Singles Counseling Waipahu HI

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Leon C Pereira, PhD
(808) 255-3618
45-955 Kamehameha Hwy, Suite 401
Kaneohe, HI
Specialty
Abuse Issues,ADHD,Adjustment Disorders,Adults,Children,Adolescents,Anger Management,Anxiety,Behavioral,Bipolar Disorder,Brief Psychotherapy,Brief Solution Oriented Therapy,Coaching / Performance Improvement,Cognitive Behavior Therapy,Couples,Depression,Divorce,Executive Coaching,Families,Grief,Life Changes,Losses & Transitions,Oppositional Defiant Disorder,Play Therapy,Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / PTSD,Psychological Evaluations,Shyness,Social Phobia,Stress

Apo Joan Sheeran Phd
(808) 483-8803
98-211 Pali Momi
Aiea, HI
 
Carlson Bobbi Dr
(808) 484-5995
98-084 Kamehameha
Aiea, HI
 
Alaka'i Na Keiki Inc
(808) 523-7771
1100 Alakea
Honolulu, HI
 
Tammie A Kim
(808) 695-7075
84-1170 Farrington
Waianae, HI
 
Living Well Llc
(808) 486-1020
98-084 Kamehameha
Aiea, HI
 
Loo Russell Phd
(808) 486-6060
98-211 Pali
Aiea, HI
 
Goodyear Brian Phd
(808) 486-2443
98-211 Pali Momi
Aiea, HI
 
Wai'anae Coast Community Mental H
(808) 696-9498
85-979 Mill Street
Waianae, HI
 
NAMI Hawaii
(808) 695-9379
84-1170 Farrington
Waianae, HI
 

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, www.scienceofloneliness.com ). 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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