July 29, 2011

THE LONELINESS EPIDEMIC. “We can talk about depression, anorexia, even bipolar disorder, but loneliness is a strange affliction that’s never mentioned. . . . One theory always stuck with me. It’s fairly straightforward: it says we stigmatise the things we’re most afraid of in order to create distance between ourselves and the stigmatised trait. . . . There is some evidence that the stigma against loneliness has increased in the past 50 years. If you read what is written about loneliness in the Forties, there’s not a lot of disdain and alarm. But in more recent decades, loneliness changes shape — it becomes a disease, a short-coming, a flaw.”