North Central College in the News
North Central College psychology professor quoted in Naperville Sun
Nov 30, 2021
Leila Azarbad discussed mental health and America’s loneliness issue
Even before COVID-19 sent us into isolation, there was a loneliness problem in America. Scientists say more and more people feel disconnected from social circles at every age range, but particularly those in their twilight years. From the grade-schooler conditioned to keep a distance to the employee who only knows coworkers via Zoom to the aging adult whose circle has shrunk, many people — too many, professionals say — feel disconnected.
Leila Azarbad, professor of psychology at North Central College, interviewed with the Naperville Sun, where she discussed the loneliness issues people have experienced and our need as human beings to socialize.
“We are by nature social creatures,” said Azarbad. “We really have a need to belong. Some of today’s loneliness can be attributed to the 2020 lockdown and the social distancing that grew out of it and still shadows us. You saw a lot of people form small, close-knit groups for practical reasons, because of fear of infection. Now, two years in, there’s a lot of lingering anxiety about how to get back out there. A lot of us have just fallen out of practice.”