Home Alone might have been funny when you were still a kid, but to actually live on your own isn’t exactly the party Macaulay Culkin made it seem. According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, people who live by themselves are 80 percent more likely to succumb to depression than those who at least have friends or family living with them.
While isolation has long been recognized as a contributing factor to depression in elderly and single parents, the same could not be said for depression in working-age people. This study aimed to find out if such a link exists by following 3,500 working-aged men and women for seven years and studying their psychosocial, sociodemographic, and health risk factors alongside their living conditions.
Results revealed that people who lived on their own were really more likely to fall to depression. "Overall there was no difference in the increased risk of depression by living alone for either men or women. Poor housing conditions (especially for women) and a lack of social support (particularly for men) were the main contributory factors to this increased risk," explains Dr Laura Pulkki-Råback, who conducted the research at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Unfortunately, the issue isn’t always resolved because the same people who are at risk for depression are apparently the same people who don’t exactly complete the follow-up. In addition, there has yet to be a comprehensive explanation as to why people who live alone get depressed in the first place. Aside from the aforementioned main contributory factors to depression, researchers think that people who live on their own might be feeling alienated from society—a point that still needs further review.
If you’re living on your own, why don’t you invite your friends and family over during weekends? Not only will it fill the space of your empty home, but it will also help forge stronger bonds between you and the people you care for.
(Photo by Saiuri via sxc.hu)