A new study found that living alone increases common mental disorders (CMD) including anxiety and depression. Adults who live alone are more likely to have one because of loneliness. The researchers looked at the data of 20,000 adults from the United Kingdom who were surveyed in 1993, 2000, and 2007. After the study period, the number of adults who lived alone accumulated from 8.8 to 10.7 percent and so did the rate of CMDs from 14.1 to 16.4 percent. Louis Jacob, the first author of the study, said that the analyses of different regressions corroborated the finding that there was a positive association between living alone and CMDs. Thus, the range of variables includes height and weight, level of education, employment status, alcohol and drug use, social support, and feelings of loneliness. Despite the multiple variables that were looked into, loneliness prevails as the top reason why most adults develop CMD.

The same study of 3,000 adults aged 55 and older in Singapore found that living alone was a contributor to the worst psychological well-being. Jessy Warner-Cohen, Ph.D., MPH, a health psychologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center said that the most robust finding of the study was the effect of social support on those living alone. Adults who live alone need more active development of social support. Social support could be found from joining clubs or athletic organizations, walking dogs with others in the neighborhood, or cooking together. A report added that visiting friends and family more frequently plays a pivotal role to show social support.