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By Jonathan B. Singer, LCSW, Jonathan B. Singer, and LCSW. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
One of the solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic is physical distancing. Because there is a relationship between physical and social distancing, I am rebroadcasting Episode 70 from 2011 which deals with loneliness. I hope you enjoy. Today’s episode of the Social Work Podcast is about loneliness. According to my guest, Thomas Joiner, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, loneliness might be at the heart of one of the most perplexing contemporary public health paradoxes. That paradox is, despite the fact that men are by all indicators the most powerful and privileged in every country in the world, “for each of the 12 leading causes of death, mortality is higher for men than women” (Joiner, 2011, p. 7). If we look at just one of those causes of death, suicide, the disparity between men and women is astounding: Of the approximately 36,000 Americans who died by suicide in 2009, approximately 80% were men. Of those men, approximately 90% were white men. Why would white men, who are the most privileged of the privileged, be the most likely to kill themselves? Dr. Joiner’s answer is simple: Loneliness. Dr. Joiner is the author of the book, "Lonely at the Top: The High Cost of Men's Success" published in 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan. In today's episode of the social work podcast, Dr. Joiner and I talk about biological and social factors that contribute to men's loneliness. We talk about the effects of loneliness on men's health and wellbeing, including the issue of suicide. We talk about how Dr. Joiner's research speaks to women and men who are not on the top, for example sexual and racial minorities. We talk about some of the solutions that Dr. Joiner proposes, including the simple soution of reaching out. We end our conversation on a personal note. I tell Dr. Joiner that my wife recently gave birth to twin boys. I ask him what I can do to prevent my sons from growing up and becoming lonely men. He was kind enough to give me some free advice. You can read a transcript of today's interview at https://www.socialworkpodcast.com. You can connect with other social workers at the Social Work Podcast Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/swpodcast, or follow the Twitter feed at http://www.twitter.com/socworkpodcast.