A new study found that living alone increases common mental disorders (CMD). Adults who live alone are more likely to have CMD due to loneliness. The researchers looked at the data of 20,000 adults from the United Kingdom who were surveyed in 1993, 2000, and 2007. In a span of almost two decades, the number of adults who lived alone increased 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 analysis of multiple factors substantiate the finding that there was a positive association between living alone and CMDs. The range of variables includes height and weight, level of education, employment status, alcohol and drug use, social support, and feelings of loneliness. Loneliness was the top reason why most adults develop CMD.

Moreover, the same study of 3,000 adults from Singapore found that living alone contributed to poor psychological well-being. Jessy Warner-Cohen, PhD, MPH, a health psychologist, said that the strong finding of the study was the effect of social support on those living alone. Social support that people get from joining clubs or organizations, walking dogs with others in the neighborhood, or cooking together could weaken mental health disorders. A report added that visiting friends and family more periodically is a good way to show social support.