Researchers found that people who were more lonely showed signs of elevated latent herpes virus reactivation and produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than did people who felt more socially connected. At times I feel like I don’t even have it and taking valtrex is just a normal thing for me now. Researchers found that people who were more lonely showed signs of elevated latent herpes virus reactivation and produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than did people who felt more socially connected. It is not easy. And people who are lonely clearly feel like they are in poor-quality relationships,” said Lisa Jaremka, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University and lead author of the research. Given the magnitude of the problem 479 subjects is a “little modest” by current international standards. Surely somewhere there’s a party you should be at, a dinner you should be invited to, a partner who should be partnering you, a family who should be missing you?
The researchers first sought to obtain a snapshot of immune system behavior related to loneliness by gauging levels of antibodies in the blood that are produced when herpes viruses are reactivated. ‘Can’t you call someone from work?’ my former husband urged recently, when a back injury transformed me from able to disabled in the course of a day, and I realised, with horror, that he was one of the few people in my support system I could call on for help. The study included 200 breast cancer survivors who were around 51 years of age. 10. Not for others, though. ‘Oh, I long for time alone’, ‘I need my space’, ‘I love being by myself’, people say, defensively, as though the mere suggestion of loneliness was like being incontinent or having herpes. The researchers speculated that no effect might have been seen because the Epstein-Barr virus tends to reactivate more later in life, and many of the participants were older in age.
As journalist Tim Kreider wrote in the New York Times recently, there’s also that ‘boast disguised as a complaint’ of those who are so, so very busy all the time. In this research loneliness levels were measured using a recognized scale. “Their lives had changed. For example, people who felt socially disconnected were able to tolerate less physical pain than those who felt more socially connected, suggesting that feeling unconnected to those around you may increase pain sensitivity (Oishi et al., 2012). But look, I’m busy, too: I volunteer, I write, I belong to a choir, a quiz team, an evening class and Chelsea Football Club. Co-authors include Christopher Fagundes of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR); Juan Peng of the College of Public Health; Jeanette Bennett of the Division of Oral Biology; Ronald Glaser of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics; William Malarkey of the Department of Internal Medicine; and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser of the Department of Psychiatry, all at Ohio State. I enjoy indolence and know how to manage it.
I never said I was bored or without inner resources. I said I was lonely. It’s not the same thing. Loneliness was also associated with an increased risk of death during the study period. The spread of loneliness was found to be stronger than the spread of perceived social connections, stronger for friends than family members, and stronger for women than for men. The table has only one leaf, and dinner is often just me eating salami on Ryvita, standing by the fridge. Of course, I could have a glass of wine and sit at one of my three tables, set with linen and crockery from my several sets of 12.
I could light a candle to make it special. I do entertain: I cook, I invite. But I’m actually not that sociable. I’m not the life and soul. In the mirror I caught a glimpse of myself, tears streaming down my cheeks. So, I’m not lovelorn. I have children who care about me.
So, I’m not unloved. The partnered up don’t appreciate the quality or, indeed, the quantity of ‘me’ time that exists when I survey the desert of the evening stretching before me, and wonder why I hurried home from work. Of course, I do have friends. Transient mood states, short-term stress, and life change events were not related to outbreaks. A few. Since the Ultimate Herpes Protocol is delivered in electronic form you get access instantly. No dinner invitations come from couples we used to see.
I get the odd off-peak coffee or lunch outside weekend socialising hours, but mostly I’ve fallen into the black hole of divorce. Anyway, I don’t need someone to go out with — I need someone to stay in with. Especially as I can’t just sleep with the football team. Well, I could. However that is a story for another thread. But I don’t want a one-night stand. Loneliness has nothing to do with libido.
It’s far easier to find love, or at least sex, online than it is to find a new best friend. If only there were a match.com for friendship. If you were halfway interesting, or as vivacious and funny as you think you are, then you’d be Dorothy Parker, and Truman Capote would be inviting you for the weekend. You wouldn’t be spending it with a box set of the U.S. medical drama Grey’s Anatomy and barely quenched panic. And anyway, as I mentioned, I already have a lover. But a lover doesn’t keep the wolf of loneliness away from the door.
It doesn’t skulk off into the night for just anyone. I’m lucky. I’m not old. Later on, she took a job just for the fun of it working a few nights at an outdoor-gear and apparel store. The total score is comprised of the general, physical, emotional, and mental fatigue subscales minus the vigor subscale. I’m more embarrassed than distressed. I don’t feel sorry for myself, only ridiculous.
I count my blessings — of which I have many. I just get lonely. But it’s not a character defect. It just is. You probably didn’t even know I had it. It’s my superpower. I’m like a comic-book hero with a double life.
By day I go about my business, and by night I sit at home and disappear by myself.