What Are the Causes and Effects of Frustration?

People have many goals they want to achieve, which can serve an emotional purpose, such as going to a movie, or a practical purpose, such as going to work. Any interference on the path to accomplishing a goal can cause frustration. Frustration's effects can include anger, depression, physical and mental stress, loss of confidence and self-destructive habits.

When someone is frustrated, the most typical reaction is anger. This is an emotional reaction usually directed at the obstacle. When the obstacle is too influential to direct anger at, this anger is frequently redirected to something less influential.

As achievement of a specific goal is repeatedly thwarted, many people gradually succumb to a loss of confidence. A person with no confidence in her ability to accomplish a goal often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy by putting less effort into achieving said goal. She may give up on the goal entirely.

Some people who continue to be frustrated in their attempts to achieve their goals become stressed. Their body goes into fight-or-flight mode when they can neither fight the stressor nor flee it. Stress causes headaches, stomach aches, hypertension, anxiety, ulcers and even heart attacks. Others who are continually frustrated develop depression, which affects every facet of one's daily life, or self-destructive habits like drinking and doing drugs, especially if they are frustrated in a lot of ways while attempting to obtain various goals.