The Loneliness Epidemic

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This year, the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy released a report about the epidemic of loneliness and isolation in America. Even before the epidemic, about half of adults reported feeling lonely. The health risks of loneliness are significant - comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day! It has been connected with significantly increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Twice as many of us (1 in 3 adults) live alone now, compared to 1966.

The problem is most pronounced in young people (Aged 15-24), where it can lead to sleep problems, inflammation, depression, and immune problems. In the last few decades many aspects of life have changed how we interact with one another, such as the use of technology (social media, smart phones etc.), which has significantly affected our youth. The pandemic has also exacerbated the situation for everyone. 

The report makes six major recommendations, most of them for policymakers, volunteer organizations, health care providers, researchers, schools, workplaces, and high-tech companies. The final recommendation is for all of us (in summary) to “cultivate values of kindness, respect, service, and commitment to one another.” There are many other things we can do to combat loneliness. We can reach out to friends and family, join social groups, volunteer, or get involved in our community. 

If you are feeling lonely, please know that you are not alone. There are many people who care about you and want to help. Please reach out for help if you need it. Here are some resources that can provide assistance or more information:

Medical Director and Psychiatrist
Lakes Center Mental Health Network
Should You Spring Clean Your Relationships?

As the weather warms up and the sun starts peeking out, you are probably engaging in some spring cleaning, putting away the heaviness of the winter to make room for spring and new beginnings.

But have you ever thought of doing that with relationships? Probably not. But as social beings, we are literally wired to connect with others. And yet, we may spend more time contemplating whether or not a sweater works for us than contemplating if certain relationships are working for us. 

This spring, you might want to try to add some spring cleaning to your relationships. Read on to learn what this means, how you might do it and why, and the benefit it can have on your mental health.

Stress Relief Tip:
Take a Social Media Break
More than 70% of Americans use social media, which has been linked to conditions like depression and anxiety, according to the Pew Research Center. From comparison culture leading to lower self-esteem to the constant stream of negative news, social media may have a bigger effect on your daily mental health than you think. Try taking regular breaks, even if it’s just for a couple of days at a time.
Stress Relief Tip:
Work Your Strengths
Do something you're good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task on your list. Building from your strengths can make those bigger tasks seem more achievable.
We provide comprehensive psychiatric and psychotherapy services for a vast array of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychotic illness, borderline personality disorder, substance abuse/addiction, trauma related issues, relationship difficulties, life transitions, and behavior problems. Call (248) 859-2457 to set up an appointment.
Did you know? SPRAVATO® can have a rapid antidepressant response and is added on to an antidepressant and the rest of your regimen. It is the first new mechanism of action to treat depression that has come out in over 30 years. 
There is hope for treatment-resistant depression. Call (248) 859-2457 to set up an appointment.
Lakes DBT We provide comprehensive DBT services to provide effective treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other disorders involving emotion dysregulation, including co-occurring substance use disorders, major depressive disorder, and individuals with history of trauma. At Lakes DBT Center, we believe that with effective evidence-based treatment and a caring and coordinated treatment team, clients can achieve a life worth living. 
Anetia Isbell, LPC, CAADC
Licensed Professional Counselor

Anetia Isbell is a licensed Professional Counselor and a graduate from Wayne State University. Ms. Isbell a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She has completed EMDR training, levels I and I; Dialectical Behavior Training; Motivational Interviewing; Michigan Society of Clinical Hypnosis approved Clinical Hypnosis Training and is a Sex Addiction Therapist Candidate I.  Anetia has done intensive independent study in family dynamics, the impact of addiction and other dysfunction on families and individuals, and personality disorders.  

Victoria Harrington,
Clinical Social Worker

Victoria Harrington is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and received her Masters Degree of Social Work from the University of Michigan. During her career as a clinical social worker, for over 40 years, she has worked in a variety of mental health clinics and family service agencies. Her practice includes treatment of adults of all ages.
Special Interest Areas include:
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Anxiety / Panic Disorders
  • Depression
  • Women in Transition
  • Young Adults with transitional issues
  • Pre Marital Counseling
  • Divorce related issues