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Loneliness is the price we pay for our lost connections

Niamh Horan


Social researcher Noreena Hertz tells Niamh Horan why governments need to tackle the problem of isolation

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Noreena Hertz attends the UK launch of Women Inspiration & Enterprise (W.I.E.) at The Hospital Club on December 5, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Noreena Hertz attends the UK launch of Women Inspiration & Enterprise (W.I.E.) at The Hospital Club on December 5, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Noreena Hertz attends the UK launch of Women Inspiration & Enterprise (W.I.E.) at The Hospital Club on December 5, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Do you feel lonely? According to social researcher Noreena Hertz, you may not even be aware of it. Hertz has spent the last decade researching loneliness and says symptoms can differ dramatically from person to person, often manifesting as tiredness or stress.

"The feeling of being lonely is very real. We can measure it physiologically, by reading blood pressure and cortisol levels. But in terms of how it feels physically? For some, it is a tight feeling in the chest, for others, it is abnormal exhaustion. However your body responds to stress is likely to be the same way it responds to loneliness."


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