Living alone is bad for your mental health and wellbeing. A new study highlights that people who live alone are at a higher risk of developing mental disorders.
Living alone is positively associated with common mental disorders, regardless of age and sex, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Louis Jacob from University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, and colleagues.
The proportion of people living alone has increased in recent years due to population aging, decreasing marriage rates and lowering fertility. Previous studies have investigated the link between living alone and mental disorders but have generally been conducted in elderly populations and are not generalizable to younger adults.
The prevalence of people living alone in 1993, 2000, and 2007 was 8.8 percent, 9.8 percent, and 10.7 percent. In those years, the rates of CMD was 14.1 percent, 16.3 percent, and 16.4 percent. In all years, all ages, and both men and women, there was a positive association between living alone and CMD (1993 odds ratio 1.69; 2000 OR 1.63; 2007 OR 1.88). In different subgroups of people, living alone increased a person's risk for CMD by 1.39 to 2.43 times. Overall, loneliness explained 84 percent of the living alone-CMD association. The authors suggest that interventions which tackle loneliness might also aid the mental wellbeing of individuals living alone.
Jacob summarizes: "Living alone is positively associated with common mental disorders in the general population in England."