Hugs not drugs: Researcher says relationships should be loneliness RX – CBC News

Hugs not drugs: Researcher says relationships should be loneliness RX

A psychiatry resident physician at the University of Calgary says loneliness can be better treated with more social interactions and meaningful relationships than meds.

Loneliness is that uncomfortable and sometimes painful feeling when there’s a gap in the quality of the relationships you have and what you desire, says Dr. Jamil Jivraj.

Among mature adults, one in five men are lonely, and it’s one in four for women.

A mental health specialist agrees that a person’s overall health — mental and physical — can be affected.

“Your whole health can be impacted,” Cindy Negrello with the Canadian Mental Health Association told CBC News.

She said old school face-to-face is only natural.

“It’s really important,” she said.

“We are relational as humans by nature. With technology and how fast everything evolves nowadays, it is easy to become more insular and not engage in conversations.”

And you don’t have to be alone physically for that to happen.

“You often see people isolating, even at the family table. You see people having dinner and no one is talking to each other. That breaks down the opportunity for face-to-face connection.”