Lonely but avoidant—the unfortunate juxtaposition of loneliness and self-disgust

YPSILANTI, Antonia (2018). Lonely but avoidant—the unfortunate juxtaposition of loneliness and self-disgust. Palgrave Communications, 4 (1).

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Open Access URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-018-0198-1.... (Published Version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-018-0198-1


Loneliness is prevalent worldwide and is a known risk factor for numerous physical and mental health outcomes. The health consequences of chronic loneliness coupled with the cost on public health care has necessitated the development of interventions and campaigns to end loneliness globally. According to a recent meta-analysis, such interventions focus on improving social skills, increasing opportunities for social contact/support (i.e., reducing social isolation) or addressing maladaptive cognition (e.g., irrational thoughts, self-defeating, and self-blame thoughts). The results showed that changing maladaptive thoughts offer “the best chance” for alleviating feelings of loneliness. In accordance with the latter approach, this paper proposes a new paradigm in understanding and treating loneliness that takes into account self-disgust, an aversive self-conscious affective state that reflects disgust directed towards the self. Based on findings from published and unpublished data, it is argued that interventions against loneliness that focus exclusively on improving social skills and increasing opportunities for social contact may be ineffective because lonelier people experience more self-disgust, which makes them more socially inhibited and reluctant to connect with other people. Future interventions should consider self-disgust in the treatment of loneliness and explore ways to counter feelings of self-disgust.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-018-0198-1
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 15:42
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:50
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23579

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