Most single people relish not having to share their home space with anyone else, but a new seven-year study found people who live alone are about 80 percent more likely to be depressed than people who don’t.
Among the nearly 3,500 men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who were studied by the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Helsinki, those who lived alone were more likely to be depressed and on medication. Looking at database information, one quarter of those who lived solo filled a prescription for antidepressants, compared to just 16 percent of those who didn’t.
Obviously, no cause and effect relationship could be established since the people studied could have just as easily decided to live alone because they are depressed as opposed to becoming depressed because they live alone. Plus plenty of men and women who live alone have active social lives and aren’t affected by coming home to an empty house. If there’s a sudden change in someone’s behavior that causes them to want to live or be alone all the time, then there may be cause for concern.
“Being depressed certainly can cause you to not only feel, but [also] become, more isolated,” said John Newcomer, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who commented on the study to MSN Living. “You feel hopeless that you’re ever going to be able to have relationships, but even at another level, you…just don’t feel like getting up and going out. You’re undermotivated to do the various steps that are necessary to achieve social engagement.”
If you’re not feeling any of those things, chances are you’re just fine living single.
Do you think it’s good to live alone?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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