Home Society & Culture Observing How Repeated Social Injustice Can Significantly Impact Mental Well-Being

Observing How Repeated Social Injustice Can Significantly Impact Mental Well-Being

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While society has come a long way in terms of social justice over the last several decades, it’s far from perfect. Though blatantly institutionalised social injustice may be fading, it still exists in a variety of areas. 

Experiencing these social injustices can have a slew of negative effects on victims. Gaining a deeper understanding of the ways that these infractions can harm and impact people is key to understanding how society needs to change in order to become more equitable. 

Here’s an observation of how repeated social injustice can significantly impact mental well-being. 

Negatively impacting self-worth

Instances of social injustice, such as being discriminated against for one’s race or sexual orientation, can have a disastrous effect on the sense of self-worth that victims feel. By being treated as less worthy, individuals are more likely to internalize the idea that they are worth less than others. 

Though feeling like one has low self-worth can have a variety of causes, such as intergenerational trauma, social injustices can be some of the most difficult to escape. The reason for this is that social injustices can often follow individuals throughout their lives regardless of where they move. As such, this is one of the many insidious and significant ways that social injustices negatively impact the self-worth of individuals. 

Causing chronic stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are mental health ailments that can make people’s lives significantly more difficult and less pleasant. Social injustices can cause people to experience lifelong stress and anxiety that is difficult to escape. 

Essentially, when someone experiences multiple instances of social injustice, this causes them to be on guard and always expect instances of a similar nature to happen. In essence, this means that people feel a pervasive sense of stress and anxiety that they’ll be mistreated. 

Sadly, chronic stress and anxiety can lead to a wide variety of other difficulties. As such, by being at a higher risk of experiencing these ailments, those affected by social injustices are at risk of developing a slew of other mental health disorders. 

Limiting one’s ambitions

Ambitions, such as career and life goals, are closely related to one’s sense of self-worth. In other words, when one has a low sense of self-worth, one won’t strive to achieve big, worthwhile goals. As has been noted, social injustices can deeply affect one’s sense of self-worth. As an extension, it can severely limit the goals one pursues. 

Ultimately, this can result in scores of individuals not pursuing stable careers or higher education. This, in turn, typically means that individuals will earn less money and have a less stable life. This being the case, it’s clear that social injustices can strongly limit one’s ambitions in education, career, and life. 

Increasing erratic behaviour

As has been noted, instances of social injustice can cause individuals to experience severe amounts of stress and anxiety. As a result of these experiences, individuals are more likely to act out, oftentimes in erratic ways. 

Acting out in erratic ways can have significant and horrible consequences in the modern age for a variety of individuals, especially children and teens. For those attending poorly funded schools, acting out could result in expulsion and eventually juvenile hall. This skewed version of juvenile justice can cause individuals to return to the prison system time and time again. 

This being the case, there’s a clear link between instances of social injustices, erratic behavior, and the penitentiary system. Hopefully, electoral integrity will evolve over time and put an end to these discriminatory, cruel, and unjust practices. 

Social injustices are devastating for mental health

Though many people discount the significant impact of social injustices, the truth is that they can severely impact people’s lives. From harming one’s sense of self-worth to limiting one’s career ambitions, they have the power to completely derail one’s life. Many are hopeful that the next decade will see more awareness brought to this problem and that the lives of countless people will benefit.

Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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