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STRESS Biological Methods Psychological Methods
How they work... Benzodiazepines: Stress Inoculation Therapy:
They increase the effect of neurotransmitter GABA which dampens Assessment therapist discusses problems with individual and trues to
neurones in the brain. help/change their perception of how to deal with it. For example creating
GABA increases chloride ions in neurones which make it difficult to negative self-statements which will be identified so the client's view can be
stimulate them. changed.
Neural activity is slowed down, creating a sensation of calm and relaxation. Stress Reduction The use of techniques that will reduce stress levels.
They also dampen excitatory effect of serotonin, having the same effect. Direct action may involve arranging a physical escape route or relaxation
techniques. Cognitive action involves using preparation statements, the
Beta-blockers: opposite to negative self-statements.
Block the transmission of nerve impulses. Application and Follow up Patients visualise using stress-reduction
Stress increases force and rate of heartbeat, activated by beta-adrenergic techniques and use them in role play exercises and then in real life. Once
receptors stimulate by noradrenaline and adrenaline. they can cope with non-threatening situations a more threatening one is
Beta-blockers `sit' on receptors, meaning the individual's heart rate is presented and the process is repeated.
Research... Benzodiazepines Davidson (1993): Sheehy and Horan (2004):
Performed an assessment of BZ usage on 75 patients with social-anxiety Reported the case of law students who received 4 weekly sessions of SIT
disorder. each lasting 90 minutes.
Randomly assigned to drug/placebo treatment for 10 weeks. They recorded lowered levels of anxiety and an improvement in the grades
Drugs had a sustained positive effect (78% improved and 20% on placebo.) of weaker students.
There were reports of side effects such as forgetfulness.
2 years later there was a significant advantage in function.
Beta-Blockers Lau et al (1992):
Meta-analysis assessing beta-blockers' effectiveness.
Found that they reduced high blood pressure.
Also reduced risk of death by 20% for patients with heart disease.
Evaluation... Benzodiazepines: SIT inoculates against future, as well as current, situations.
Cost effective and easy to administer. Not an easy option as it requires patients to be motivated and committed
Can become addictive over time if taken long term. for long periods of time.
Only have a brief effectiveness. Many separate threads to SIT so difficult to determine which component
Can be side effects such as cognitive impairment and unsteadiness. has the most effect.
Can have an immediate effect as they act directly on the body.
They are not associated with addiction problems.
Can have side effects such as hallucinations.
Not effective as long term treatment due to the purely physical action.