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LONELINESS AND HEALTH
Loneliness is injurious to health, especially in old age
22 August, 2007:
Social isolation (loneliness) and physical ageing can prove to be a destructive combination, resulting in more stress hormones flowing through the body.
A recent study conducted by Louise Hawkley and John Cacioppo, psychologists of the University of Chicago, the United States, has shown that the toll of loneliness may be placid and unremarkable in early life, but may go up with time.
The researchers, who reported their findings in the August 2007 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, studied college-age individuals and adults aged 50 to 68.
After examination, they found that the more years one lives, the more stressful situations one will experience � such as new jobs, marriage and divorce, parenting, financial worries or illness.
When the psychologists looked at the lives of the middle-aged and old people in their study, they found that though the lonely ones reported the same number of stressful life events, they identified more sources of chronic stress and recalled more childhood adversity. Moreover, they differed in how they perceived their life experiences.
The researchers report that, even when faced with similar challenges, the lonelier people appeared more helpless and threatened. They were also less likely to seek meaningful help when stressed.
As the body�s stress hormones are deeply involved in fighting inflammation and infection, it is apparent that loneliness contributes to the wear and tear of ageing through this pathway as well.
When people experience stress, the bodies normally rely on restorative processes like sleep. But when the researchers monitored the younger volunteers� sleep, they found that the nights of the �lonely� were broken by many �micro awakenings.�
Louise Hawkley and John Cacioppo took urine samples from both the lonely and the more contented volunteers, and found that the lonely ones had more of the hormone epinephrine � one of the body's �fight or flight� chemicals � flowing thought their bodies.
The study also found that people who felt cut off, disconnected, and alienated from others not only experienced a mental impact but also a biological impact � lonely people go through life in a heightened state of arousal. As with blood pressure, this physiological toll, in all probability, becomes more apparent with ageing.
Recently had a discussion with an American friend- a single mid-50s professional. It went something like this:
Don, what are your chances of being old and alone in the USA? About 90% he concluded.
Don, what are your chances of being old and alone in the Philippines? Almost 0% he concluded...
He now has a filipina wife and is planning early retirement in Bohol...
The alienation, hostility and loneliness in the USA is overwhelming and yet most Americans live in total denial.
After a while, crazy people develop a vested interest in their own bullshit and American society is a good example.
Here in Ac the city is filled with ol' geezahs running around with young girls. Loneliness my a##. They have guys in wheelchairs sitting in go go bars with 18 y o girls on their laps. One thing the Philippines does not have is loneliness. There is no word in the Philippine language for it even. The one that they use when they go to other countries and feel lonely there is 'being orphaned"- pangungulila or pagkakainip- being bored. Here you sometimes want to be left alone.
The concept of kapwa- community, commonness is very strong here.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Besides go-go bars, give us a breakdown on dating a normal RP girl.
So you go to get lunch one day and she is waiting tables. You strike up a conversation with her in English (because few have learned Visayan/Cebuano as well as you have and times a wastin'...) and you suggest a date.
What do you do on that date?
Where do you go?
How much do you spend?
What do you talk about?
Do you kiss her at the end of the date?
How long do you date before you close the deal and she spends the night?
I know the details and mechanics of dating in the USA and NA. Explain the details of the RP to those of us not there.
No, you ask her- can I text you sometime? She will usually say yes. You may then just send a few light texts with no suggestions. Then you go there again and ask if she would maybe like to do something on a weekend. Or evening. Go out and eat and all. She will bring friends! That's the custom.
That would be like dating a conservative Mexican except that you would not need to act macho. Filipinas do not like big balled macho assholes. Friendly but a bit reserved and polite does the trick. Funny and talkative impresses them to. But no clowning, loud assholism or loud laughing. Watch how Filipino guys behave and act likewise.
You mean what do I do? I suggest an activity that local guys cannot afford. Hey you want to go to a Japanese/German restaurant? Or to visit some famous site or go on a boating trip. How about a snorkeling trip? Then how about visiting some falls. I stay friendly, non chalant but a bit distant. Not too warm at first. Just talk about a thing or two. Compare cultures, ask about her life plans etc.
Somewhere around $25-100. She will usually bring chaperons.
Nothing heavy. You need to gauge her educational level and adapt. Ask questions, and follow up with..".well in my case, I... Behave polite, imagine the way Irish Catholics would behave on a 1st date.
Filipinas are not supposed to do that before they get married. A good girl spends the night and she is your wife! Some ( 15%) do including hookers. In the province, virtually none will do that. So, with the 15% you just go by gut feeling. Generally, well, with the liberated ones, it takes about a month.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!