- most commonly used to treat stress are BZ's (Librium and valium), anti-anxiety agents and beta-blockers. BZ's are the most perscribed drugs for psychological disorders as they can be very effective against stress and anxiety
Beta-blockers are also good to reduce heartrate, high blood pressure and the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
- long term use can lead to addiction
- side effects: BZ's can cause drowsiness and effect memory and beta-blockers can often make asthma worse and make you tired.
- drugs treat the symptons not the cause, they may help in the short term but they don't get to ther cause of the stress
- you can over time build up a resistance to the drugs
Psychological Approches - Meichenbaum
An important factor in stress is a persons coping abitlity, does the person feel overwhelmed by stress and unable to cope? this can make things worse so cognitive-behavioural techniques are very useful in helping clients to evaluate stressful situations more accurately.
Meichenbaum's stress-inoculation training
CSR - three phases
Conceptualisation - Client is helped to 're-live' stressful situations and analyse what it is that is stressful about that situation
Skills training and practice - Clients are taught specific strategies to cope with stress, this may include relaxation. If for example examinations are the problem situation clients are shown practical was to prepare, revise etc. So they feel more in control.
Real-life application - Client goes out into the real world and puts it into practice. There may also be follow-up sessions as necessary.
Meichenbaum - AO2's
- It is useful in reducing the gap between demands and coping resources - gives clients more confidence in their ability to handle stressful situations
- The combination of cognitive skills (new thinking patterns) and behavioural skills (new behaviours) is a powerful one. However they have been few controled studies of its effectiveness, although Meichenbaum has reported encoraging results
- Takes a lot of time and money, clients need motivation
- There is evidence that they way we cope with stress is to do with individual personailities, we may have our own well established methods that are difficult to change. Also important here is locus of control.
- The body deals with a stressful situation by increasing the heart reate and blood pressure and mobilising energy reserves in the body (eg gluecose in the bloodstream)
Energy mobilisation when physical action is not possile or appropriate can be damaging to the body. This will leave glucose and fatty acids floating around in the bloodstream. These can contribute to furring up of the arteries.
- if stress is shortlived the blood glucose and fatty acids will return to normal
- if stress is chronic then disease can result
- physical exercise is an obvious way to rid the body of excess glucose and fat by physical activity.