Consequences of Anxiety

Anxiety may have  number of negative consequences. The effects of anxiety will depend, however, upon a number, of factors, such as the intensity of the anxiety response, the duration of the response, and the methods or strategies available for coping with a threat.

Given that the perception of threat is central to the experience of anxiety, a common method of coping with anxiety involves avoidance behavior. To avoid that present threats to them. Most colleagues and universities offers a course in human communication that typically includes a unit on public speaking. Many of the students who withdraw from this course experience high levels o speech anxiety, a form of state anxiety that results from the prospect of real or imagined public speaking. Thus, unless one is able to develop mechanisms for coping with it, anxiety may cause one to avoid a variety of meaningful, rewarding, and enriching experiences.

Anxiety may negatively affect one’s ability to perform various cognitive tasks. Eysench notes that “very high levels of state anxiety cause a general impairment in virtually all aspects of information processing. Anxiety adversely affects cognitive performance by disrupting short-term memory process.

Chronic anxiety is associated with a number of physical ailments and diseases, such as asthma, gastrointestinal disease, and cardiovascular disease. Anxiety may be related to illness in two ways. First, the stress caused by chronic anxiety may make one susceptible to illness. Second, anxiety may occur as a result of illness or disease.

Anxiety experienced during social interactions may have a number of negative consequences for an individual. Social anxiety refers to feelings of apprehension, dread, and nervousness that arise in a wide range of social situation, from talking to one’s superior, giving a speech at a parent-teacher association meeting, participating at a job interview, to conducting one-time conversation with a stranger. Social anxiety results from the prospect or presence of interpersonal evaluation in real or imagined social settings. Two conditions must be both be present for an individual who experience social anxiety. First, one most be motivated to manage a particular impression, and second, the individual must feel that he or she will be unsuccessful  in managing the desired impression. In an employment interview, for example, a job candidate typically wants the interviewer to perceive him or her, among other things, industrious, knowledgeable, and friendly. Social anxiety will result if the candidate does not believe that he or she will make the desired impression. If the candidate (a) dose not care about the impression created or (b) feels confident  that he or she will create the desired impression, social anxiety will not result.

Social anxiety is a significant problem for many people. A study  revealed that more than 90 percent of all Americans feel shy from time to time. One third of the college students in United States feel nervous when they have to interact with people of the opposite sex and that 20 percent of all adults report an excessively hight level of concern or apprehension about public speaking. Approximately 2 percent of all adults are so chronically nervous in social situations that they may be classified as being social phobic. In a study of college students 80 percent of the respondents reported that interaction with strangers and authority figures made them feel shy.

A considerable amount of research has examined the social-psychological consequences and correlates of social anxiety. THe results of this search depict a rather bleak picture of the socially anxious individual.  The social anxiety and is consistently and negatively related to self-esteem and positively related to loneliness. Individuals who have high social anxiety are perceived by others to be less socially and interpersonally attractive, less credible, less friendly, less assertive, more detached, and less competent in communication. These individuals who have high social anxiety report  having fewer and more difficulty establishing heterosexual relationship than do their counterparts who have low social anxiety.

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