Misery loves company. And now we have the research to prove it.

Loneliness can spread like a contagious disease, new research indicates. Lonely people tend to share their loneliness with others, and their feelings of isolation and despair rub off on friends, neighbors, spouses, and even acquaintances, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The team of researchers, led by John T. Cacioppo, PhD, of the University of Chicago, followed 5,214 participants of the Framingham Heart Study from 1971 to 2001. Cacioppo and colleagues studied data on individuals in a second generation of the study. – From Web MD