College Essays Loneliness

College Essays Loneliness-69
She once chastised her fellow therapists for withdrawing from emotionally unreachable patients rather than risk being contaminated by them.

She once chastised her fellow therapists for withdrawing from emotionally unreachable patients rather than risk being contaminated by them.

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The lonely get sicker than the non-lonely, because they don’t have people to take care of them; they don’t have social support.

To the degree that loneliness has been treated as a matter of public concern in the past, it has generally been seen as a social problem—the product of an excessively conformist culture or of a breakdown in social norms. , the UCLA Loneliness Scale, asks 20 questions that run variations on the theme of closeness—“How often do you feel close to people? As many as 30 percent of Americans don’t feel close to people at a given time.

ometime in the late ’50s, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann sat down to write an essay about a subject that had been mostly overlooked by other psychoanalysts up to that point. She was not sure, she wrote, “what inner forces” made her struggle with the problem of loneliness, though she had a notion.

It might have been the young female catatonic patient who began to communicate only when Fromm-Reichmann asked her how lonely she was.

This is true, and alarming, although as we learn more about loneliness, we’ll also be better able to treat it. Women are lonelier than men (though unmarried men are lonelier than unmarried women).

But to me, what’s most momentous about the new biology of loneliness is that it offers concrete proof, obtained through the best empirical means, that the poets and bluesmen and movie directors who for centuries have deplored the ravages of lonesomeness on both body and soul were right all along. African Americans are lonelier than whites (though single African American women are less lonely than Hispanic and white women).

Greenberg left the hospital, went to college, became a writer, and immortalized her beloved analyst as “Dr. Among analysts, Fromm-Reichmann, who had come to the United States from Germany to escape Hitler, was known for insisting that no patient was too sick to be healed through trust and intimacy.

She figured that loneliness lay at the heart of nearly all mental illness and that the lonely person was just about the most terrifying spectacle in the world.

“She raised her hand with her thumb lifted, the other four fingers bent toward her palm,” Fromm-Reichmann wrote.

The thumb stood alone, “isolated from the four hidden fingers.” Fromm-Reichmann responded gently, “That lonely?

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