Isolation And Loneliness Specialist

Ryan Rifkin, NP -  - Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

NP Psychiatry

Ryan Rifkin, NP

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner located in Chelsea, New York, NY

Long before COVID-19 introduced social distancing, 10% of all adults felt isolated and lonely all the time. Now, most people realize that isolation and loneliness have a dramatic effect on their emotional, mental, and physical health. If you feel the impact, board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner Ryan Rifkin, NP, can help. You receive complete medical and therapeutic care at his practice, NP Psychiatry, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. To learn how to overcome isolation and loneliness, call the office in New York City today or request an appointment online. Telepsychiatry appointments are available.

Isolation and Loneliness Q & A

What contributes to isolation and loneliness?

Isolation and loneliness can lead to a mental health disorder, or may be symptoms of existing depression and anxiety. They both have numerous causes:

Causes of isolation

Isolation is a lack of social relationships, not something you choose because you need alone time. You may be isolated due to:

  • Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
  • Shame over your appearance or circumstances
  • Health conditions that keep you housebound
  • Developmental disabilities that affect social and communication skills
  • Physical disabilities that limit your movement
  • Living in a remote location
  • Difficulty with social skills 

Something as common as financial difficulties or as complex as domestic abuse can lead to isolation. You can also be emotionally isolated when the people you live with or love don’t share their emotions and thoughts with you.

Causes of loneliness

Loneliness is a feeling that arises from your emotions and thoughts, but it’s grounded in not having a close, trustworthy connection with at least one other person.

Isolation causes loneliness, but you can be lonely when you’re surrounded by people. You may feel lonely because you don’t have friends or when the people you call friends don’t understand or respect you.

For some, loneliness begins after a major change in their life, like moving, breaking up with a partner, or the death of a loved one.

How do isolation and loneliness affect my health?

It’s no surprise that isolation and loneliness lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

But you may not know that isolation and loneliness affect your physical health. They’re closely associated with:

  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of coronary artery disease
  • Higher risk of stroke
  • Increased susceptibility to chronic health conditions
  • A decline in cognitive function
  • Higher risk of dementia
  • Reduced immune function
  • Higher suicide rates
  • Increased levels of stress hormones

The overall impact of loneliness is worse for your health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

How are isolation and loneliness treated?

Since there are so many possible causes for isolation and loneliness, your treatment is highly individualized to meet your unique circumstances and mental health needs. 

As a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner, your provider at NP Psychiatry identifies your underlying issues and develops a treatment plan that teaches you the skills you need to regain friends and a social life. 

You can overcome isolation and loneliness with support from NP Psychiatry. Call the office or book an appointment online today.