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e to learn why and how stress affects us; the symptoms of the problem along with who is most at risk; and finally what relief measures from stress are available. I feel that being properly informed on the subject can have lifelong benefits to enhance and prolong life at work and outside the work setting.
High levels of distress over prolonged periods of time can affect our psychological or mental health. The chances of developing obsessive compulsive and related anxiety disorders greatly increase when trying to deal with worry and tension. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual states that “anxiety is the chief characteristic of all neurotic disorders…” (Goldberger and Breznitz, p.573). Primary among all anxiety disorders is obsessive-compulsive behavior. Dobson believes that trying to suppress certain negative feelings or actions can lead to a conflict between the superego and other parts of our personality, and this conflict could eventually develop into obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behavior (p. 146). The author also feels that certain rituals may make a person feel that a threatening situation is temporarily controlled even if it is not controlled (p. 147).
Another type of mental health illness is neuroses such as depression and schizophrenia. Mirowsky and Ross showed that people suffering from depression are often also suffering from anxiety. Of the severely distressed, 35 percent could be diagnosed as having major depression; 4 percent for a diagnosis of minor depression; and 22 percent for other anxiety disorders. On the other hand only 3 percent of people who do not qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis are severely distressed (p. 175). Goldberger and Breznitz found that depressed patients report more major stress events than normal control patients, and this is particularly true just before their illness. A study showed a three week period directly before illness was the critical point that
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