One of the most crucial researches done over the last decades have something to do with social support and how this affects health. This subject brings to mind concepts such as quality versus the quantity of social workers.
We all know the effects of social isolation – even minus our readings here in Health Education. This is a major risk in a lot of mortality causes. In fact, several studies have proven that elderly women who do not have emotional support have a higher mortality rate compared to those who are cared for by their family.
After careful reading, we are able to link the vital role of social support in improving the quality of life of individuals, the conceptualization of interventions for illnesses, and lowering the rate of morbidity (and mortality) in patients. What’s even more interesting is that the elderly who still have feelings of being useful in society (social usefulness) end up living longer and healthier.
I have also come to know that social support can be done in various ways. This can, initially, be done as individuals become a part of different networks and they begin participating socially. Emotional support is – and will always be – a part of social support.
My Personal Experience on Social Support
Just last October 2016, I experienced physical ailments brought about by depression. I thought that my muscle paralysis was caused by my unhealthy lifestyle – I slept for just two to three hours each night (or more like early morning), I ate junk, drank soda, and spent the day in front of a laptop. That was my lifestyle back then.
While I do believe that my lifestyle was also a factor in me becoming lethargic on so many levels (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.). I literally could not walk on my own (my husband had to aid me) and even my daughter had to cook and feed me.
Mentally, I felt that I was stagnant. I had a hard time conjuring common words. I even asked my U.S. client to extend my work deadlines as I literally could not push myself to get out of bed and work.
Emotionally, I was tattered. I would cry at the slightest provocation, most of the time, due to self pity. I was ultra obese.
I would say that without my husband who literally became my crutch at that time, my daughter who willingly took over the chores from me, and my church network who sent get-well-soon messages, I would have given up.
Pretty soon, a couple who we knew from church and who were working as holistic therapists went to our home. I was willing to embrace any kind of therapy as medicines did not seem to work anymore.
One of the things that they taught me is how I could get better and even trim down by having a positive mantra, correct planning and acting upon my goals/plans.
Through this couple’s help, my family and everyone else who was concerned, I turned my life around and started doing things right. I chose to alter my lifestyle. I picked the ketogenic diet; started exercising; slept for no less than seven hours each night; and I was even taught to let go of bottled, negative emotions.
Just a month and a half into my diet, I lost 6.5 inches around my waistline which was a feat.
The lesson here? As cliche as this may seem – no man is an island. I couldn’t have gotten better without these people who cared enough for me.
How important is social support?