Stress: Causes and Consequences - Essay Example

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This research paper analyses the issue of stress with reference to the patterns of changing health across the developed world. Initially, the term stress is defined and illustrated, the potential health impacts of stress and stress related diseases are outlined…
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Stress: Causes and Consequences
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Download file to see previous pages The study “Stress: Causes and Consequences” examines a distinction between stress and dis-stress and negative health impacts of too much stress. All of these physiological changes enhance our ability to respond to a threat. An athlete or a soldier in combat, as a result of this stress response, becomes quicker, stronger and more able to respond to threats. In this sense, in the short-term, the stress response has positive consequences. This stress response is not a simple on/off switch. Small threats and small stressors evoke a limited stress response. Major threats evoke a stronger stress response. Therefore, stress in and of itself is not a negative. For example, an executive about to make a major presentation will experience the stress response and may become more mentally nimble, better able to respond to questions and their presentation will benefit from their stress response. However, too much stress or stress of too long a duration becomes a problem. Too little stress can also be a problem. The BBC Health website on stress makes a useful distinction between stress and dis-stress, “stress becomes a problem - 'distress' - when there's too much or too little. Too little stress leads to boredom, depression and “in an effort to find stimulation, many people do things that are harmful to themselves (such as taking drugs) or society (for instance, committing a crime).” Too much stress has a range of negative health effects, the body cannot sustain the stress response over the long-term....
However, too much stress or stress of too long a duration becomes a problem. Too little stress can also be a problem. The BBC Health website on stress makes a useful distinction between stress and dis-stress, “stress becomes a problem - 'distress' - when there's too much or too little. Too little stress leads to boredom, depression and “in an effort to find stimulation, many people do things that are harmful to themselves (such as taking drugs) or society (for instance, committing a crime).” (BBC Health, 2007) Too much stress has a range of negative health effects, the body cannot sustain the stress response over the long-term: It is akin to running a motor at too high rpms, the body, run at too high rpms, wears down and burns out. The following section of this discussion will examine the negative health impacts of too much stress. The Health Impacts of Stress The BBC Health website provides a useful summary of the negative health impacts of stress: Too much stress, on the other hand, can result in a range of health problems including headaches, stomach upsets, high blood pressure and even stroke or heart disease. It can also cause feelings of distrust, anger, anxiety and fear, which in turn can destroy relationships at home and at work. (BBC Health, 2007) It is particularly important to note that excessive stress has diverse negative impacts on both physical health and mental/emotional health. The National Health Service website identifies a host of medical conditions that can develop as a consequence of excessive stress levels. These include: chest pains constipation (an inability to empty your bowels) diarrhoea (passing loose, watery stools) cramps or muscle spasms, when your muscles contract (shorten) painfully dizziness ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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