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Stress, Coping and Adaptation

Stress, Coping and Adaptation


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Published by: jgcriste on Jun 24, 2008
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Concepts of Stress

Definition of terms:
Stress  A disruptive condition that occurs in response to adverse influences from the internal or external environments  A condition in which the person responds to changes in the normal balanced state Stressors  A stimulus or situation that causes stress.

Classification of Stressors General Classification 1. Internal Stressor  Originate within the person 2. External Stressor  Originate outside the individual 3. Developmental Stressor  Occurs at a predictable time throughout life 4. Situational Stressor  Unpredictable may occur any time during life  Can Be Positive or Negative

According to Location 1. Physical e.g. (Cold,Heat, chemical agents)

2. Physiologic e.g. (pain and Fatigue) 3. Psychosocial e.g. (Failing exams and losing a job)

According to involved persons 1. Day to day stressors 2. Major complex occurrences involving large groups 3. Less frequent stressors involving few groups

According to Duration 1. Acute time limited stressor 2. Stressor sequence 3. Chronic intermittent stressor 4. Chronic Enduring Stressor

Stress as Stimulus
 Stress is defined as a stimulus, life event, or a set of circumstances that arouses physiologic and psychologic reactions that may increase the individuals vulnerability to illness Adolph Meyer  Relating life response to illness Holmes and Rahe  Life change units  A numerical scale ranking stressful life events and the amount of distress they cause( 43 life changes)

Stress as a Response

 Hans Selye defined stress as the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it

 Schafer defined stress as the arousal of mind and body in response to demands made upon them

Generalized Adaptation Syndrome (GAS or Stress syndrome)  Describes stress as wear and tear on the body occurring regardless of whether the stressor is positive or negative Localized Adaptation Syndrome (LAS)  Inflammatory and repair processes that occur in the at the local site of tissue injury

Phases of GAS/LAS A. Alarm reaction 2 phases 1. Shock Phase  SNS and Endocrine system react to stress(fight or flight response) 2. Countershock Phase  Reversal of changes brought by Shock phase B. Stage of Resistance 1. Adaptive responses that attempt to limit the damage of stress C. Stage of exhaustion 1. Physiologic and psychological resources are depleted and immune system becomes depressed

Stress as a Transaction

Transactional Stress theory  Encompasses a set of cognitive, affective and adaptive(coping) responses that arise out of person-environment transaction Mediating process(cognitive-motivational-relational) - Lazarus a. Cognitive appraisal i. Primary appraisal  Event is evaluated to what is at stake 1. Stressful  Harm or loss has occurred  Harm or loss is anticipated(Threatening)  Opportunity or gain is anticipated(Challenging) 2. Nonstressful (irrelevant/benign/positive) ii. Secondary appraisal  Event is evaluated to what is might and can be done iii. Reappraisal  Change of opinion based on new information

Manifestations of Stress

Physiologic       Dilatation of Pupils Sweat production Heart rate & Cardiac output inc Skin is Pale Na and H2o retention Respiratory rate and depth inc

     

Urinary output inc Dry mouth Peristalsis Dec Mental alertness Inc Muscle tension Inc Blood sugar inc

Psychological  Depression  Extreme feeling of sadness, despair, dejection, lack of worth, or emptiness

Emotional Symptoms • • • • Tiredness Sadness Emptiness Numbness

Behavioral Signs • • • • • • • Irritability Inability to concentrate Difficulty in making decisions Loss of sexual desire Crying Sleep disturbance Social Withdrawal

Physical Signs

• • • • •

Loss of appetite Weight loss Constipation Headache Dizziness

Anxiety  State of mental uneasiness, apprehension, dread, or foreboding or a feeling helplessness related to impending or anticipated threat to self or significant relationships Can be experienced at conscious, subconscious, or unconscious Levels of Anxiety Level Verbalization Changes Motor activity changes Perception Alteration and Attention Changes Inc arousal and alertness Uses learning to adapt Narrowed , inattentive and selective attention focus Slightly impaired learning Severe Communication difficult to understand Motor activity inc, Inability to relax, Fearful Facial Easily distracted No Focus Tachycardia, Hyperventilatio n Headache, dizziness, nausea Slight inc Mild gastric symptoms Respiratory and Circulatory Changes None Other Changes


Increase Questioning

Mild Restlessness Sleeplessness



Voice tremors and Pitch Changes

Tremors, Facial twitches, shakiness


Learning severely impaired Distorted exaggerated Perception Unable to learn Dyspnea, Palpitations, choking, Chest Pain Feeling of impending doom, paresthesia, sweating


Communication not understandable

Motor activity inc, Agitation, Unpredictable responses, Trembling, Poor motor coordination

Fear  Emotion or feeling of apprehension aroused by impending or seeming danger pain or a perceived threat

Anger   Emotional state consisting of a subjective feeling of animosity or strong displeasure Can be Verbal or Non verbal    Cognitive  Problem Solving  Thinking through threatening situations, using specific steps to arrive at a solution Hostility – overt antagonism harmful or destructive behavior Violence – exertion of physical force to injure or abuse Aggression – unprovoked attack, or a hostile, injurious or destructive action or outlook

Structuring  Arrangement or manipulation of a situation so that threatening events do not occur


Assuming a manner and facial expression that conveys sense of being in control or in charge

Suppression  Consciously and willfully putting a thought or feeling out of mind

Fantasy or Daydreaming  Unfulfilled wishes and desires are imagined as fulfilled.


Eustress and Distress  Eustress  The pleasurable stress that accompanies positive events. For example, a person may receive a $10,000 bonus and experience stress in deciding how to spend the money.

Distress  The unpleasant stress that accompanies negative events.

Type a/type b (Friedman and Rosenman, 1974)  Type a  Competitive, achievements orientation. Self-critical. No joy in accomplishments.

    Type b     

Time urgency. Impatient. Always on the go. Do several things at once. Anger/hostility- easily aroused to anger, which may be overt or covert.

Low levels of competitiveness Time urgency - patient Hostility - not easily aroused to anger Easy going Philosophical

Coping   Dealing with problems and situations, or contending with them successfully Cognitive and behavioral effort to manage specific external /internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of a person(Folkman and Lazarus)

Coping strategy/mechanism 1. Emotion Focused Coping  Lessens emotional distress 2. Problem Focused Coping  Direct change to the environment

Defense Mechanisms


Covering weaknesses by emphasizing a more desirable trait

Denial Displacement Identification Intellectualization Introjection Regression

Attempt to screen unacceptable realities by refusing to acknowledge them Transferring emotional reactions to another object or person Dec anxiety by imitating someone Use of rational explanation Identifying with others norms Resorting to an earlier more comfortable level of functioning

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