muscles,
so they can grow stronger over time, or to help others exercise them. We want to recommend two of the books
we read while researching this video. ‘Emotional First Aid’ by Guy Winch,
a book that addresses, among other topics, how to deal with loneliness in a way that we found helpful and actionable and ‘Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection’ by John Cacioppo and William Patrick. It’s an entertaining and scientific exploration as to why we experience loneliness on a biological level, how it spread in society and what science
has to say about how to escape it. Links for both books are in the video description. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe!

100 thoughts on “Loneliness

  1. We designed a poster on this topic as well. You can find it here: https://shop-us.kurzgesagt.org/collections/all-kurzgesagt-products/products/in-a-nutshell-loneliness-poster?variant=28928293503024

  2. I feel loneliness every day because I cant talk to people and when I do I make mistakes and they leave me it is a cycle. People always avoid me

  3. i have friends, and they’re great, but I feel like they’re never open to exploring/ just spending time with each other having genuine conversations. Sometimes it’s better to branch out to new people who will help you converse rather than just hang out

  4. I'm lonely, but only because of the lack of my pair.
    I miss her so much.
    And I don't even know whether I met her or not yet.
    I'm not in depression yet, but I feel, it's coming.
    Yeah, I cried a bit watching this.😢

  5. Always thought been alone is best off but seeing this video the lone wolf dies but the pack survives [GOT]

  6. i think depression is what they meant, i thought the video was going to be about how we don't need social interaction as much anymore to survive, and that other's opinions of us shouldn`t matter because understanding how it helped us in the past but isnt essential anymore would let us be more free… it is a great video anyway

  7. If you ever feel lonely, just remember that there are billions of cells and other things who are working day and night to keep you alive and care for you.

  8. There's two type of loneliness

    1. Feeling lonely because you don't have anyone to talk to.

    2. Feeling lonely even though you're around others but either ignored or just excluded from the conversation

  9. 조상들 때부터 혼자 배제되면 생존에 위협을 받기 때문에.
    외로움은 당신의 일부이다.
    우리는 생물적으로 함께 있도록 설계된 것이다
    외로움은 하루 한 갑의 담배를 피는 것보다 해롭다
    1.친구와의 시간 보내기
    2. 연락 10:52
    11:22

  10. だから僕は独り暮らしをやめて実家に帰ったんだ…寂しかったから。その選択が正しかったと知れて嬉しい

  11. Omg this was me uptil an year ago. My life became so bad, it was exactly like the video described it. I moved cities, came back home, started living with my mom. I know it sounds sad but that was the best thing that happened for my mental health. Now I have managed to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. At first I consciously started to talk to people, take more initiatives towards social interactions. Now I really feel like the symptoms have gone away. Pretty much like the video said, these days whenever I run into a conflict with someone I try think from the other person's perspective and think about my own actions. I had watched this TED talk by somebody I don't remember, which about this kind of conflict management.

  12. As much as I want social interaction, I really don't want to come off as clingy or annoying. So it makes my loneliness worst, but I am getting better with communicating with others, however in a small pace.

  13. Спасибо ютуб за такой видос, конечно. Мне только грусти не хватало в 2 часа ночи.
    Очень печально, так наверное вся моя жизнь и пройдет в одиночестве. Почему-то все знакомые в "реальной жизни" пишут, спрашивают по делам всякое, стараюсь помогать по возможности, на курсы по английскому вот хожу… Стараюсь быть максимально улыбчивой, поддерживаю многие темы их разговоров, интересюсь всяким, пытаюсь ухаживать за внешностью.
    Но разговор рано или поздно заканчивается и все мои попытки его продлить тщетны.
    Вижу, что у всех есть более-менее близкие, они проводят с ними время. А я им не подхожу, такой лишний человек. Почему? Как так вышло? За что?
    Сердце кровью обливается, когда вижу компанию из друзей на улице. Эхх

  14. Once again this video saved me from killing myself. I never thought loneliness could cause so much harm, I feel broken beyond repair. All I ask for is someone, anyone I could at least talk about the silly things that happen to me during the day, about some cool movie I watch and so on. I don't even want something special, just a friend.

  15. How about like in my case i don't want to be lonely and im kind but others just leave me alone and i end feeling depressing feeling useless feeling invieble

  16. Being together kills us

    Being alone kills us

    God, it’s like we are in a fucking joke that’s not the least bit funny. Existence sucks.

  17. Well, I am trying to talk to my classmates, but they don't even try to talk to me. I am like, wtf?
    In this case, what should I do?

  18. Right.. so my question is that I've basically run away from everything for so long that now I'm in a new city, and don't know how to meet anyone. I've even stopped talking to family members, despite them aggressively attempting to communicate.

    How do you fix that?

  19. This is me! Such an eye opener…. well it would have been if I didnt figure this out for myself literally like last week lol.

  20. heres a perfect solution for lonelyness, get a pet! Cat or a dog will never judge you, betray you, lie to you or run off with another owner

  21. I think the worst part is how many people suffer from chronic depression and loneliness and are not even aware of it in the first place. Trust me, coming from personal experience i used to be and still am suffering sometimes by constant depression and loneliness and it is not a good place to be. Everything they said in the video is true, especially about the aftereffects of loneliness.
    Overall a very well put video imo, thank you, we all needed this

  22. Better depressed than broken, getting out is too much expensive for a poor country engineer trying to get the hell out of his country.

  23. Fun not so fu history: during july vacation i went to a book convention in my city, when i was at the ATM a girl ask me if i knew if the machine have service for an app she had, we chat a bit, probably two o three minutes, then she used the ATM, and said goodbye, i thought of asking jer out or something, but i was sooooo afraid, i never saw her again, and the worst part was that that tiny conversation was the first time in a month that i talked with somebody outside my family.

  24. I can relate to this video. I have tears streaming down my face because exhibit most of what was mentioned in the video. My social anxiety is so bad that I stutter when I try to talk to people, and nobody ever reaches out to me. I feel like I’ve become a complete outcast, and I have no friends. Sure, loneliness is nice for keeping things within, but sometimes I wish I had real friends who cared about me, or a girlfriend or something. I think more about that in my head than I do actively pursuing it, because I feel like it would just be a huge waste of time if I tried to

  25. I'm whatching a 5min add because I really admire Kurzgesagt content. If that isn't love and admiration, I don't know what is.

  26. sometimes all you need is a meaningful conversation, or someone to make you feel worthy, but it seems like this is too much to ask for :(, i care about people, but they are not even ready to give a second of their time for me

  27. I have always been surrounded by people I find boring, and the few times I interacted with anyone who seemed to me to be interesting (at a distance) I found that they were as boring as the rest …! I believe I am destined to live a platonic life …

  28. At least loneliness kills you faster. if I keep going at the rate i'm going now, i'll be dead in 5 years. once i'm buried, i'll never be alone again. just another seed planted in a garden of bones.

  29. Meh 😒 I don’t mind this feeling it is what it is At least I have all the freetime I want no interruptions or distractions

  30. My friends rarely reach out to me unless i make the first move, and it seems besides my family no one else would set me as their default person to connect with, or choose to side with me unconditionally. This is loneliness. I had no friends and was bullied in middle school, i thought my social life had gotten so much better ever since, but in a way i am still alone even years after im already a grad student and started working. I dont know why this keeps happening, or how to improve my social skill. It's depressing to think about this issue.

  31. The true loneliness, that hit me, was when I realized God, that I had believed in for about 20 years, didn't actually exist. Whenever I shared my happiness and sadness with him in my prayer, it was just me, talking to myself, all the time. This wound won't heal.

  32. I love how their new dissatisfaction video uses the leitmotif from this one as it is a continuation of the same theme. So much thought is put into every aspect of this channel!

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