social epidemiology

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The Relationship Between Loneliness and Depression

The relationship between loneliness and depression is one of the strongest links in social epidemiology, with men being more susceptible than women. Anecdotal data suggests that men struggle to open up when compared to their female colleagues (Bell, 2014). Nonetheless, social isolation is a problem for many people, with men being the most impacted. Men are more lonely than females, and as a result, they are more likely to experience manic and hypomanic episodes. Men, unlike women, value their friends, which has made them more vulnerable to psychological difficulties such as sadness, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, as lack of social relationships denies them meaningful experiences, support, and guidance that influence trajectories of psychological health.

The Impact of Social Isolation on Men

While aspects of loneliness in mental health among men has been an overlooked topic, recent findings confirm their significant relationship with depressive disorder. Such was the case of a 2015 study, where the Movement Foundation revealed that men had limited social contact when compared to women. Besides having fewer friends, the study found out that 19% of men in their senior age did not have any (Whiting, 2015). The findings were echoed by a YouGov survey, where the organization found out that 12% of men did not have a person they would share their work, financial, as well as health worries (Whiting, 2015). The findings of the studies are confirmed by the WHO's view that 25% of men experience a form of social isolation around the globe, with the only source of support being their family (Whiting, 2015). Men are thus at higher chances of experiencing loneliness, and thus depression, which can be escalated by break-ups, bereavement, fatherhood, as well as aging.


Bell, P. (2014). Loneliness Is Becoming An Epidemic Among Younger Men, But Here's What We Can Do. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2017, from

Whiting, K. (2015). Why are men lonelier than women? A new initiative hopes to combat male loneliness. Retrieved 16 January 2017, from

May 10, 2023

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Mental Health Medicine

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