Is it possible for someone to die from social isolation?
Yes, it happens with infants who are not touched and caressed. It creates a condition called "failure to thrive" which can lead to death.
Funny you should mention that, R1. I have a dear friend who is very depressed right now, and wishes to die. He was an orphan, and says he knows he was not touched and caressed as an infant, but rather left to stew in his own shit in his diaper, and he is feeling failure to thrive now as an adult. He just wants to die.
Continued from 2:
I should add that my friend seems desperate to make contact with other people at this time. Also, he does what seem like strange things at times to get attention, and when he can't get positive attention, he is happy to settle for attention of the negative variety.
Who knows, maybe these attempts to meet others that I find "desperate" are attempts by his body and soul not to die, even though consciously, that's what he thinks he wants.
r2 - that is heartbreaking. Please let him know that what he is feeling MAKES SENSE.
A good therapist will help him to build the neural networks that support the thrive mechanisms. He needs to get a compassionate trainer and hit the "thrive" gym.
R1 / R2 check out schitzotypal and schitzoid personality disorders for your friend.
He had his third appointment with a therapist today, R4. Could you go into about two sentences about "neural networks"? (I'm not science-y.)
Aside from my immediate family, I have no friends, but I don't intend to die over it. Maybe if I were COMPLETELY alone I couldn't deal with it, but I'm not even sure of that.
Why did I have a feeling DL would be a schizoid / asperger's hotbed?