作者: 纽约时报中英文版 / 2615次阅读 时间: 2016年12月28日
标签: 孤独

孤独这种流行病吞噬着我们的生命心理学空间5GY9Q ww0[!C
How Social Isolation Is Killing Us心理学空间;Ng)~tQ)RR"x7\ d


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My patient and I both knew he was dying.

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Not the long kind of dying that stretches on for months or years. He would die today. Maybe tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, the next day. Was there someone I should call? Someone he wanted to see?

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不是那种会拖上几个月甚至几年的濒死状态。他可能会在当天死去。也可能是明天。如果不是明天,那就是后天。我应该电话通知某个人,某个他想见到的人吗?心理学空间 cLat%x~*Jw"DO

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Not a one, he told me. No immediate family. No close friends. He had a niece down South, maybe, but they hadn’t spoken in years.心理学空间8lZ$YfZ(O\

qiL7|x c1vg0这样一个人不存在,他告诉我。没有直系亲属。也没有亲密的朋友。他或许在南部有一个侄女,但他们好多年都没交谈过了。

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For me, the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude.心理学空间U0Cr0S'A(d0f#[

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D&s7dTpC3P0Every day I see variations at both the beginning and end of life: a young man abandoned by friends as he struggles with opioid addiction; an older woman getting by on tea and toast, no longer able to clean her cluttered apartment. In these moments, it seems the only thing worse than suffering a serious illness is suffering it alone.心理学空间 ~fW[6[*xNwJ




Social isolation is a growing epidemic — one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they’re lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent.心理学空间BW!F;FtEA `&z



About one-third of Americans older than 65 live alone; half of those over 85 do. People in poor health — especially those with mood disorders like anxiety and depression — are likelier to feel lonely. Those without a college education are the least likely to have someone they can talk to about important personal matters.心理学空间j%o&d}1y?&\2w"i

$aS2_ E!gs {!w065岁以上的美国老人约有三分之一独自居住,85岁以上者则有一半是如此。健康状况差的人——尤其是有焦虑抑郁情绪病的人——更有可能感到孤独。想要谈论重要的个人事务时,没接受过大学教育的人最不可能找到倾吐对象。心理学空间(w%x N?1l X

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A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. People with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent.


a_e6F$Xu0一系列新研究表明,社会隔离对我们有害无益。社会交往较少的人睡眠模式会紊乱,免疫系统会发生变化,更容易出现炎症反应,体内压力荷尔蒙的水平也更高。最近的一项研究发现,孤独会让罹患心脏病和发生中风的风险分别增加29%和32%。心理学空间U'C&T T b@i LeP2@ I

s7~/j0Q9wbd0Another analysis that pooled data from 70 studies and 3.4 million people found that socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, an effect largest in middle age.心理学空间v!p&g(`!P_

]O2z8PS#b }\0对来自70项研究和340万人的数据进行了汇总的一项分析发现,处于社交孤立状态的个人在接下来的7年内死亡的风险比普通人高30%,这种效应在中年人身上最为突出。

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Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, and isolated individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely as those with more robust social interactions. These effects start early: Socially isolated children have significantly poorer health 20 years later, even after controlling for other factors. All told, loneliness is as important a risk factor for early death as obesity and smoking.心理学空间k*Nv]y"?

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,{ n {u I#aTj0The evidence on social isolation is clear. What to do about it is less so.心理学空间#fv~l Q1[(F6UQ&_

f ~"E0B+J Jb1f H9K&J0关于社交孤立的事实证据颇为清晰。但人们对于该如何应对社交孤立还不甚了然。

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Loneliness is especially tricky because accepting and declaring our loneliness carries profound stigma. Admitting we’re lonely can feel as if we’re admitting we’ve failed in life’s most fundamental domains: belonging, love, attachment. It attacks our basic instincts to save face, and makes it hard to ask for help.心理学空间,jN5u)K9b_8C

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/Oil+}/rRu0I see this most acutely during the holidays when I care for hospitalized patients, some connected to IV poles in rooms devoid of family or friends — their aloneness amplified by cheerful Christmas movies playing on wall-mounted televisions. And hospitalized or not, many people report feeling lonelier, more depressed and less satisfied with life during the holiday season.心理学空间W:} ~6\c2r




Lz&Fjz D0New research suggests that loneliness is not necessarily the result of poor social skills or lack of social support, but can be caused in part by unusual sensitivity to social cues. Lonely people are more likely to perceive ambiguous social cues negatively, and enter a self-preservation mindset — worsening the problem. In this way, loneliness can be contagious: When one person becomes lonely, he withdraws from his social circle and causes others to do the same.



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[t,g\#~-P eT0Dr. John Cacioppo, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, has tested various approaches to treat loneliness. His work has found that the most effective interventions focus on addressing “maladaptive social cognition” — that is, helping people re-examine how they interact with others and perceive social cues. He is collaborating with the U.S. military to explore how social cognition training can help soldiers feel less isolated while deployed and after returning home.

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芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)心理学教授约翰·卡奇奥波(John Cacioppo)博士对各种应对孤独的方法进行了测试。他经研究发现,最有效的干预以应对“非适应性社会认知”为重点——意即帮助人们重新审视他们与人互动和感知社交线索的方式。他正与美国军方合作,研究社会认知培训如何能够有助于减少士兵在服役期间和退役后的孤立感。心理学空间W xI9G.J8|M CdS

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The loneliness of older adults has different roots — often resulting from family members moving away and close friends passing away.心理学空间a0R|"upy1YO

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Ideally, experts say, neighborhoods and communities would keep an eye out for such older people and take steps to reduce social isolation. Ensuring they have easy access to transportation, through discounted bus passes or special transport services, can help maintain social connections.心理学空间YR@d@~9e%}M



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Religious older people should be encouraged to continue regular attendance at services. Those capable of caring for an animal might enjoy the companionship of a pet. And loved ones living far away from a parent or grandparent could ask a neighbor to check in periodically.


.EhTx7_ R7Hm0应该鼓励信教的老年人继续定期参加宗教仪式。有能力照顾小动物的人或许会享受宠物的陪伴。住在离父母或者祖父母辈很远的地方的人,可以拜托邻居定期查看其状况。

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iqp b Rn6Y.do&n/{1D0But more structured programs are arising, too. For example, Dr. Paul Tang of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation started a program called linkAges, a cross-generational service exchange inspired by the idea that everyone has something to offer.心理学空间 ^W0{$q+y0gG9O


但更加有组织的项目也在涌现。例如,帕洛·奥尔图医疗基金会(Palo Alto Medical Foundation)的保罗·唐(Paul Tang)博士受人人都能有所贡献这一理念启发,创建了一个跨越代际的服务交换项目,名为linkAges。心理学空间-g5P+Me,k E)m3Gg

GW;F-O;iW o(\!_b0The program works by allowing members to post online something they want help with: guitar lessons, a Scrabble partner, a ride to the doctor’s office. Others can then volunteer their time and skills to fill these needs and “bank” hours for when they need something themselves.心理学空间6_4v cxR0hZ

2P5@-z:_CAF }_0项目成员可以把自己想要求得帮助的事项发到网上:学吉他,找猜字游戏玩伴,搭车去看医生。然后其他人可以志愿贡献自己的时间和技能来满足这些需求,再把相应的小时数“存进银行”,等到他们自己需要帮助的时候便可以提现。心理学空间0[p1Aj V

r9_%b&i.B)N;V OjU0“In America, you almost need an excuse for knocking on a neighbor’s door,” Tang told me. “We want to break down those barriers.”

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MS%e;FRpr z%n0“在美国,几乎连敲响邻居的房门都需要一个好理由,”唐告诉我。“我们想打破这些藩篱。”心理学空间2Mn.|-e3V&A(Sf&i

$d b4~0w/t&o6Y0The program now has hundreds of members in California and plans to expand to other areas of the country with a recent grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.心理学空间!NS9j W,pIX7Km

+N)N{ O4I|&[ k0该项目目前在加利福尼亚州有数百名成员,最近收到了来自罗伯特·伍德·约翰逊基金会(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)的一笔资助,打算向美国其他地区拓展。心理学空间a b ^"wl:~'X_

1[9R1T@,c'xUp&_^ M0“We in the medical community have to ask ourselves: Are we controlling blood pressure or improving health and well-being?” Tang said. “I think you have to do the latter to do the former.”心理学空间~-Xav'N:R4erK1k

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Increasingly, research confirms our deepest intuition: Human connection lies at the heart of human well-being. It’s up to all of us to maintain bonds where they’re fading, and create ones where they haven’t existed.


{8NmJ!X&r8@0一系列研究日益表明,我们内心最深处的直觉是正确的:人与人的交往在人类的幸福感中居于核心位置。当关系变淡的时候,要靠我们所有人去维系;当关系尚未建立的时候,要靠我们所有人去建立。心理学空间/]1` tPs(x1T RV

z~C/I]7z4zx0“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”心理学空间V]Yrn1Bp ~


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