“Any stimulus acting on the body and results in certain physiological changes in the body are cumulatively termed as stress.”
Each person has a very personal view of his stress, based on his perception, his past experience with other events, social support, his strengths and biographical assets. Other factors which influence the outcome of stress are the race age, gender, marital status, socioeconomic status and the early developmental experiences.
Females are less prone to develop stress as compared to male because they tend to recover quicker from illness and stresses than male and therefore live longer. Females show less physiological reactivity to stress as compared to male as well. Older people are more prone to develop it and are vulnerable to stress.
Early parental loss, quality of care and love received in early years of life and children’s early exposures to socialization shape the response of people to different types of stress.
Stress is broadly classified into two main types;
Physiological Stress: This includes temperature, noise, hunger, disease, smoking, alcohol drinking and similar kind of such habits are considered generalized life stressors affecting the most people.
Psychosocial Stress: This type includes factors such as low self-esteem, social factors like of life events such as a death of a spouse, divorce, marital separation, death of a close family member, personal injury etc. Within this type, other stress factors are job instability, economic viability, career satisfaction, marriage children etc.
Stressors have the quality to bring about a physiological change in the bo0dy of a person. Some of the stressors produce impacts which are of short duration and other produce impacts of long lifespan.
Signs and Symptoms
Our body responds to stress via physical, behavioral and emotional means.
Here sympathetic and parasympathetic activity increase leading to increased heart rate, dry mount, rapid breathing and increase blood pressure. There are nausea, heartburn, chest pains and muscle aches and stomach upset complaints.
- Social withdrawals
- Excessive drinking and smoking
- Drug abuse
- Poor sleep
- Change in eating habits
- Impaired relations
- Reckless behavior
These are all types of behaviors that show that a person is undergoing stress in his life and is unable to manage it.
Emotional manifestation: Here people show following signs and symptoms;
- Dear and anger
- The feeling of being abandoned and isolated
Here people try to avoid stressor by expressing the fright and flight response.
Management and Treatment*
Treating stress is vital for survival and the health of a person. Poorly managed stress can result in disease and seriously impairs the quality of life as well results in undermining of the achievement and objectives of a person.
- Certain medication can be used along with certain psychological treatment. If a person is suffering from a stress of any kind he should try to stop self-blaming, not to get fixed to his past failures, and accept the fact that he cannot change the things.
- Do exercises and take good food. Use vitamin B complex and vitamin C.
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation meditation and engage in certain hobbies to combat stresses of life.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.