Stress And Factors Which Can Influence Health
Stress is a common problem in the modern world, it is a problem that most people face on a daily basis. The definition of stress can vary, psychologists define stress “as any uncomfortable, emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavior change.” Stress can be defer depending on an individual, stress can be beneficial as one may take it for motivation however, too much stress can be harmful to our health. In this essay, I will be looking at a case study on stress, as well as looking at factors that can influence health.
The flight or fight response, otherwise known as “acute stress response” (short-lived), was first described by Walter Cannon (American physiologist) in 1920, used to describe animals’ reaction to a threat. This theory was then recognized as the first stage of the general adaptation syndrome. The fight or flight response is a response, triggered by the release of hormones in the body in preparation for a fight (to deal with the problem), or flight (run away) in which can be both physical and mental. As a response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is active by the sudden release of hormones, in which the nervous system stimulates the adrenal gland to trigger catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. The catecholamines cause the body to immediately react causing increase heart rate, blood flow, and breathing rate. Once the threat is over, the body takes 20-60 minutes to return back to its pre-arousal level.
In case study one, the patient experienced cognitive stressors. A cognitive stressor is the inability to solve a problem or coming up with a creative project. The stressor was triggered by a conflict between her boyfriend regarding the future and her manager over a marketing complaint. To deal with the confrontation, the patient immediately perceived these two events as a threat triggering her flight or fight response. The sympathetic nervous system caused her body to immediately react to the potential threat so in this case confrontation, to experience hyperventilation, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, anxiety, and a dreadful sense of doom in which she interpreted her symptoms as a heart attack. However, what the patient thinks is having a heart attack, is actually stress as confirmed by her cardiologist. The flight or fight response can play a critical role in how we deal with a certain situation, it how prehistoric man survived and in modern-day era, can actually be helpful depending on how someone copes.
Holmes and Rahe (1967) devised a questionnaire called the social readjustment rating scale (SRRS), this questionnaire was used to identify major stressful events. This questionnaire included life events that were either severe such as the death of a spouse, to mild such as changing school which happened within a 12-month period, with the mean value. If someone is scared with less than 150, they have a 30% chance of suffering from stress, and anything over 300 would be an 80% chance of suffering from stress. The aim of the study using the SRRS, was to be able to correlate the result with the onset of illness. The questionnaires were used on 2500 male sailors, the result was that the researchers concluded that life changes had a strong correlation with increased chance of stress and health breakdown. Although the questionnaire had a strong link between the higher SRRS score and illness, it did not take into consideration people’s differences. It was highly problematic, as it either overestimated/underestimated people’s stress levels and may not have any correlations to increase health breakdown.
Lazarus et al (1981) devised a questionnaire called the Daily Hassles and Uplifts Scale. This questionnaire was composed of 117 items of daily events. The participants were asked to complete the questionnaire only at end of the day in which they had experienced the previous month, the items were rated on a scale of 0-3, 0 being no applicable and 3 being a big deal. The total score is calculated and used as an indicator of stress. The result was that the hassle scale tended to be more accurate with predicting stress such as anxiety and depression rather than life events. However, this questionnaire did not take into consideration individual problems and may over/underestimate their stress levels.
Hans Selye, a medical doctor, and researcher (1956) came up with a theory called the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) to explain the short-term effects of exposure to stressors with lab rats. He did this by observing a series of physiological changes in the rats after they were exposed to stressful situations. Selye identified these stages as alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. The alarm stage is the initial symptom that the body experiences under stress, otherwise known as the fight or flight response. This reaction causes the heart rate to increase and the adrenal gland to release a substance called cortisol. The resistance stage is when the body starts to repair itself after the initial shock, which causes the body/hormones to settle and normalize. If the situation does not settle and the body remains on high alert, it results in the body eventually adapting to the higher stress level. The body unconsciously attempts to cope with the situation and continues to secret hormones, which leads to the exhaustion stage. The exhaustion stage is the result of prolonging or chronic stress for a long period of time resulting in negative consequences such as emotional, physical, and psychological stress. “Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.” (Selye, H. 1956)
Richard Lazarus (1966) transactional theory of stress and coping (TTSC). This occurs between a person and the environment. The TTSC consist of stressor, primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, and coping response. The stressor is a stimulus that causes stress, which can come in a variety of forms such as biological, environmental, cognitive, and life change stressors. When confronted by the stressor, the body’s initial immediate response to the threat (fight or flight), is the body’s way of responding to the threat which is the primary appraisal either as a threat, challenge, or loss. This follows by the secondary appraisal of the how-to body that can best deal with the situation. This can be done through internal/external options, internal options could be through willpower, inner strength, or meditation, external options could be seeking help through family/friends and healthcare professions. The outcome can either be beneficial or harmful. The coping response can be either beneficial or harmful called problem-based control, in which you feel in control of the situation by learning different strategies such as new skills. Emotional-based coping is when the person fails to cope with the situation or feels in little control, thus not being able to solve the problem which results in emotional distress.
The treatments I would recommend to the patient would be biofeedback (biological/behavior techniques) and stress inoculation theory SIT (cognitive theorphy0. Biofeedback theory offers the patient information on the state of their health, such as high blood pressure and how to manage it. SIT theory was developed by Donald Meichenbaum (1985) and as a basic idea to cope with stressors. The treatment consists of three phases, conceptualization, skill application, and rehearsal, and application and follow-through of the phrase. Both of these tests have shown to be very effective in helping people with stressful jobs. This will help with our patient as she often mistakes her symptom for a heart attack, the biofeedback theory will help reassure the patient. This will help the patient, in terms of her job and pressure from her boyfriend and mother about her future to take control of her stress.
In conclusion, stress can have a massive influence on our health. However, with appropriate treatments and methods, many people are able to get the right help needed.
With the fast manner in which the modern world works, stress has become more of an unhealthy personality trait than just an occasional ailment. ‘The last two decades have witnessed a growing societal concern with stress and its psychological toll’ (Holahan, 1994). Peggy A. Thoits talked about how ‘stressors can negatively affect physical health ;or mental health (or both simultaneously)’ and how stress significantly relates to the occurrence of multiple conditions such as flus, depression, angina, and alcohol and drug...
The main focus of this study is to see the picture of the relationships between work stress, work family conflict, and burnout and firefighter safety behavior outcomes. The most important things is, this study provides confirmation that burnout, as a stress-related process, does negatively impact safety performance in the fire service. The data was collected from 208 professional firefighters from a city fire and rescue department located in the southeastern United States. Work related stress, and particularly burnout, has been...
Stress plays a part in the lives of everyone. That’s the way our body reacts to any changes that require an adjustment to a response. Police Officers are in a position of authority and making split second life or death decisions on a regular basic making the stress level be at the higher percentage than other jobs. The stress relate to that can have a major negative impact on their lives. According to the Cross study performed to Police Officers...
Abstract In today’s society students are exposed to stress. Stress is a process in which when an organism’s welfare is threatened or challenged by environmental events, prompting the organism to respond to that threat (Gatchel, 1996). Student Athletes experience different stressors depending on their athletic status such as time demands, injuries and conflict with their coaches or teammates (Humphrey, Yow, & Bowden, 2000; Papanikolaou et al., 2003). The main focus of the research is the experiences of Senior High Athlete...
“During my work as a police officer, I encountered many emotional demanding situations in which my colleagues and I often seemed to act unfelt emotions or suppressed emotions that would better not be displayed at that particular moment. For instance, during my first weeks of duty I wondered how police officers could stay seemingly untouched while being confronted with drunk and offensive people. One colleague once told me: “I don’t take it personally, it’s part of the job and so...
Introduction The purpose of this study is to gather information about perceived stress undergraduate college students have and how it affects their perceived academic performance. Recognizing causes of stress could help students to mitigate stress and perform better academically. How does the amount of perceived stress on undergraduate college students affect their perceived academic performance? Literature Review Sharmila, (2017) found that “A focus on student’s needs & problems can help to prevent the harmful effects of stress on Academic Performance”...
In today’s society, many people are talking about a healthy lifestyle. In my opinion, a healthy lifestyle is associated with the concept of practicing a good life pattern. Hence, all human beings in this world do not run away from having problems in their lives. So, they must try to deal with it or solve the problem in their own way. When problems can not be resolved, there is a stress in their lives. In this case, the human life...
For the past decades, student athletes have been under an overwhelming amount of stress. Sports can be a feature of numerous understudies’ high school understanding. They give understudies chances to make new companions, have a fabulous time, and figure out how to adjust homework with after school exercises. With every one of these advantages, there are also potential negatives. A few understudies could be excessively worried, or troubled with homework. Student athletes’ primary cause to their overwhelming stress is due...
High school is supposed to be a time where teens get to have fun with little to worry about. However, teens today just feel a large amount of stress that is associated with having too many things to do. Between extracurricular activities, advanced classes, responsibilities at home and part-time jobs, teens are beginning to get burnt out. They do not want to be underprepared for their futures in college or in the workforce, so teens believe that they have to...
01 / 09
Fair Use Policy
EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via email@example.com.
We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.