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Critically Speaking

Feb 17, 2021

Everyone's felt lonely at some point in their lives, but severe and chronic loneliness are different. In fact, loneliness in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, having doubled in the last 50 years, and with severe loneliness comes a range of other health risks. In today’s conversation with Dr. Dilip Jeste, one of the lead researchers at the University of California - San Diego School of Medicine Therese Markow and Dr. Jeste discuss the reasons for this loneliness epidemic, how it affects other aspects of health, and how loneliness affects adults at all age ranges. 


 Key Takeaways:

  • The scale for loneliness does not contain the word “lonely” in any of the items. 
  • Before the 1800s, the word loneliness did not exist. Oneliness was used instead and meant that you could be alone, but you did not feel distressed.
  • In 2016 and 2017, the lifespan in the United States fell for the first time since the 1950s - it was not because of some new cancer, or heart disease, or even infection. It was because of suicides, opioids, and loneliness


"Loneliness is associated with increased risk of physical, mental, and cognitive disorders...if you reduce loneliness, the prevalence of those diseases will fall." —  Dr. Dilip Jeste


Connect with Dr. Dilip Jeste:

UCSD Bio:  





Compassionate Community Movement:


Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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