Friday, 6 February 2015

Indifference Is Not The Answer: The Importance of Being Accepted by Chris Viola

As was written in our earlier blog ‘When a name hurts: The Mental Health Effects of Bullying’, social rejection can have a detrimental effect on someone’s life for years, with many cases being unbeknownst to others, even those close to the victim. However, simply the absence of bullying isn't enough for someone to have a healthy childhood, as complete exclusion can have an equal, or even worse effect someone.

According to ASAP science’s video “The Science of Heartbreak,” multiple studies have shown that when given the choice, most people would rather experience physical pain than being socially excluded. This would mean that on the playground, one would prefer to be beat up, but otherwise treated normally instead of being totally isolated. Yet more studies have shown that chimps isolated from their native group have increased levels of Cortisol (the stress hormone), the effects of which on one’s mental health are relatively self-explanatory.

There’s an old quote, credited to various authors, stating that “The opposite of love is not to hate, apathy is”. This quote has been around for a long time now, and time and time again has been proven to be correct by those who lack a positive social interaction with others.

In the Health.com article “12 ways we sabotage our mental health”,  social isolation is the first one mentioned, stating that it is both a symptom and effect of depression. This has terrible implications, as being socially isolated leads to depression. Depression causes more social isolation. Social isolation causes even deeper depression, and the cycle continues, can go on infinitely unless stopped.

For those currently experiencing social isolation, its best to keep in mind that any level of rejection you’re experiencing isn't something that you should blame yourself for. Don’t let someone else’s actions give you a feeling of your own self-worth, and that you are a spectacular person with potential that others simply can’t see.

Chris Viola is continuing his education at Mohawk College in the Public Relations Post-Grad program after graduating from TV broadcasting. He also works part-time at the YMCA.

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