Severe loneliness may be particularly high at three stages in an adult’s life, a study done by UC San Diego found.
The research found that moderate to severe loneliness persisted across an adult's life, but was particularly high during the late-20s, mid-50s and late-80s.
Wisdom may be the cure, UC San Diego researchers said.
Veronica McFarland had to overcome her feelings of sadness and loneliness following a stroke she had two years ago.
“I now have aphasia,” McFarland said. “I have a tough time getting my words out.”
Throughout her recovery, she said she dealt with feelings of depression and loneliness.
And according to researchers, she’s not alone.
The research sampled San Diego adults from their late 20s up to 101 years old and found that moderate to severe loneliness persisted across an adult's life, but was particularly high during the late-20s, mid-50s and late-80s.
Approximately 75 percent of those surveyed reported feeling moderate to serious loneliness, researchers found.
Previous studies found loneliness rates of 17 to 57 percent, so it's up by much more this year.
People who are wiser are less lonely, researchers said. Wisdom was explained as having empathy, compassion and being self-reflective, even spiritual.
These are all characteristics which McFarland said she's gained through her new journey, which now includes going to nursing school.
“Forget about yourself and think about ways of giving back that's what helped me,” she said. “Finding something that you’re passionate about is the key.”
McFarland credits her husband and her training as a U.S. Marine with giving her the strength to focus on her recovery.
Keep in mind, the study sampled people who do not have dementia or suffer from mental illness, cancer or heart disease.
The study was published Dec. 18 in the online issue of International Psychogeriatrics.