Stress & people

According to the reading, stress pertains to “both adjustive demands placed on an organism and to the organism’s internal biological and psychological responses to such demands” (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2007, p. 144). It is also the result of failure to cope with various kinds of stressors or emotions and external conditions that may lead to psychological or emotional exhaustion. Stress has also two kinds: eustress or the positive stress and distress or the negative stress. Further, the development of stress involves the psychological and behavioral disturbances pattern that occurs when responding to stressors (Butcher et al.

, 2007). Stressors, on the other hand, can be categorized into frustration, conflict, and pressure. An example of frustration may be the failure to be satisfied by the job acquired or discriminatory treatment offered by other people. Conflict, on other hand, may arise when a person is faced with two or more incompatible motives or choices, making it difficult for him or her to decide. Finally, pressure is also a stressor that may force a person to speed up his or her pace or to change direction as a response to the external or internal pressure (Butcher et al. , 2007).

An example of stress could be the experience of a student who failed in a very important examination that would determine his or her future. The student may experience stress because he or she may feel frustration for failing the examination. Conflict may also arise in coming up with the right decision—whether to continue despite failure or to shift to another career. He or she may also feel pressure from his or her parents, friends, or close relatives who expect much from his or her academic performance, or he or she may also be pressured by the parents who demand more from him.

In this situation, a student is likely to experience stress due to prevalent internal stressors (frustration and conflict) and external stressors (pressure from others). However, stress could be cured. Coping with stress significantly depends upon one’s inner factors such as motives, competencies, and stress tolerance level (Butcher et al. , 2007). Coping with stress also involves three general principles which need to be dealt with by the stressed person.

These are: (1) biological level which involves immunological defenses and damage-repair mechanism; (2) psychological and interpersonal level which includes learned coping patterns, self-defenses, and support from family and friends; and (3) the sociocultural level which includes group resources such as religious and labor organizations (Butcher et al. , 2007). Hence, in dealing with stress, the person needs to realize his or her internal factors, reach out to external factors like friends, family, organizations, and consider other activities. 2. Anxiety disorders can possibly be treated and prevented.

Notably, there are several types of anxiety, namely, “specific or social phobic disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic disorder” (Butcher et al. , 2007, p. 182). In preventing or treating anxiety, it is essential to identify the type of disorder. In specific or social phobic disorder, one of the effective treatments used is exposure therapy. For example, when a person fears or has a phobia of elevator because of fear that it might rapidly fall down or the door may not be opened, exposure to elevator may help reduce the anxiety.

This is the same with social phobia wherein exposure to public helps in eliminating the fear or anxiety (Butcher et al. , 2007). For panic disorder, the patient is usually prescribed with minor tranquilizers like alprazolam. Generalized anxiety, on the other hand, can be treated and prevented by medications like Valium. Valium or other medications from the benzodiazepine family are used to relieve tension and to reduce somatic symptoms (Butcher et al. , 2007).

Finally, obsessive-compulsive disorder, which refers to the “occurrence of unwanted and intrusive obsessive thoughts or distressing images and accompanied by compulsive behaviors performed to neutralize the obsessive thoughts or images or to prevent some dreaded event or situation,” can be treated and prevented by behavioral therapy with a combination of “exposure and response prevention” (Butcher et al. , 2007, p. 211). Such type of intervention is conducted by exposing the patient repeatedly in a stimuli or situation that provokes their obsession and at the same time preventing the patient from engaging in such ritual provoking anxiety.

Prevention of the obsession or the ritual is also important in order to naturally dissipate the obsession. In cases of serious disorder, the patient may have to undergo surgery involving some parts of the brain.


Butcher, J. N. , Mineka, S. , & Hooley, J. M. (2007). Chapter 5: Stress and physical and mental health. Abnormal Psychology (13th ed. , pp. 143–177). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Allyn and Bacon. Butcher, J. N. , Mineka, S. , & Hooley, J. M. (2007). Chapter 6: Panic, anxiety, and their disorders. Abnormal Psychology (13th ed. , pp. 179–223). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Allyn and Bacon.

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