Llewellyn King: The Deadly Hurt of Loneliness - It Kills


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The Deadly Hurt of Loneliness — It Kills

February 12, 2019 by Llewellyn King Leave a Comment

For some Valentine’s Day is a day not of love but of profound, despairing loneliness. The candies, cards and flowers from kind people can sometimes serve to open a void of despair, a black hole of unhappiness for them. They are people made lonely through disease. Some lonely for life.

And loneliness kills. That is the brutal bottom line on several recent studies. One by insurance giant Cigna found widespread loneliness, with nearly half of Americans reporting they feel alone, isolated or left out at least some of the time. Releasing the study, Dr. Douglas Nemecek, the company’s chief medical officer for behavioral health, said, “Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”

I’m fortunate that I’ve seldom been lonely, and never for long. But I’m privy to some of the worst loneliness on the planet. I write and broadcast about those who suffer from Mylagic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is a disease of the immune system, possibly related to Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia.

Their disease produces loneliness that those who aren’t lonely can only look upon aghast. We can talk about ME, investigate it, try to understand it. But we can never fully understand its limitless duration.

ME is a disease maybe like none other. It has no easy diagnosis, no biological marker that can tell a physician what the trouble is. And when it’s diagnosed, there is no cure and no standard treatment to alleviate and suppress the symptoms.

Some patients get some help from some therapies. Recovery is very rare. It’s almost always a life sentence. For no known reason, more women than men suffer the disease.

Some find ozone infusion works, but it isn’t easy to access. Others get some relief from Ampligen, a very expensive drug which is classed as experimental.

Patients suffer variously and sometimes simultaneously from sleep that doesn’t refresh, brain fog (dysphasia), headache, joint pain, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity and, sometimes, complete paralysis. Unable to pin down the disease from the symptoms, doctors tend to shun patients and to say it is psychosomatic.

So many doctors, unable to spare the time and ignorant of the research on the subject, either discourage their patients or tell them, “It is in your head.”

Those old standbys, diet and exercise, don’t cut it. In fact, ME is exercise-intolerant. Sufferers are knocked out by any exercise other than minimal. Going out to lunch with friends or some other minor endeavor, like grocery shopping, can lead to collapse, with the patient confined to bed.

In fact, one of the only sure-fire ways of establishing a diagnosis is to put the patient on a treadmill. If reasonable exertion results in collapse, then that’s the proof.
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Lovely gentleman. Yes, this loneliness does kill, spiritually and in some physically. As our family member always puts it to me: criminals get 'yard.' Whereas, she does not. This illness is monstrous, and imposes on the severe the worst imaginable and unrelenting torture.

As for his fire sure way of diagnosis; that was done. We went some years ago to see someone in Klimas' office, as we were unable to obtain an appt with the physician at that time. The physical test was done; and then a huge collapse ensued. He is correct; this illness is about exertion intolerance.

I am finding it very hard to watch the suffering, and think of all those others I know of. I am finding it very hard that this thing is not being solved more quickly. I think that the severe folks are unseen. They are unable to travel to doctors, they are trapped in their rooms. So, the face of the illness is often folks who are a touch more mobile.

When will there be help for these young people who have been denied careers, spouses, children, success, money, happiness, travel, and even sleep and food.