Essay: Stress Is an Everyday Factor

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Stress is an everyday factor in the lives of most people. It comes from jobs, family, lifestyle, and numerous other areas of life. In this paper, we will examine a couple of the stages of development, how the stress affects people in these stages, and the difference between the Lazarus and Seyle stress theories. The paper will analyze various ways of coping with stress and the methods that are healthy in managing stress.

Stress can cause mental, emotional, and physical problems if not treated or alleviated. Stress plays a major role in the cause of high blood pressure and other serious health conditions. Stressful situations experienced during childhood can cause severe emotional damage that can lead to antisocial or even criminal behavior as the child ages and becomes an adult.

In the defining of stress, Richard Lazarus, in his 1966 book, "Psychological Stress and the Coping Process," defined stress by stating,

"It seems wise to use 'stress' as a generic term for the whole area of problems that includes the stimuli producing stress reactions, the reactions themselves, and the various intervening processes. Thus, we can speak of the field of stress, and mean the physiological, sociological, and psychological phenomena and their respective concepts. It could then include research and theory on group or individual disasters, physiological assault on tissues and the effects of this assault, disturbances or facilitation of adaptive functioning produced by conditions of deprivation, thwarting or the prospect of this, and the field of negatively toned emotions such as fear, anger, depression, despair, hopelessness, and guilt. Stress is not any one of these things; nor is it stimulus, response, or intervening variable, but rather a collective term for an area of study" (Hudiburg, 1996, citing, Lazarus, 1966, p. 27).

Lazarus termed the psychological effects of stress as a response that is seen as threatening or dangerous to the persons well being that comes from the person and their relationship with their environment.

Hans Seyle defined stress from the aspect of the physical attributes caused by the trauma or the situation. Seyle is defined as saying:

"He and his colleagues noted that the research animals used (rats) in the study experienced changes to various glands and the stomach that were not related to effects of the hormone injections received. Similar changes in glands and the stomach resulted when other animals were exposed to various stimuli (cold, heat, infection, trauma, hemorrhage, nervous irritation, etc.). He induced the "syndrome of just being sick" which resulted in adrenal enlargement, gastrointestinal ulcers, shrinkage of the thymus and lymph nodes. He termed this the "general adaptation syndrome or biologic stress syndrome" ((Hudiburg, 1996).

Lazarus dealt with the mental or emotional areas of stress and Seyle was concerned with the effect of stress on the internal or biological level.

Sigmund Freud divided the different levels of life into five categories: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. For the basis of this paper, the phallic and genital stages and the effect that stress can have on them will be evaluated.

The phallic stage is seen as the period when the adolescent starts to desire the parent of the opposite sex and has conflicting feelings about the other parent. It is a time when the child experiences emotions that can become or result in rage or hostility. The child is trying to figure out their place in the world and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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