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Friends are Good for Your Health

Posted 5/20/2013

Posted in

  We already knew this. We all need friends, and we especially need friends when we have troubles. We need friends, then, who can comfort us, cry with us, hug us and care for us. We also need friends who make us laugh and push us a bit and plan excursions when we can't begin to imagine finding the energy to do so. In Social Work 101, they teach you that people with strong social support networks do better in all kinds of ways in life. They are less likely to be depressed, are more successful, even live longer.

  This is a rather simple article from Consumer Healthday about a study that looked at 3100 California women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Not surprisingly, those who "who had family and friends to do fun things with" were more likely to be feeling better physically and emotionally. What I especially like about this is the idea that it is not just being with friends/family, but doing something fun that is being prescribed. As in, get out there and have a picnic or go for ice cream or watch a baseball game or have dinner, but get out there with people who love you.

  Here is an excerpt and a link:

Study found that women with the largest support networks reported best quality of life

THURSDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Having fun with family and friends can help relieve breast
cancer patients' pain and improve their quality of life, a new study indicates.
The study included more than 3,100 women in California who were diagnosed with breast cancer
between 2006 and 2011. Within about two months of their diagnosis, they completed
questionnaires on their social networks, the kinds of support they received, their emotional and
physical quality of life, and their physical symptoms from breast cancer.
Women with the largest social networks were most likely to report the best overall quality of life
during breast cancer treatment. Higher levels of social support were also linked with better
emotional quality of life, according to the Kaiser Permanente researchers.
Having family and friends to do fun things with (positive social interaction) was the most
important predictor of good physical quality of life. Patients with little or no positive social
interaction were three times more likely to report a low quality of life and more physical
symptoms, the investigators found.


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