How loneliness can increase illness

Can social seclusion increase the symptoms of a cold?

by Psychologies

We know that loneliness is bad for our health, but a new study has found that symptoms of a cold feel worse when we’re lonely.

Researchers said that feeling isolated doesn’t affect our chances of catching a cold but noticed that, for participants, the more withdrawn they felt, the worse they reported their symptoms to be.

They believe this shows how loneliness can increase our sense of feeling unwell, and lead to further social seclusion.

'Assessing psychosocial factors such as loneliness when treating and evaluating the common cold could contribute to health care practitioners' understanding of their patients' experiences with acute illness.'

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Photograph: iStock