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Understanding the physiological and biochemical processes of stress

An exemplory case of a biochemical approach to the dimension of stress is the analysis in a Swedish saw mill by Johansson et al (1978). The aim of the analysis was to identify if stressors at work caused an increase in "stress-related physiological arousal and stress related illness". The analysis used two sets of employees; one group was considered to be high risk their role was "finishers" the other a minimal risk group were cleaners. Through the study levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline found in the employee's urine were documented on work days and nights and times off. The study also documented incidences of absence from work and stress related disease. Johansson et al (1978) recognized that the high risk group produced higher levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline on work days and higher levels than the reduced risk group. Furthermore the study discovered that the high risk group experienced higher degrees of stress related disorder and absence from work than the reduced risk group. The analysis in the found mill concluded that work stressors lead to physiological arousal which can lead to an employee experiencing a stress related disease and be absent from work.

The biochemical method of stress screening is advantageous because it provides quantitative data on stress response which is immediate, reliable and objective within an individual or group of people.

The method has drawbacks to be expensive to perform necessitating specialist equipment and skills. It does not consider subjective perceptions of stress (positive stress produces less cortical). Exterior factors can also have an impact on the recordings taken such as caffeine containing drinks or stress provoked in the topic by undertaking the try this can be particularly related to the taking of bloodstream samples.

Self report

A self article review of stress measurements was conducted by Holmes and Rahe (1967). The study discovered 43 life incidents which result in a person to make changes with their lives. This list was given to a group of subjects who were asked to rate how much stress each event would cause if engaged and getting married had a score of 500, a meeting regarded as more stressful was presented with a higher score and a less tense event was presented with a lower score. The results were averaged and divided by 10 which provided a score for every event. This produced the Social Readjustment Rating Scale.

Self report methods of stress measurement such as Holmes and Rahe's social readjustment level (SRRS) steps stress retrospectively or prospectively through the subject matter reported amount of life change in various circumstances. The benefit of this technique of stress testing is that it provides a relatively quick measure of the subjects respond to a variety of stressor stimuli. A disadvantage of the SRRS is through being subjective the results may be unreliable, change overtime and confuse the cause and aftereffect of stress. This method does not consider cultural modifications in the experience of stress and can't be easily translated for use in non traditional western cultures.


Research conducted by Geer and Meisel (1973) used a physiological approach to measuring stress levels. The analysis aimed to identify if perceived control or real control could reduce stress reactions to distressing stimuli. Recordings of galvanic pores and skin response (GSR), heartrate and temperature were extracted from the individuals. To conduct the study Geer and Meisel (1973) used 60 mindset undergraduates divided into three categories. Each group was shown some photographs of deceased car crash victims under different conditions. Group 1 could control how long they viewed each image for. Group 2 were aware that the images they observed would be 60 moments apart plus they would be obvious for 35 mere seconds. Group 3 were enlightened that they would see a series of photos. Neither group 2 or 3 3 could control the amount of time they saw the photographs for however group 2 were alert to the timescales engaged. Baseline recordings of GSR and from an ECG were considered for each participant prior to the study was conducted. Geer and Meisel discovered that the ECG results appeared to be inaccurate following the analysis. The GSR recordings for Group 2 proved the best stress level whilst Group 1 proved the least. From this it was concluded having the ability to control your environment can reduce your stress responses.

The physiological approach to stress evaluation uses equipment, such as center monitors and skin area conductance polygraphs, to gauge the changes to the individuals autonomic stressed system in response to certain stimuli.

The advantage of the physiological method is that the results are quantitative, immediate, reliable and objective. Drawbacks of the physiological method is that it requires expensive specialist equipment and skills to interpret the info. The technique ignores subjective perceptions of stress and recordings considered can be at the mercy of exterior factors including levels of caffeine and panic.

The most affordable method of measuring stress within a workforce can be seen as the self report method. This technique is relatively quick in providing results and will not require the utilization of expensive equipment. Nevertheless the results might not exactly be as reliable as the more expensive physiological and biochemical methods. These two methods have very similar advantages and disadvantages. If the company was to check the strain levels among all employees the self applied report method would be able to provide results quickly with minimal expenditature suggesting that will be the favoured solution to use.

Evaluate one physiological and one emotional technique which may be used to control and take care of stress

The Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) (Meichenbaum, 1985) is a subconscious technique used to control and control stress. The method is a way of helping a person to improve their thought operations about themselves and their lives. The purpose of the method is to alter a person's psychological response and behaviour to stress before they experience severe stress and anxiety or depression.

SIT is a three part process which is worked well through with an individual and a therapist. Conceptualisation, the first part, identifies an individual's stressors and how effective their reaction to these has been. Skill acquisition and rehearsal, the second part, identifies "positive coping claims" the individual may use when faced with stressful situations. The final part program and follow through is when the individual sets the "coping claims" into practice. Meichenbaum (1985) reported that SIT and "the energy of positive thinking" can effectively bring in regards to a change in behavior. He identified that this can be handy for helping an individual deal with panic related to examinations and pain. For the strategy to be successful the average person must be focused on the procedure and results can be based mostly how easy the average person finds using the positive coping statements identified.

The advantage of stress inoculation training is the average person is mixed up in process of discovering stressors and ways of coping with them. The procedure is backed by a therapist.

The drawback of stress inoculation training is that it is time consuming and requires dedication on the part of the individual who is experiencing stress to reach your goals. If the individual struggles to use the positive coping claims the success of the technique can be limited.

Medication is a physiological method that can be found in the control and management of stress. The medication would be used to alleviate the thoughts of nervousness and depression that are associated with stress. The medication used can belong to one of the groups: benzodiazepines, antidepressants or beta-blockers. Benzodiazepines reduce the symptoms of anxiousness by decreasing arousal and muscle tension in the body. Antidepressants sort out increasing levels of serotonin in the mind to reduce feelings of despair. A person may be prescribed beta-blockers if they are experiencing long-term stress which can raise blood pressure increasing the risk of the individual to strokes and long lasting high blood pressure. The beta-blocker band of medications reduce blood circulation pressure by decreasing the speed and strength of heart and soul contractions. They also reduce the action of the sympathetic anxious system by preventing noradrenalin receptors in the center which can result in a sense of quiet and rest.

Any medication can produce area effects in some people. The permanent use of benzodiazepines can result in dependency whilst in the short term they can cause drowsiness, a degree of ram impairment and melancholy which is a sign of stress. Antidepressants can cause the person to experience dizziness gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea and nausea. Beta-blockers could cause impotence in guys and depression. Whenever a span of medication has completed the individual may experience a reoccurrence with their symptoms if the fundamental cause has not been eliminated. However the use of medication can help the individual to feel in a position to deal with the cause as their physical symptoms decrease.

The good thing about using medication to control and manage stress is that it can alleviate the physical symptoms associated with stress. Along with the physical symptoms handled the individual is way better able to work towards alleviating the factors which brought on the strain or put coping mechanisms into place.

Medication has drawbacks in that part effects are common, these can prevent the individual from wanting to complete the course if indeed they feel literally worse. When an individual withdraws from prescribed medication the original symptoms may reoccur if the individual has not handled the reason.

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