Sunday, January 3, 2010

AS and Loneliness


Starting tomorrow, PBS will begin a three-part series, "This Emotional Life," about certain emotional and mental health issues. Among other topics, the series will profile Jason Ross, a 29-year-old Aspie, as he discusses his challenges connecting with others.

This clip (which is SFW) presents Mr. Ross' AS as a disability, especially insofar as it makes him lonely. According to social psychologist Dr. John Cacioppo, loneliness is as unhealthy as smoking!

What do you think?

H/T: J. Willardston Smith.


Casdok said...

I hadnt thought of loneliness in those terms. Sounds like it will be an interesting series.

Happy new year!

Roia said...

I think loneliness is a terrible "disease" or, perhaps more accurately, "dis-ease". In the institution where I work, my clients, all of whom have a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities, and many of whom don't use speech to communicate, clearly experience a great deal of loneliness and isolation in spite of being surrounded by people all day long, every day.

It is often an issue that comes up in our music therapy work together. And it is often expressed as a desire to not leave at the end of the session.

I am not at all surprised that it has physical effects on people and is literally dangerous to people's mental as well as physical health. As our clients age, and even at relatively young ages, there are numerous illnesses with which they seem to contend.

Thanks for bringing this extremely important issue to your blog/forum.