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A 20-year-old female asked:

how do social relationships affect your health?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Social relationships: If healthy, social relationships can help you feel safe, loved, and secure. This can be a good foundation for other things you want to do. Unhealthy relationships -- like bullying, abusive, emotional conflict, lying, etc -- can cause upset and disruption of your mood. Your sensitivities can affect your responses to this. It may be healthier to end some relationships than keep them.
Dr. Sherry Broadwell
Clinical Psychology 23 years experience
Tend to relations: The quality of connections affects both mental and physical health. Regardless of age, people who have few friends or lovers have higher mortality rates than people who have close connections. People with insufficient intimacy are at risk for a host of health problems. In contrast, wounds heal faster when others accept/support us, and those of us with connections feel more fulfilled/satisfied.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Hard to study: Surveys that suggest that people with more / better friends, happier marriages, more satisfying work etc., enjoy better physical health are flawed by the impact of substance abuse of health and relationships (ruins both), and that sick people have a harder time maintaining friendships. Build relationships you want for their own sake, not because of a posited impact on vascular health or cancer.

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Last updated Nov 28, 2017
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