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It's Time to Talk About Loneliness


This program originally aired on 11-21-17. 

We go through life surrounded by other people, but for many people, the isolation of the modern world takes a serious toll on health and happiness. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about what he sees as an epidemic of loneliness in the U.S. 

"If you're not lonely, and you're listening to this radio segment, there are people around you who are," he says.

"When I was traveling around as surgeon general, I found that people felt very alone in their struggle. I realized that many people in our country feel invisible.  Nobody comes to their doctor or to anyone in their life and says that they are lonely. We don't talk about loneliness very much. There is a stigma associated with being lonely." 

Daniel Russell, who is a professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, also joins the conversation. He's been researching loneliness since the 1980s and has found that loneliness can manifest as a physical ailment and is linked to heart disease. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa