What Protects?


I’m working a bit sideways and backwards since I haven’t developed a more comprehensive explanation of suicidality prompts.  But there have been several studies in the news which address compensatory mechanisms and adaptation, so the time’s right to get them out there for people to consider.

To experience external physical warmth which approximates human or possibly mammalian warmth is a basic human need. It turns out that when lonely college students were queried on bathing behaviors, those reporting higher degrees of loneliness had significantly different habits.  They bathed/showered more frequently, for longer periods of time and they used warmer water temperatures.  The authors postulate that this is a self-soothing strategy which serves as a rough proxy for human warmth.

The Ohio State University published a study demonstrating an association between particulate pollution and clinical depression.  Given the inflammatory involvement in depression, these finding serve as more fuel for this fire.  It might be worth trying room-based air filters to see if people get any anti-inflammatory effects. More research needs to be done in essential quality of life factors.

The website, Ostracism Aware, has a resource listing which seems to be fairly comprehensive.

What do you find helps to relieve the feelings of isolation, loneliness, not belonging, depression or being a burden? What doesn’t help?  What do other people do that helps?  And what do other people do that makes things worse?

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One thought on “What Protects?

  1. “What do you find helps to relieve the feelings of isolation, loneliness, not belonging, depression or being a burden? What doesn’t help? What do other people do that helps? And what do other people do that makes things worse?”

    I enjoy reading and I belong to a reading group that meets once a month. So I kill two birds with one stone — I have an activity that I do at home, and then have the social aspect, too. The group is very informal, people come and go, but everybody has their own take on things and that’s very interesting to me. The books read in the last few months were “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen, “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore” by Benjamin Hale (lots of hot monkey sex!), and Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt (about Churchill’s depression).

    I also have read some basic Buddhist stuff about living in the moment, which I have found very helpful at lonely times. You know, however bad this is, it’s not going to last so I can get through it. And however good this is, it’s not going to last so I better enjoy it.

    As to what doesn’t help — for me it’s thinking about how others have “wronged” me, or what they have and I don’t, that kind of thing. I find that if I keep the focus off other people and on me — as in, how can I make this different — then I do much better. It’s the old locus of control thing — if I feel that I have some control over things, I feel better.

    And then another thing that really is a big help — the blogosphere. It allowed me to find others with an interest in mental health. And even though everybody has a different take on the subject, coming from different perspectives and having different life experiences, I feel part of a community nonetheless.

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