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How to Break the Dangerous Cycle of Loneliness

Social isolation kills, and in the process it makes it harder to reach out to others. A psychologist explains how to stop the feedback loop.
People who are lonely tend to feel increasingly lonelier.
People who are lonely tend to feel increasingly lonelier. Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters

“I’m clearly a textbook case of the silent majority of middle-aged men who won’t admit they’re starved for friendship, even if all signs point to the contrary,” wrote Billy Baker in his recent exploration of male loneliness in The Boston Globe.

Perhaps one reason the piece made so many internet rounds is just how many people could relate: Last year Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned that Americans are “facing an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.”