Lost car keys, tardiness, family death, and loss of job, pressure, frustration, and social changes-these are different types of stress, the process by which one appraises and copes with environmental threats and challenges. The events of daily life flow through a psychological filter that helps a person the react in certain ways. Some stress early in life is conducive to later emotional and physical growth. But stresses, or conflicts, can also threaten a person’s life as well and health.
Behavioral psychologists have determined there is a correlation between stress and the declination on one’s behavior. One may increase his usage of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs to escape his stressful state. Other problems include arguing with friends, neglecting appearance, crying easily, difficulty concentrating, and withdrawing from family and friends. In extreme cases, stress can cause insanity. For example, Marilyn Lemack was convicted of tragically drugging and smothering her three children. Her plea was insanity due to stress in her marital life.
Emotional changes are also a common effect of stress. Symptoms include anger, anxiety, depression, nervousness, loneliness, and rejection. Changes in emotional state may lead to psychological disorders or even death, if not treated. Suicide is among the leading outcomes of stress-related depression.
Not only does stress effect one’s emotional and behavioral states, buy it also plays a large role in one’s physical state. Symptoms of stress include, but are not limited to, allergies, back pain, respiratory infections, fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, sleeping problems, and dizziness. Canadian scientist Hans Selye made a basic point of stress. It states that although the human body comes designed to cope with temporary stress, prolonged stress can produce physical deterioration. MRI brain scans of people who have experienced a prolonged amount of stress often show the results of a shrunken hippocampus, the inner brain structure vital to laying down explicit memories.
Stress can put people at risk for one of today’s four leading causes of serious illness and death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lung disease. Such findings were proven true by studies done by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman in 1956. Psychophysiological illnesses are stress-related. They are illnesses, such as high blood pressure, that are caused by high levels of stress. Immune responses may also be effected by stress. They can either speed up or slow down causing a variety of illnesses such as lupus or multiple sclerosis. Stress does not make one sick, but it does restrain one’s immune functioning, making him more vulerable to foreign invaders.
Stress in unavoidable. If one can not eliminate stress by changing or ignoring a situation, one must learn to manage it by confronting or escaping the problem. Stress management may include aerobic exercise, relaxation, and social support. Without knowledge of stress and ways to manage it, people are more susceptible of disease and psychological disorders.
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Topic: The physical and mental effects of Stress
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