The novelist Gail Honeyman once famously wrote, "These days, loneliness is the new cancer – a shameful, embarrassing thing." One man in Berlin was brave enough to speak publicly about it. Could cuddle therapy be the cure?
Nobody likes hospitals and all that they imply. But as Tamsin Walker recounts, sometimes you've just got to do what you've got to do — needles or not.
No family at the graveside, no friends, no colleagues: in Germany, increasing numbers of people are being buried in public health funerals. The reasons go beyond demographics.
Depression can take a massive toll not only on the sufferers, but also on their loved ones. A study by the German Depression Foundation found the illness caused relationship breakdowns for almost half of those affected.
German lawmakers have said more needs to be done to help those who suffer from loneliness and to remove the taboos around the issue. They also praised the UK's recent decision to appoint a "Minister for Loneliness."
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