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Describe and Evaluate one Physiological and Psychological way to manage stress.

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Introduction

´╗┐Describe and Evaluate one Physiological and Psychological way to manage stress. Many different methods of stress management have been proposed and research conducted into their effectiveness. In this essay we will look at one Physiological method and one Psychological method. A physiological approach to managing stress is that of drug therapy, whereby the person experiencing stress will be given drugs which could reduce the symptoms of the stress, by reducing nervous system activity or ANS activity. The drugs referred to as ?anxiolytics? main aim is to reduce heightened physiological activity or simply the body?s response to stress. Originally ?barbiturates? were used to manage stress as they depress the central nervous system. However due to them inducing tiredness or even self-induced comas as the correct dosage was often difficult to predict they were replaced by what is more readily used today ?benzodiazepines?. Sold under various trade names Librium, Valium, Xanax and Halcion, benzodiazepines slow down the activity of the central nervous system by enhancing the action of a biochemical element called GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) which is the body?s natural form of anxiety relief. The benzodiazepines influence the levels of GABA in the brain by stopping other chemicals from exciting neurons in the brain and as a result of the drop in excitation levels in the brain the person feels calmer. ...read more.

Middle

Examples of side effects are drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures, severe skin rash and irregular heartbeat. Possibly the biggest drawback of using drugs as a therapy is the fact that rather fighting the causes of stress, they fight the symptoms. So in the cases of chronic stressors, taking drugs acts as a temporary solution despite the situation not being resolved. It would be more beneficial to the subject to address the cause of the stress directly. To conclude, whilst this treatment is effective in dampening symptoms of stress, its weaknesses as a therapy (side effects etc.) may outweigh the benefits. With the psychological approach to managing stress the techniques such as cognitive behaviour therapy or stress inoculation therapy help the person cope with the actual causes rather than just dealing with the symptoms of stress. The aim of these primarily emotion focused techniques is to replace irrational or negative thoughts with more positive ways of thinking about the problem. Meichenbaum (1985) introduced a form of cognitive therapy to deal with stress, called stress inoculation therapy (SIT), it is different to other stress treatments as Meichenbaum suggested that an individual should develop a form of coping before the problem (stress) ...read more.

Conclusion

Another important strength is the fact the research done indicates it works and is effective in reducing stress associated with exams, some phobias and moderately stressful situations. However there are some weaknesses too, the first being SIT requires training and is less effective in treating acutely stressful situations. Its effectiveness may also be determined by personality factors so my not be useful to everyone. It is also an expensive option to drugs, with drugs you simply take the pill and wait for it to alter physiological activity. In conclusion, whilst all of these therapies aid in coping with stress, none of them address the cause of stress directly. Psychological techniques such as relaxation or meditation may be the best coping strategy as they are inexpensive and can be applied to most real-life situations. When dealing with chronic stressors however, a far better relief would be to deal with the source of the stress rather than the symptoms. More importantly it is down to the actual person and their personality in coping with stress, some might feel drugs are not the way forward and deal with it holistically, whereas others might feel more inclined to taking the drugs to get rid of stress in the short term rather than deal with the real issues affecting them. ...read more.

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