All by Myself

The insurance company Cigna did research on 20,000 U.S. adults and found that nearly one half said that they always or sometimes felt alone. Almost as many reported that their relationships were not meaningful and that they saw themselves as isolated. Social isolation and loneliness increased the risk for premature mortality to a degree above many leading health indicators like obesity, smoking, and alcohol abuse. "A 2019 study by the American Cancer Society found that loneliness increases the risk of premature death from every cause for every race" (p. 34).

It appears that loneliness is increasing. The most recent U.S. census showed that more than one-fourth of our population lives alone. This rate is the highest ever measured. Also, more than half are not married, and the marriage rate and number of children per household have declined. Volunteerism and religious affiliation have also decreased, which shows declining  community engagement.

Loneliness can be a reaction to situational stress, like divorce, the death of an important  person, or a move to another place. It may be a temporary response, or it can become chronic, which is the more serious. With chronic loneliness comes a threat to health.

Interventions that address the psychological root causes of loneliness, such as negative thoughts, can be effective, as can more direct and meaningful community engagement, like with book clubs and religious groups.


Novotney, A. (2019). Social isolation: It could kill you. Monitor on Psychology, 50(5), 32-37.

Contact Me





10:00 am-4:00 pm


10:00 am-4:00 pm


10:00 am-4:00 pm


10:30 am-3:30 pm


10:00 am-2:00 pm