Coping with Uncertainty and Mental Health

William Kellogg
May 13, 2019

Man in his natural curious state makes uncertainty an unpleasant feeling, due to his desire to predict, understand and control events surrounding him he finds the uncertainty seriously discomforting. The inability to predict the future can make one worried and think of many scary possibilities which could lead to loss in confidence, as a result of this, the mind becomes unsettled and the feeling can be uncomfortable. Difficulty in coping with uncertainty and the re-occurrence of this difficulty could affect one’s mental health, in that the situation could keep feeding anxiety and worry. The inability to cope with uncertainty could be a risk to depression.

Few studies have been carried out to test the linkage between the inability to cope with uncertain events and mental health. Though most of these events may seem possible such as in the lab where uncertainty is seen in a problem as limit to what can be accepted and in therapy as managing of problems by channeling thoughts or actions. The study checks if the difficulty to cope with uncertainty can be linked with mental health and more importantly if it causes mental health difficulties.

How we react to uncertainty affects the mental health cannot be explained with all certainty but based on research carried out on the topic some possibilities can offered. In the mixture of findings, the best evidence that inability to cope with uncertainties can affect one’s mental health was related to anxiety, having uncertainty as a necessity for any kind of anxiety. As a matter of fact, from a number of studies it was found that it could cause or aggravate symptoms of anxiety, simply because struggling with cope with unpredictable events could make us worried. “I’m kind of a believer that there are no clear-cut points between sub-clinical and diagnosed anxiety” Grupe says “it is a continuous spectrum where uncertainty plays an increasing role, increasing the suckiness of unpredictability”

The inability to cope with uncertainty might assist in understanding depression, evidence from some studies suggests that one’s mood can be dampen when we are unable to predict future events, and it is known that low mood can be associated with depression but not with all certainty therefore needing more investigation. There is also little evidence relating the difficulty to cope uncertain situations and OCD symptoms such as obsessions and compulsions, needing more research.

Understanding the risk factors relating to common health disorder (CMD) can help provide improvement in support for many people with such experience. Over the years, psychologists have been suggesting that the risk factors of one mental health condition can be similar to others.

William Kellogg

William Kellogg is a veteran writer who's covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.

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