Billy-No-Mates is less healthy than Friendly Fred

New research has revealed that men of middle age who are alone and lonely are more likely to suffer with mental health issues as they get older. Regular contact with friends and family is very beneficial to psychological wellbeing, a study reveals. The research indicates that people who interact with others are happier, healthier, and actually live longer overall.

The National Child Development Study, Originating in 1958

Being Alone and Lonely is UnhealthyThese are the findings of both men and women who were willing participants in an ongoing UK study called the National Child Development Study, based in Britain. The data collected on friends, family and well-being, was gathered when the participants were 42, 45 and 50 years of age.

A total of 6,500 British men and women took part in the study, all being born in the year 1958 and followed up again at midlife.

Being alone and being Lonely is not the same

Although someone can be alone and not be lonely, the report still suggests that a detachment from others has a detrimental effect on psychosomatic wellbeing over time.

1 in 7 volunteers said they had no contact with relatives other than immediate family. 1 in 10 said they had no friends to speak of, or certainly no close friendships. Those people who had the least contact with friends and family experienced a poorer sense of happiness overall.

The conclusion is that friendships and good personal relationships with our fellows is good for our general health and welfare, whereas the opposite is not.

It’s perhaps fitting to end with a quote from Mother Theresa of Calcutta, where she explains why seclusion is such a curse:

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

Points to remember: A wider circle of friends contributes to middle-aged men, and women, enjoying a far greater sense of purpose and well-being as they grow older.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of 50ish.org, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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