Los Angeles (PRWEB) May 1, 2006
High gas prices are not just taking it toll on our pocketbook but are beginning to take a toll on our mental health, according to noted psychologist Robert R. Butterworth Ph.D., who has been talking to motorists and who was quoted in Web MD talking about increasing "gas rage" behavior in the U.S.
According to Butterworth, some motorists, when faced with soaring gas prices, can't cope and they displace their anger and frustration on the first available target, such as fellow victims waiting in line at the pumps or service station attendants, both of whom are not to blame for the increases but are an available target.
Day after day as we travel in our automobiles past gas stations with prices prominently displayed, there is no escape from being reminded of the rising costs. "I can understand their plight," says the Los Angeles psychologist. "I drive a Lincoln Town Car and I have had had to take a few deep breaths, shake my fist in the air and attempt to think positive thoughts before filling up at the pump these last few weeks."
The quickly rising gas prices also translate into future sacrifices, such as shortened or postponed vacations, deferring of future purchases or even family security, leaving us even more depressed. "When people are working harder but still have to sacrifice more for basic needs they become more stressed out and look for a target for their anger and depression. In a psychological sense, the rising prices are a constant reminder of all that is problematic in our society," says Butterworth.
Butterworth advises that, "People need to begin to get psychologically prepared to 'fill up' by reminding themselves to stay calm and not take their anger out on innocent victims. The psychologist is afraid, however, that if gas prices continue to soar, the risk of anger and violent episodes at the pump could increase."
Psychologist and media commentator, Robert R. Butterworth, Ph.D., has assisted radio, TV, and print media since 1984 in finding answers and providing insight to enhance understanding of psychological issues on a variety of topics. His comments, observations and op-ed articles have appeared in most of the major newspapers in the United States and worldwide.