Tag Archives: wellbeing

Death by Loneliness: Laboratory mice, the U-shaped curve, and Antoine Roquentin

Who gets lonely?

As an academic psychologist, I find working with older adults illuminating for all sorts of reasons. It’s particularly interesting to learn what they won’t discuss. Loneliness seems to be a topic that people resist discussing. When asked about personal loneliness, the research participants that I interview often say evasive things, like “I know someone who is lonely, but I don’t feel lonely myself”. Most agree that it is a phenomenon, however, that is practically synonymous with old age. Most are surprised when I tell them about the many studies that find a second peak of loneliness – in young adulthood – which may even surpass old-age loneliness in severity. Yet more surprising to them is the apparent inseparability of loneliness and culture – different cultures have different social norms concerning relationships, expected social support, and as a result, loneliness. Continue reading

Why Do Healers Appeal to Patients?

Why do healers of different kinds attract people in so many places all over the world?

In some sites, both healers and self-treatment are popular because biomedical therapeutic options are unavailable or difficult to access. However, even in countries with well-developed healthcare infrastructures, so-called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) remains popular and non-biomedical practitioners, including ‘traditional’ healers, are widely consulted. Continue reading