A popular view of stress is that all people are distressed at work, and that little can be done. It is also often felt that few long lasting effects from stress are realized. In reality, just the opposite view is more accurate. If we become more informed about stress, we do not have to be among those whom mental health issues overcome. Stress is overlooked by many as unimportant in the upkeep of mental health, yet research shows that stress from the work environment is a large contributor to health problems. A proper education in the subject would be 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 ...view middle of the document...
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
separated depressed patients from control patients (p. 578). Asteria found that stress may
PHYSICALLY CAUSE DEPRESSION. HE SAID THAT IF THE BODY IS IN A STATE OF CONSTANT AROUSAL IT WILL
continue to release neurotransmitters in the brain, and eventually the body can run out of these
NEUROTRANSMITTERS. IN EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS DEPRESSION OCCURRED IN ANIMALS THAT RAN OUT OF THESE
neurotransmitters (Asteria, p. 52).
ALONG WITH DEPRESSION, SCHIZOPHRENIA HAS RECEIVED ATTENTION IN MENTAL HEALTH CIRCLES. STUDIES
BY LEFF SUGGEST THAT SCHIZOPHRENIA IS A BRAIN DISEASE THAT CAN BE ACTIVATED BY STRESS. ONE VIEW IS
that schizophrenia is a variety of brain fault that leaves a person sensitive to environmental
STRESSES, AND THE BUILDUP OF ANXIETY TRIGGERS THE ONSET OR RECURRENCE OF THE ILLNESS. LEFF ALSO
found that stressful events were clustered in the two to three weeks prior to the onset of
SCHIZOPHRENIA. ONE OF THESE STUDIES WAS AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT CONDUCTED IN NINE DIFFERENT
countries by the World Health Organization. The findings were replicated in six of these
COUNTRIES DESPITE WIDE VARIATIONS IN THE WAY OF LIVES OF THE PEOPLE STUDIED (P. 31). LEFF ALSO
discovered more evidence that schizophrenia is caused by environment as well as genetics when
HE FOUND THAT PATIENTS WHO INCREASED THEIR SOCIAL SUPPORT ALONG WITH STRESS REDUCTION HAD ONLY AN
8 percent relapse rate (p. 33).
AFTER KNOWING THE SOURCES OF ANXIETY, WE CAN NEXT EXAMINE THE SOMETIMES SEVERE SYMPTOMS
OF STRESS AND ANXIETY ON THE BODY. ASTERIA IN HIS RESEARCH DESCRIBES A THREE STAGE PROCESS TO THE
stress response. The first stage is an alarm reaction in which adrenal and cortical hormones are
RELEASED IN RESPONSE TO A STRESSOR. THE SECOND STAGE IS WHERE THE BODY DEVELOPS A FULL RESISTANCE
to the stressor and tries to adapt to conditions. Finally, a stage of exhaustion ensues in which
HIGH LEVELS OF CORTISOL BEGIN TO PRODUCE PRONOUNCED EFFECTS ON THE DIGESTIVE, IMMUNE, AND OTHER
systems of the body. Shock, ulcers, and low resistance to infection may begin to occur as the
BODY CAN NO LONGER ADAPT TO STRESS LEVELS (P. 43). MORSE GOES ON TO FURTHER DESCRIBE WHAT HIGH
levels of cortisone can do to the body. He describes cortisone as a chemical...