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The Hidden Health Risks Behind Neuropathy Loneliness

Sunday, May 29, 2016
The Hidden Health Risks Behind Neuropathy Loneliness

The Hidden Health Risks Behind the Loneliness of Neuropathy. Neuropathy pain debilitates you physically, but it contributes to loneliness and social disconnection. Did you know that loneliness puts you at risk for dementia and serious health issues?

Neuropathy Leads to Social Isolation and Loneliness. 

When you suffer from neuropathy, it’s a struggle to go to work or even get up off the couch as you dread the pain that will come from being on your feet, isn't it? 

I couldn’t even bear going out to eat and walking the few steps to get from the car to the table. I became terribly depressed to have my life reduced so much.

That’s why I really understand the choices you’re making based on whether or not you can bear the neuropathy pain or risk an injury. Neuropathy has a way of consuming your mental energy as you try to figure out how to survive, doesn't it? 

Neuropathy not only damages nerves, but it can damage your social connections and sense of hope.

Let’s face it, you have to force yourself to make the trip to the grocery store and get to the doctor’s office, don’t you?

That’s as much as you can physically do, because neuropathy has found a way to isolate you from your basic life activities as well as your favorite hobbies with friends.

Maybe you’re afraid that your neuropathy pain will cause a fall, leading to a worse injury – maybe a broken leg or hip, so you try to protect yourself by not going out?  

It makes sense that if you incurred a new injury, it would complicate your neuropathy and any other health issues you're contending with. 

Many of my patients would talk about how lonely they felt not being able to do what they used to do.

The worst part, are their stories related to distancing themselves from family.

Can You Relate to Gerald’s Neuropathy Story? 

It reminds me of a client, Gerald, who got to be incredibly uncoordinated as a result of his neuropathy. His foot to brain communication was impaired due to the progression of his neuropathy, his brain wasn’t able to interpret where his feet were. As a result, he had fallen twice in his living room and once in his kitchen.

Each time he fell, he would call upon his niece and her husband who lived a few miles away. They would make sure he was okay or get him to the hospital for care depending on the extent of injury.  He said they invited him to family events all the time, but he didn’t feel like going, because he felt embarrassed and didn’t want to be a burden during the holidays.

So, he just stayed home.

Have you ever made a similar decision?

His worst fear was falling in front of everyone and being a burden.

Not only that but he had been a showroom manager for years and could no longer work in his field due to the pain.

He said: “I just didn’t have much to talk about other than what I was going through and nobody wants to hear it.”

His story is reflective of millions of others just like it. Neuropathy can steal your life unless you learn the steps to recovery. 

The trouble with this scenario is that you don’t even realize that once you start to withdraw, the harder and harder it gets to reach back into social activity.

As time goes by, your friends and family stop reaching out. After all, you’ve said “No” many times.

They may not understand the pain you’re experiencing. They may believe you just want to be left alone. So, they do. 

The more you distance yourself from friends and family, the more difficult it becomes to reach back in to social activity. 

It's a negative downward spiral that continues to shrink your world. 

You may not even realize what's happening to you. I didn't. 

 Did You Know The Loneliness From Neuropathy Puts You At Risk For Dementia?

What Gerald and millions of other neuropathy sufferers don’t realize is that loneliness that accompanies neuropathy can multiply your risks for mental and physical problems.

According to Neurology Reviews:

Loneliness is a risk factor for accelerated cognitive decline in older adults, according to research presented at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Although loneliness and depression appear closely linked, loneliness may have independent effects on cognition, said Nancy Donovan, MD, an Associate Psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.” Find out more here: declining brain function

Neuropathy Loneliness Takes A Toll On Your Heart

The isolation you experience from loneliness from living with neuropathy not only reduces your emotional support, but it can lead to significant health events.

According to Daily Mail from the United Kingdom, “Loneliness is 'AS deadly as a lack of exercise and diabetes': Poor social network 'drastically increases risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.'

Risks of Poor Social Supports

Social support is a key to staying healthy. While it’s tempting to remove yourself from activities, I encourage you to get out there even when you feel uncomfortable.

Social support is essential to your overall mental, physical and spiritual wellness. That’s why we created Video Training and a Support Forum in our Neuropathy Recovery Program.

Neuropathy recovery doesn’t happen in isolation.

Recovery is a team sport where you get to have the helping hands you need to take back your life from this painful disorder.

As hard as it can be to do, don’t shut yourself off from the world thinking this is your life and it will just keep getting worse.

I’ve been there myself and if I can come back from that dark and lonely place and recover my health from neuropathy, so can you. Just one step at a time.

Your neuropathy pain can be solved. Thousands of our clients have achieved remarkable relief within a few days to a few weeks. 

It’s the first step to help you better understand warning signs and the emotional and physical ramifications of your condition.   

You don’t have to try to figure it all out by yourself. I sure needed a helping hand when I was in your painful shoes. Let’s do it together.

To Your Good Health,

Dr. Randall Labrum

 

 


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