This has been a question thrown around in the scientific community, and an interesting one at that. “Can one actually be bored to death?” By that, I mean literally pass on from this world to the next because one had nothing more interesting to do but just cease to exist?
The answer is both yes and no. No, you can’t die from boredom in the literal sense. It isn’t one of those infamous diseases like cancer or influenza. That and I haven’t seen any news headline declaring “Man/Woman dies from excessive boredom”. I haven’t seen prescriptions from medical profession for drugs or tips on how to alleviate being disinterested at life in general.
You can, however die from boredom, but indirectly. There are causes and effects to this seemingly unimportant medical case. In this article, we’ll do a light observation of the reasons one may indirectly cease living because of this ailment. Let’s first define what it is.
Boredom is a state of inactivity or general disinterest at things happening around him/her. According to John Eastwood, a clinical psychologist at the University of York in Toronto, it is a condition where one is unable to engage one’s self in a satisfying activity.
What are the causes? According to the previous paragraph, it could be a genuine lack of interest in life or activities that can satisfy a person. Another is clinical depression, where a person shuts himself down emotionally and focuses on him/herself, instead of others, according to an online article of the Daily Mail.
Traumatic brain injuries are also a major cause of increased boredom. James Danckert, a neuroscientist from the University of Waterloo in Ontario hypothesizes:
“…the massive flux of endorphins or pain medication necessary for recovery from a brain injury may have literally raised these patients’ threshold for psychological pleasure and reward. ‘Now instead of a coffee doing it for you, you need a triple espresso…Anything that used to give you pleasure now has to be ramped up in order to succeed.“
The effects of boredom lead to those suffering it to feel unfulfilled, sad, and demoralized, based on research done by scientists in the University College of London in the UK.
This is almost always a cause for clinically bored people to tend towards addictive habits such as smoking, drinking, drugs, and gambling, for them to get their “fix”. They can die from the effects of these activities such as heart conditions and lung cancer (smoking), liver problems (drinking) and overdose (drugs), to name a few. Based on the same study, people who are frequently bored are 37% more likely to die after it was over.
So in conclusion, can one die of boredom? Yes, but indirectly. The effects caused by boredom lead to a downward spiral. It would best to surround ones’ self with friends and family instead of withdrawing and fighting it alone to be totally victorious from this medical condition.