For many centuries social isolation has been a leading cause of pain and suffering for many people (Hawthorne et al. 142). Psychological disorders, several types of abuse, and drug usage play a large part in the isolation process (Wallace 202). Social isolation is also a sign of many other types of problems such as, anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, and many other psychological disorders (Anorexia par. 1). It has taken many centuries and a number of tests for doctors to come up with ways to help with social isolation making it less common in the human race (Encyclopedia par. 3-5). Although doctors have run many tests on the different types of social isolations and why they occur, there is still no known cure only treatment for the symptoms of the many types. (Wallace 206-207).
Psychological disorders are very common among children as well as adults (Hawthorne et al. 145). These disorders have many side effects, one of which is social isolation (Wallace 202). Loneliness is a problem many people have to face within their lifetime, but social isolation is way more than just that (Wallace 204). Social isolation is when a person cuts themselves off from friends, family, and even people they do not know (Hawthorne et al. 205). They often have thoughts of suicide and harming themselves and others (“Evolution” par. 3). There are several things that lead to social isolation including a death in a family, having depression, abuse of any sort, or a disturbing situation in one’s life (Encyclopedia par. 2). There are no specific tests to see if someone has any of these disorders, but doctors are very well familiar with certain signs and symptoms of each (Hawthorne et al. 145). Symptoms of disorders that have to do with social isolation are, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, not talking to peers like normal, behavioral problems start to occur, feelings of failure, feelings of humiliation, worthlessness, wanting to sleep constantly, mistrust toward others, crying for no apparent reasons, feelings of despair, regarding themselves, feelings of inadequacy, not comfortable in unfamiliar social situations, low self-esteem, becoming reluctant to take social risks, among many others (Encyclopedia par. 6). People with these disorders feel the need to be in a constant relationship with someone to make them feel better about themselves (Encyclopedia par. 2). As for people who have had eating disorders, they tend to care too much about their social acceptance, even obsessing about it (Anorexia par. 1-8). They feel people will not like them if they do not look a certain way, they obsess over people pleasing (Anorexia par. 9-10). During this process they start to isolate themselves from peers and family members because of their appearance and worry of being judged (Anorexia par. 2-4).
Abuse can have a lot to do with social isolation among many people (Encyclopedia pars. 1-3). Many people have suffered from several types of abuse including physical, sexual, and mental abuse (Hawthorne et al. 200). Physical abuse plays a very large role in social isolation, it makes the person feel worthless and makes them think everyone wants to do harm towards them (Hawthorne et al. 202). Sexual abuse has become a very common thing with women (Encyclopedia par. 5). This type of abuse normally affects a person for a very long period of time and causes them to think very poorly of themselves (Encyclopedia par. 6). A very common thing for an abuse victim is having flashbacks to the experiences which caused them to socially isolate (Encyclopedia par. 7). Mental abuse can also play a role in social isolation (“Depression” 1). It makes the person feel like they do not belong in society and they become very paranoid of what people begin to think about them (Encyclopedia par. 8). These types of abuse cause many other types of disorders including; depression, anxiety, psychological and personality disorders (Encyclopedia par. 9).
For disorders that cause social isolation there is help for one to get treatment (Hawthorne 145). These treatments contain improvement of self esteem and confidence (Wallace et al. 207). When this takes place, he or she will become potential to real criticism by others (Wallace et al. 207). There is also counseling that is recommended by most psychiatrists (Wallace et al. 208). There are several different types of treatments, such as Psychodynamically oriented therapies, Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Group therapy, Family and marital therapy, and several types of medications (Encyclopedia par. 11-16). Psychodynamically oriented therapy is a one on one therapy between the therapist and the patient (Encyclopedia par. 12). The therapist in this situation empathizes with the patients inadequacy and sense of shame to create a strong relationship of trust (Encyclopedia par. 12). This process of treatment also takes a while because many people with these disorders most often have trust and paranoid issues due to certain events in their life (Encyclopedia par. 12). If a therapist moves into this type of relationship too quickly then it may probe on the patients emotional state too quickly and can result in other problems such as protective withdrawal from a patient (Encyclopedia par. 12). Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also a one on one therapy, but is mainly used for people with avoidant personality disorder (Encyclopedia par. 13). Therapists believe that faulty thinking patterns are the underling cause of this disorder (Encyclopedia par. 13). This treatment focuses on changing distorted cognitive patterns (Encyclopedia par. 13). In this process, the therapist asked about the patients peers, family, and people they think do not like them (Encyclopedia par. 13). The therapist in this situation would ask them about the people that do like and care about them to test these assumptions (Encyclopedia par. 13). This can help show the patient that social events can be enjoyable and that others actually do enjoy their company (Encyclopedia par.13). Group therapy exposes the patient to many social experiences and the feedback helps them overcome social rejection (Encyclopedia par.13). This safe, controlled environment, helps the patient overcome their social anxieties (Encyclopedia par. 13). Social skills training may also be a part of group therapy to help enhance social awareness (Encyclopedia par. 13). Family and marital therapy is a type of therapy used for married couples of families going through a tough time (Encyclopedia par. 14). The main focuses on these types of therapies is to break the cycle or cycles of rejection, ridicule, and criticism (Encyclopedia par. 14). Strategies include helping the family or couple to relate to one another without shame or judgment (Encyclopedia par. 14). There are also several types of medications that have been proven useful in helping patients with these types of disorders (Encyclopedia par. 15). The use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors can help to control symptoms of social uneasiness and experience initial success (Encyclopedia par. 15). There is a drawback to this chemical though, people taking this have to watch their diet and cannot eat certain types of food such as, soy sauce, sauerkraut, red wines, sherry, liver, most cheeses, and meat extracts (Encyclopedia par. 15). The reason for this is because of a substance called tyramine (Encyclopedia par. 15). Family situations and arrangements can help prevent these types of things from becoming necessary (Encyclopedia par. 16). Most people who have a good home life do not suffer from many of these issues (“Depression” par. 2).
Even though social isolation has been a leading cause of pain and suffering for many centuries, and there is no known cure for any of these disorders, medical technology has come a long way in treating the symptoms and helping these disorders not be as common (Hawthorne et al. 148). The types and symptoms have still remained the same, but the treatments have changed drastically (Hawthorne et al. 148). Doctors believe that they have found out the causes to most of these disorders and now they are working on trying to find the best treatments for them (“Evolution” par. 3). Now that the symptoms are so well known from research and many tests, doctors can stop even more serious disorders from happening (Wallace 202). Psychological disorders will never just go away in the human race, but technology will continue to get better and so will treatments and medications (Wallace 203).
Wallace, Deanna et al. “CREB regulation of nucleus accumbens excitability meditates social isolation-induced behavioral deficts. “Nature Neuroscience.” 12 ( February 2009): 200-209. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Brandon Public Library. 28 October 2010
Hawthorne, Graeme. “Perceived social isolation in a community sample: its prevalence and correlates with the aspects of peoples’ lives.” Social Psychiatric Epidermiology. 43 (February 2008): 140-150. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Brandon Public Library. 28 October 2010
“Evolution.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010 ed.
Anorexia-Reflections, 2010. “Social Isolation Symptoms of Anorexia and side Effects of Bulimia.” 28 October 2010
“Depression.” 28 October 2010
“Encyclopedia of Mind Disorders. 2010.” Avoidant Personality Disorder.” 28 October 2010