Singles Counseling Fairfield OH

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Mercy Franciscan at St. Raphael
(513) 603-8200
610 High Street
Hamilton, OH

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Volunteers of America-Ohio River Valley
(513) 381-1954
4100 Executive Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH

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The Wellness Community Gtr. Cincinnati/No. Ky.
(513) 791-4060
4918 Cooper Road
Cincinnati, OH

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Jewish Vocational Service
(513) 985-0515
4300 Rossplain Road
Cincinnati, OH

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RHC (The Resident Home)
(513) 619-2928
3030 West Fork Road
Cincinnati, OH

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Focus On Youth Inc.
(513) 644-1030
8904 Brookside Avenue
West Chester, OH

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Meier New Life Clinics - Cincinnati Outpatient and Day Program
(513) 931-3300
3284 North Bend Road
Cincinnati, OH
Counseling center or practice
Additional Information
Meier Clinics has been providing answers to life's problems since 1976 through a wide array of mental health care programs. Our programs are unique as we treat the whole person?emotionally, physically, and spiritually. All of our clinical staff (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family counselors, addiction counselors, dieticians, etc.) are committed Christians who are fully credentialed and professionally trained. They are dedicated to providing a safe environment

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Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency
(513) 569-1840
1740 Langdon Farm Road
Cincinnati, OH

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Cincinnati Therapy Guy
(513) 471-2250
6900 Silverton Avenue
Silverton, OH

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Camp Washington Community Board Inc.
(513) 542-1637
2951 Sidney Avenue
Cincinnati, OH

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Only the Lonely

The pain of social isolation can be harmful to your overall well-being.

by Claire Sykes

May 2010

It’s Saturday night and, once again, you’re home alone; your mind drifts to that party where everyone seemed to be having more fun than you. And then there’s all those overtime hours and solo drive-through dinners. It’s enough to make anyone feel downright lonely.

If you often feel lonely, you’re not alone. Roughly 60 million Americans are lonely right now, says John Cacioppo, PhD, a professor at the University of Chicago and author (with William Patrick) of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection (Norton, ). Everyone can feel a little isolated sometimes. But when loneliness becomes chronic, interfering with daily life and hindering happiness, Cacioppo says it can “become a risk factor for illness and early death.”

Broken Connections

Being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely. “Loneliness is the emotional pain you feel when your need for connection isn’t being met,” Cacioppo says. “What matters is your subjective response to the situation.” It’s normal to feel lonely when your daughter takes off for college, your husband divorces you or your doctor tells you you’ve got cancer. If you live alone and have neither an intimate partner nor a satisfying social network, or if you struggle with money or health problems, you are also more likely to feel lonely. But if you enjoy being by yourself for hours or even weeks on end, that’s not loneliness—that’s solitude.

Humans are built to feel loneliness because we are basically social animals who need to bond and cooperate with others—as couples, families, communities and cultures—in order to thrive. It comes from our prehistoric days, when being alone meant getting eaten by that saber-toothed tiger.

“Our research today with brain scans and physiological markers suggests that loneliness is a biological construct, much like hunger, thirst or physical pain,” says Cacioppo. “It has evolved as a signal to change behavior, to prompt one to build or renew connections, and to promote social trust, cohesiveness and collective action, in order to ensure survival.”

In loneliness, perception is everything. “Some people are more sensitive to the pain of perceived isolation,” says Louise Hawkley, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. People can feel lonely even when they’ve got friends and family around. “There is some indication of a heritable component to loneliness,” notes Hawkley. “An insecure maternal-attachment bond as an infant or a negative event in childhood can trigger loneliness in genetically susceptible individuals.”

Because we’re wired to experience loss of social connection as a threat to our well-being, feeling lonely can also leave us feeling scared. “This may translate as a hypervigilance about others and their perceptions of you,” says Hawkley. “Without necessarily being aware of it, you m...

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