Depression: Common in People Living Solo!

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Recent study printed in BioMed Central’s open access periodical displays that the threat of depression, measured by individuals consuming antidepressants, is around 80% higher for those people who live alone, when evaluated to people who lived with certain social group or their family. For females 1/3rd of the risk was due to the socio-demographic factors like lack of support at work place, poor job environment, stress in private lives and high consumption of drinks.

It has now been known that living alone can be very difficult and can augment the threat of mental health issues for the elderly people as well as the single parents particularly, however not much is known regarding the impacts of isolation on working age individuals. Investigators in Finland surveyed around 2500 working aged males and females for 7 years and evaluated  their living arrangements with socio-demographic, psychosocial and health factors which included heavy drinking, smoking and low physical activities to consuming anti-depressants. Information on anti-depressants was gathered from the NPR. The research displayed the results that individuals living alone have an augmented threat of mounting stress and depression.

As a whole there was no distinction in the augmented risk of depression by living alone for either males or females. Worse housing conditions and absence of communal support were found to be the main contributing factors to this augmented threat. The investigators further contributed that such kind of research underestimates the risk as the individuals who are at elevated risk appear to be the individuals who are less probable to complete the follow-up. We even could not determine as to how general the untreated depression and stress were. On one hand where the study reveals the factors which might augment the risk of depression for individuals living alone, more than ½ the risk remains still unexplained.



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