Rejection spawns ill health, anti-social feelings

August 14th, 2011 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 14 (IANS) Acceptance is fundamental to the well-being and worth of an individual. But its evil twin — rejection — spawns ill health and anti-social feelings, which can have damaging consequences.

“If you turn on the television set and watch any reality TV programme, most of them are about rejection and acceptance,” said Nathan Dewall, psychologist at the University of Kentucky who co-led a study with Brad J. Bushman of Ohio State University.

According to him, acceptance and rejection came from belonging to a group that helped our ancestors — the weakest among animal species — survive harsh environment, said a University of Kentucky statement.

Being part of a group still helps people feel safe and protected - even when every person has become an island unto himself, reports the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

People with depression may face exclusion more often because of the symptoms of their disorder and being rejected makes them more depressed and even contribute to suicide, Dewall said.

They don’t sleep well, their immune systems sputter and they even tend to die sooner than people who are surrounded by others who care about them, he added.

Exclusion and mental health problems can join together in a destructive loop. People with social anxiety navigate their world constantly, worried about being socially rejected.

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