Physiological Responses to Racism and Discrimination - Assignment Example

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The paper “Physiological Responses to Racism and Discrimination’ looks at verbal abuse, which has a serious impact on the subconscious as well as the conscious mentality of an individual. To the question of whether or not it could cause: depression, stress, mental disorders, low self-esteem, and anxiety…
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Physiological Responses to Racism and Discrimination
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Street Address: ST ZIP e-mail phone fax Psychology Psychologically, it has been well founded that verbal abuse has aserious impact on the subconscious as well as the conscious mentality of an individual. So, based on that statement, its viable to assume that someone who would make racial comments or degrade an individual based on their ethnicity, religion, or any personal attributes, would of course, cause the victim to retaliate in an irrational way, possibly with a mixture of anger and hate; amongst feelings of fear and uncertainty. To the question of whether or not it could cause: depression, stress, mental disorders, low self-esteem, and anxiety, the answer is yes, of course it could. If you've ever been confronted with someone who was all up in your face, type of deal, then you thoroughly comprehend the feelings that it gave you, and the sensations your body put out. Your mind was also in overtime during that moment, and logical thinking was way out there. These feelings are normal and come into action when you are boxed in a corner or wide open in the public, being demeaned with no foreseeable escape plan. The vulnerability a person feels when in a position such as this place an extreme amount of stress on an individual, which brings about positive and negative results, simultaneously. When evaluating how this situation could be positive we look at the facts of how the body is being primed to respond. "The sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is activated, increasing heat rate, blood pressure, and hormone levels" (Huffman Chapter3 Summary). The negative impact however, is in regards to the strain that is placed on the heart. If your fear gauge is too high or you're overly stressed then the chances of having a heart attack or heart palpitations resembling the symptoms of a heart attack can take place. A person could also hyperventilate or pass out from becoming overtly stressed. All in all though, it is the body's way of protecting itself utilizing the flee or fight mechanism, that is sent out from the many signals, given off in the brain.
Personally, if I were in a situation such as one of racial violence, or being judged based on my sexual choices or how I happened to look then my reaction would be one of sadness, and lack of acknowledgement. I might want to bark back a crude response or perhaps even fight but when I would really think about it, I would find that violence and ignorance only begets more so why deal with it in that way and why let it depress me or affect my health This is my personal view though, some people who are in the actual line of fire throughout their lives' don't see it as such an easy task to turn and walk away and continue on a normal, everyday living pattern.
This type of behavior does present major roadblocks and it does pay a price on the cognition of a person, especially young people. It adversely affects a person's health and over all daily life, in a way that can become crippling to them mentally. Suicide rates are at an all time high in some states due to this exact type of verbal abuse or judging of others. "Evidence from survey and laboratory studies suggest that direct encounters with discriminatory events contribute to negative health outcomes" (PubMed 2003). It's a sad day indeed in America, when people can't even walk out their front door without being negatively judged based on how they look or what color they are or what class stature they are from. Of course this is going to play a role in a person's life and affect their cognitive thought processes. They might start actually believing what they hear or become very violent people; the mind is a very delicate thing. It is my personal opinion that everyone should respect each other for who they are instead of what they look like or where they come from.
1. Huffman, "Psychology In Action, Seventh Edition" Date Published: 2000-2005, Chapter3. Summary
2. PubMed, "Physiological responses to racism and discrimination: an assessment of evidence" 2003, Date Accessed 30, October 2005 Read More
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