Effects of shouting on health (A brief guide)

In this guide, we will discuss the effects of shouting on your health, how yelling/shouting/screaming while you are feeling angry can have a detrimental effect on your overall health short and long term. 

Effects of shouting on health

There are several negative effects of shouting on your health but not only when you are the one being yelled at but also when you are the one shouting, screaming or yelling.

If you have been immersed in a context where you are or were frequently yelled at, for instance, your parents or a partner.

In addition, yelling is said to lead to depression but how?

Well, if you are constantly living in a hostile environment where there is emotional abuse, then you are at a higher risk of developing depression.

Imagine being belittled, intimidated, insulted, manipulated through emotional abuse for a certain amount of time when you start experiencing emotional pain, low self-esteem, feelings of abandonment, neglect, sadness, etc.

Leading to feeling depressed and hopeless about your current situation. 

According to NAMI, “Being frequently yelled at changes the mind, brain and body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the blood stream, increasing muscular tension and more. Being frequently yelled at as children changes how we think and feel about ourselves even after we become adults and leave home. That’s because the brain wires according to our experiences—we literally hear our parents’ voices yelling at us in our heads even when they’re not there.”

Long term effects of yelling at your kids

If you are a parent, you may have lived under the premise “I just want what is best for my kid” but sometimes you wonder if your parenting choices are the best. 

When kids do something considered “wrong” then we tend to get frustrated at them because we would want them to understand why what they did was wrong and prevent them from doing it again.

However, expressing that frustration by yelling can have implications in their personality development in the short and long term.

It is normal to get frustrated with your children, but when you succumb to anger you can be sure you won’t make the best decisions or adopt the best disciplinary measures and yet you can impact them negatively.

Research suggests that yelling actually makes their behavior problems get worse, meaning you will have to yell even more to try to correct them, not being the most effective solution. 

Additionally, “Yelling and other harsh parenting techniques can quite literally change the way your child’s brain develops. That’s because humans process negative information and events more quickly and thoroughly than good ones (Goldman,2017).”

Studies that tend to compare brain MRI scans of people who have been enduring parental verbal abuse during their childhood have found physical differences in the areas of their brains that are in charge of processing sounds and language. 

Another reason why you should reconsider and stop yelling is due to the fact that yelling can lead to depression.

In addition to inflicting emotional pain, fear or feeling of abandonment when parents yell at their kids, verbal abuse can cause deeper psychological issues that tend to follow into adulthood if not addressed. 

Moreover, it has been suggested by researchers that enduring long periods of stress during childhood increases the risk of developing certain health problems as an adult. 

We could be listing all the negative effects yelling can have, not only during childhood but also adulthood.

Being in a relationship where your partner tends to yell at you all the time can also possess psychological damages that even though “invisible”, very real and serious.

Why yelling, screaming or shouting?

Have you ever wondered why you or someone else will resort to yelling, screaming or shouting?

In many occasions, we can link this type of behavior with anger.

Think about the following, you are trying to prove your point, the person you are talking to seems to ignore what you are saying.

Most likely you will notice how your heart rate increases, your breathing rate, your temperature may increase, your muscles tense and then, you yell and will probably act out of frustration to reduce your physiological symptoms. 

These physiological signs can be attributed to someone that is angry or experiences anger, being a common human emotion.

“It is a strong emotion often caused by some form of wrong-doing, ill-treatment or unfairness. We experience the feeling of anger when we think we have been mistreated, injured or when we are faced with problems that keep us from getting what we want or attaining our personal goals (Hendricks et al., 2013)”.

Anger can be explained according to the cognitive behavior theory as the result of several factors such as previous or past experiences, behavior learned from others, being genetically predisposed or having a lack of problem-solving skills.

However, we could be lying if we said we have never been angry and everyone seems to handle it differently.  

In addition, it has been suggested that anger may have two sources, an internal and an external source.

The first, “stems from irrational perceptions of reality and low frustration point” where psychologists have identified the four types of thinking that can lead to internal sources of anger:

  • Emotional reasoning. 
  • Low frustration tolerance.
  • Unreasonable expectations.
  • People-rating.

As for external sources, Psychologists have identified many reasons why people get angry but here are four categories of events:

  • Verbal abuse. This refers to “personal attacks” against other people by belittling, intimidating, bullying, manipulating, insulting, etc.
  • Being intolerant to other people’s ideas/opinions. People tend to disagree with other people in a very aggressive and non-assertive way most of the time, where people attack other’s ideas/opinions by cutting these ideas and opinions down.
  • Threatening. People threaten other people’s basic needs which makes them defend themselves (e.g. work, life, family, etc.)
  • Decreased level of tolerance for frustration due to stress/anxiety, physical and emotional pain, drugs/alcohol, etc. 

Is anger considered a disease?

Anger is not exactly considered as a disease but scientists believe it can contribute to the manifestation of certain medical conditions.

For instance, the Science Mag indicates that “according to a new study, angry people have elevated blood levels of a protein related to inflammation, which may partly explain their higher risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Moreover, they explain that “high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are a better predictor than high cholesterol for cardiovascular disease. High CRP levels are also associated with depression. In addition, studies have shown that angry (formerly known as “type A”) or depressive personalities run a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.”

This could indicate how being angry and having an angry outburst, can put your heart at great risk.

One study found that people with anger proneness as a personality trait were at twice the risk of coronary disease than their less angry peers.

In addition, anger can increment the risk of having a stroke from a blood clot to your brain or bleeding within the brain “during the two hours after an angry outburst”.

Also, your immune system can be affected, meaning you are more prone to getting sick.

It seems that just by recalling an angry experience is enough to suppress the levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, which is considered to be the first line of defense against infections. 

Moreover, anger has been linked to headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, skin problems (such as eczema), among others. 

However, anger is not only limited to physical manifestations of diseases such as the ones we just mentioned but also psychological illnesses.

In fact, it has been suggested that anger management issues can make your anxiety worse and also has been linked to depression. 

Why is this blog about the effects of shouting on health important?

This blog about the effects of shouting on health indicates how more than screaming, shouting or yelling as aggressive or hostile behavior also considered as verbal abuse, reflects our emotional state.

On many occasions, anger is the emotion that takes over, which has been linked to coronary diseases, stroke, anxiety, depression, insomnia, skin problems, etc. 

Effectively managing the anger by adopting communication skills and emotional regulation, will prevent you from having angry outbursts as frequently as you used to avoid the deterioration of your health by developing some of the listed health conditions mentioned previously.

 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the effects of shouting on health

Is yelling bad for your health?

Yelling is definitely bad for your health, whether you are the one yelling or being yelled at.

Yelling has been associated with chronic pain where studies have found a link between negative childhood experiences such as being abused, and a latter development of painful chronic conditions.

Some of those conditions include arthritis, migraines, back and neck pain/problems, and other chronic pain.

How anger affects your brain and body?

Anger can affect your brain and body.

Our brain processes the information about emotional responses meaning that, when someone experiences anger, their brain sends a signal to the body to release stress hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

When we are constantly angry and the same response is triggered over and over, it seems to have a negative effect on our brain’s ability to slow down or “switch off”. 

Is anger good for health?

Anger can be good for your health, under certain circumstances.

It is believed that anger may help someone think more rationally but having unhealthy episodes of anger or angry outbursts for long periods of time, can actually explode in rage and make us take bad decisions that are moved by emotions.

How do I stop yelling when angry?

You can stop yelling when you are angry if you consciously become aware when hearing yourself.

In addition, attempt to breathe slowly and deeply so you can slow down your heart rate, reduce muscle tension and relax.  

What happens to the body when you are angry?

When we get angry we experience physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, faster breathing rate, flushing, higher temperature, testosterone production increases, the stress hormone (cortisol) decreases and your left hemisphere becomes more stimulated. 

Recommended reading

References

Jacobs, H. (2018, Feb) The Problem With Yelling. Retrieved from Nami.org.

Goldman, R. (2017, Apr.) 5 Serious Long-Term Effects of Yelling At your Kids. Retrieved from Healthline.com. 

Holden, C. (2004, Sep.) Screaming Your Way to Bad Health. Retrieved from Sciencemag.org.

Strong, D. (2015, May.) 7 Ways Anger Is Ruining Your Health. Retrieved from Everydayhealth.com.

Hendricks, L., Bore, S., Aslinia, D. & Morris, G. (2013) The Effects of Anger on the Brain and Body. National Forum Journal of Counseling and Addiction. Vol 2, No. 1. 

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