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Insecurities are associated with societal demands which might or might not be real, as well as norms set by our friends, family, and peers. When we start comparing ourselves to others and experience feelings of inferiority, we develop insecurities. These happen when we suffer a negative consequence for being different from other people or when we perceive we do not live up to our potential. Insecurity affects individuals of all genders, ages, and ethnicities, even though many go to a great extent to hide their symptoms.

Depending on the person and the circumstance, undesirable emotions like rage, embarrassment, guilt, depression, anxiety, and reluctance may emerge. Depending on the context, these feelings may be constant or frequently fluctuating. But are you aware of how your health is affected by insecurity? Yes, it affects your well-being in a variety of ways. Continue reading to discover the link between insecurity and mental health.

There are virtually infinite possible points of vulnerability and insecurity. In fact, anxiety frequently spreads to other facets of life. Nevertheless, some types of insecurity are more prevalent than others.

Feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy characterize insecurity. It causes concern regarding your ambitions, relationships, and abilities to deal with specific events.

Everyone experiences insecurity on occasion. It can manifest in various spheres of life and has numerous origins. It may result from a traumatic incident, prior experience patterns, social training (learning norms and principles by observing others), or local contexts like home or school.

It may also be the result of widespread instability. Those who face unpredictability in their daily lives seem to be more likely to feel uncomfortable regarding common resources and routines.

On the other side, there is no external cause for insecurity. Instead, it may manifest as a personality quirk or brain chemistry.

Knowing the signs and causes of insecurities enables you to manage your own and provide others with the necessary support.

There is no single cause for insecurity; multiple variables might contribute to the condition. A traumatic incident, a crisis like bankruptcy or divorce, or a loss can cause insecurity. It can also be caused by a person’s environment, as uncertainty or upheaval in daily life can generate worry and insecurity in response to commonplace, routine occurrences. People with repeated insecurities may also suffer from low self-esteem, body image concerns, a lack of life direction, or a sense of being overlooked by others.

To better understand the issue, below are the three most prevalent root causes of insecurity.

Insecurity resulting from rejection

The essence of mental health is how one perceives, values, respects, and loves himself. It is collectively known as self-esteem. Fear of rejection is a severe obstacle to having a strong sense of self-worth.

It is entirely natural that you feel uneasy after a recent breakup. However, breakups and other heartbreaks are not the root causes of insecurity. It might be a professional and job-related letdown as well. You may have been turned down during an interview or for a promotion. Regardless of the cause, it left you feeling undeserving.

This previous experience will obscure your perception of upcoming events, opportunities, and people. Even if it occurred recently, if it was a traumatic experience, the scars would still be fresh. It can prevent you from approaching individuals or seizing advantageous possibilities.

Insecurity resulting from social anxiety

Social judgment anxiety is one of the most prevalent forms of insecurity. Some individuals experience self-consciousness, anxiety, and fear when in public. It makes no difference if the gathering consists of coworkers or family members. This includes even the tiniest social encounters, such as a date.

This uneasiness stems from a deeply entrenched notion that you are not deserving. That you have nothing of value to add or that anything you say or do may be used to ridicule you and will forever be linked to you.

The origins of this social anxiety could be traced back to childhood or any other occurrence that causes people to feel extremely uncomfortable while meeting and presenting themselves to new people. Perhaps your parents were extremely critical or you were tormented at school. This caused you to feel that it is best to remain silent and avoid the spotlight.

While others may initially classify it as understandable social discomfort, it can have significant effects on a person’s mental health. People are less likely to include you in social situations the more they observe you avoiding them.

If you have social anxiety, you will not raise your hand in class even if you know the answer. When your supervisor asks for your opinion in front of others, you would not provide it. You will devise excuses to avoid presentations and meetings. All of them drastically diminish your chances of gaining the necessary professional and personal exposure for advancement.

Insecurity resulting from perfectionism

Some individuals have unusually high expectations for themselves. If you are one of these people, you know that you continuously worry about not meeting these standards. You worry that the dinner you prepare is far from flawless, that the route you took to work wasn’t the best, and that your last email signature wasn’t ideal.

You dislike it because you have a perfect scale in your head, and your actions do not measure up to it. This is not a positive sign for your mental health.

This has significant repercussions, particularly for your studies and career. The dread of coming short of perfection will prevent you from completing your term paper or project report. Despite possessing the necessary expertise, you consistently fail to complete projects on time.

Part of it may be an internal criterion of perfection, but it may also be external. You may be concerned that your boss or partner will not appreciate your imperfect work. This extreme fear of external evaluation will be accompanied by paralyzing self-doubt that will gradually diminish both the quality and quantity of your output.

Despite the fact that the expectations are unattainable, you will feel as though you should be able to meet them because you notice others doing so with ease. Therefore, your weight loss of 10 kilograms in 2 months is nothing to be proud of, given that someone else lost 20 kilograms.

This relentless comparison is detrimental to your mental health. Sadly, social media has exacerbated the problem. You are now regularly informed of others’ accomplishments, which, relative to your own, you consider to be extraordinary. This smartphone feedback loop is both addicting and harmful.

Signs of insecurity are as diverse as the disease itself, but there are a few general trends to be aware of.

Inadequate or shallow sense of self-worth

An indication of insecurity is low self-esteem or a bad self-image, especially if it appears incongruous with external observation. Low self-esteem is when you have negative thoughts about yourself or your talents. It can contribute to other issues, particularly mental health. Consult a physician if your self-esteem is extremely low.

Due to the fact that self-esteem is typically measured by self-report, insecurity might result in shallow self-esteem. Individuals with insecurity frequently wish to look confident, despite the fact that their verbal statements may contradict their natural responses to specific situations.

Social anxiety can also be indicated by intentional self-misrepresentation or incorrect behavior/information on social media. The act of pretending then exacerbates social uneasiness.

Perfectionism

Insecurity can manifest as an inability to accept progress and a need to manage and revise tasks until they are flawless. It originates from the feeling that you or your performance are never sufficient.

It can show as a symptom of insecurity in any aspect of life but is most commonly associated with employment and physical insecurity. For instance, eating disorders frequently co-occur with both excessive perfectionism and attachment anxieties.

Self-Isolation

Social uneasiness might cause individuals to shun social connections, leading them to isolate themselves. Sometimes, these individuals prefer to communicate digitally in scenarios they feel they can control over the Internet.

Avoidant or Anxious Attachment Style

Attachment insecurities frequently result in maladaptive attachment styles or approaches to partnerships. The two most prevalent attachment styles are anxious and avoidant.

Anxious attachment types are defined by emotional reliance (depending on another person for one’s emotional well-being), a fear of being left alone, and unattainable ideals of ideal relationships.

Additionally, avoidant attachment behaviors stem from insecurity, but in the opposite manner. This style is characterized by superficial relationships and a lack of engagement in more romantic relationships.

Unsatisfactory Job Performance

Job instability (lack of job stability) can encourage certain individuals, but it typically results in subpar performance. It can lead to absenteeism (avoiding work), turnover intention (wanting to quit employment shortly after starting), alienation from coworkers and group projects, and negative work attitudes.

Anxiety or Depression

All sorts of insecurity can result in diminished mental health. Often, depressive or anxious behavior or thought is the result of insecurity, especially when that uneasiness originates or is accompanied by false beliefs and mental patterns.

Of all the links between mental health disorders and insecurity, the link between insecurity and depression is the strongest. Insecurity can be affected by a person’s life experiences and in turn have significant effects on mental health. There could also be a genetic link, with insecurity being an inherited quality that is transmitted from generation to generation and exhibited through personality and temperament, or a mental health condition that exacerbates insecurities.

Among the possible reasons for mental health issues stemming from insecurity are:

Lack of emotional support from family: Individuals with loving, caring families are less prone to experience mental health issues from moments of insecurity. Mentally insecure people that are let down by family and friends become the most vulnerable to mental health conditions.

Lack of physical needs: When people are unable to meet their physiological needs, such as food, shelter, and protection, they sometimes feel insecure and struggle to meet their psychological needs, such as protection, safety, and emotional security.

Lack of emotional intelligence: Those with poor emotional intelligence are unable to effectively regulate their own and others’ feelings, resulting in unstable relationships and less trust.

Lack of frankness or openness: When people aren’t open, comfortable, and curious about new situations and people, they experience more anxiety and fear, resulting in a reduced sense of security.

Disagreeable personality: Disagreeable persons tend to have more social disputes because they are not helpful, supportive, or empathetic. These characteristics create a sense of danger and insecurity in social circumstances.

An underlying psychological condition: Insecurity and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety have a reciprocal relationship. Insecurity is also linked to personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

As people become dependent on other people or connections, their insecurity increases as they perceive the possibility of the relationship ending.

  1. Insecurity: Types, symptoms, and how to handle it. WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/signs-insecurity.
  2. Insecurity: Definition, causes, & 11 Ways to Cope. Choosing Therapy. Available at: https://www.choosingtherapy.com/insecurity.
  3. Do you know insecurity affects your physical and mental health? OnlyMyHealth. Available at: https://www.onlymyhealth.com/how-does-human-insecurity-affect-health-1642663915.
  4. Insecurity. GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog. Available at: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/insecurity.

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