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Guest Post: A Pill for Oneliness? May 17, 2010

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Guest Posts.
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7 comments

Onely likes to post guest pieces by other writers who think about singles’ issues. The views expressed in our guest posts may or may not reflect Onely’s views, but we are always interested to hear from other singles advocates. Today’s post is by our loyal reader Steve, who asks a very intriguing question:
Several years ago, I read an editorial that compared the happiness level of people based on their gender, age, and marital status.  The study had a couple surprises:  the happiest group, it was reported, might surprise some people: unmarried women in their 40s.  The unhappiest group: unmarried men in their 30s.  As a 33 year old never married man, I wonder if there is something to this study.  A few months ago, a series of stressful events, combined with my own feelings of despair over what I hadn’t accomplished in life, led to a “nervous breakdown” of sorts.  When I then started having panic attacks, I knew I needed help.  I went to my doctor and was given anti-depressant medication.
Within a few weeks, I started feeling grounded in a way I hadn’t felt in an extremely long time.  “Why couldn’t I have felt like this when I was younger?” I wondered.  I also noticed something else: for the first time, I didn’t feel really bad over the fact that I was still single.  While I haven’t felt like this every day since I started taking the medication four months ago, I have certainly noticed a shift in my attitude.
Helen Fisher, an evolutionary anthropologist at Rutgers University, thinks there might be something to the idea that anti-depressants might actually suppress feelings of romantic love.  You can read more about it here from Wired magazine back from February 2009:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/antidepressants/
I have to ask myself: is it worth the trade-off?  For married couples, these issues can raise all sorts of relationship problems, but for a “chronically single” man such as myself, I actually think it’s a pretty good deal to lose some of these feelings in exchange for greater happiness.  What do you think?

–Steve

Photo credit: ClawzCTR

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