Harmful effects of suppressing negative emotions from a health scare

Posted on August 16, 2018

A research was done based on the Zika virus outbreak. It showed that women who suppressed their fears felt even more fearful in later parts of their lives, leading to the habit of suppressing their emotions all the time. The Zika outbreak affected pregnant women especially since it harbors the possibility of causing brain damage and birth defects. Suppression of emotions is not only ineffective but makes matters worse by creating a toxic cycle of fear.

Humans naturally try to avoid negative news altogether to escape from any possible emotional distraught, hence using suppression to manage their fears and calm down. Sometimes people live in delusion by trying to re-evaluate the situation and tell themselves that things weren’t as bad to take away the negative emotions. However, these methods did not help to manage fear during a health scare, causing people to turn to suppression instead.

Health issues related to anxiety and stress derived from a health scare can be similar to the negative effects of that health disease itself, in this case Zika. Although fear can be advantageous in helping people find useful information that helps protect themselves, excessive fear is disadvantageous as it generates more harmful effects instead.

To solve the problem, besides providing reliable information regarding the increasing health crises, health officials should notify the public of possible fear and stress that might be generated from disease outbreaks and educate them on the different ways to manage their worries towards the bad news. Future research should also target to invent useful ways to help people cope with emotional distraught from health scares.


Category(s):Fear, Health Psychology

Source material from Science Daily


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