[LISTEN] The impact of microaggressions on mental health

What are the effects of microaggression on mental health?

Eusebius McKaiser engages specialist psychiatrist Dr Mashadi Motlana on microaggressions and how they affect mental health patients.

Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

The term was created in the 1970s to describe comments that fall into three categories which undermine and patronise the person or group at which it is being directed.

Studies show the impact of microaggression of racism on mental and somatic health as anxiety and depression, diabetes, cardiovascular risk, blood pressure, low self-esteem as well as poor cognitive performance.

Often the person who is a perpetrator of microaggression is not intentionally biased or intentionally racist.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, Specialist Psychiatrist

RELATED: Have you experienced microaggression? Here's how to handle it

In fact, in their minds, they are not racist and because it is not overt racism where it is racial slur and discrimination, often people who are unintentionally involved in this are not able to recognise how they are complicit and how they are making others feel.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, Specialist Psychiatrist

Listen to the full interview below...


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