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Stress can be described as a natural physical response to events that often makes one feel threatened, or they upset one’s balance in some way. For example, it is important to note that when one sense danger whether this danger is real or imagined, the body’s defenses often kick into high gear in an automatic process that is known as the fight-flight-freeze reaction. Therefore, it can be argued that the stress response is the body’s way of protecting the body, when working properly it often helps one to be focused, alert and energetic. In fact, when it comes to emergency situations, stress is often known to be extremely important.
Stress also helps one to rise to the occasion in order to meet challenges. In fact, it can be argued that it is indeed stress that keeps one on toes during a presentation. It can, in fact, be described as an unavoidable part of life, the quickening of the heartbeat, as well as the heightening of one sense, often tells an individual that the body is preparing itself to respond to stress. However, beyond a certain point, stress often stops becoming helpful and instead it starts causing damage to one’s health mood, productivity and the general quality of one’s life.
The pressure in one lives commonly. However, it turns to stress when one is unable to cope. It is important to understand that indeed stress is not an illness itself, however, it is often known to be a high-risk factor in causing several illnesses if it is not properly addressed. Therefore, it is extremely important to start recognizing the symptoms of stress at an early stage. This is because the recognition of the signs, as well as the symptoms of stress, will help one to figure out the different ways of coping with it. Therefore, if stress is not managed properly, it is indeed a major risk factor for the development of disease
When one has an infection or anything that causes an inflammation such as an injury or burn, there are many different kinds of cells that come from the immune system and stream into the site. All of the cells often have a specialized function. All the cells must coordinate their actions, and this is often done in signals in the form of molecules. It is these molecules that go into the bloodstream in order to signal the brain to do something. These signaling molecules from the immune system at times activate the part of the brain that is known to control the stress response. The hypothalamus in the brain causes the blood levels of Cortisol to rise.
Therefore, if one is chronically stressed, the part of the brain which controls the stress response constantly pumps out a lot of stress hormones. Research has shown that cortisol in huge amounts suppresses the immune system in a bid to tone down the inflammation that exists within the body. Studies that have looked at caregivers taking control of relatives who have fatal diseases, students undergoing stress, couples with marital problems and Army Rangers going under extreme physical stress, people in these studies often show a prolonged healing time, as well as a decreased ability for their immune systems to respond effectively to vaccinations, and increased susceptibility to viral infections such as the common cold.
When stressed the elderly are often more susceptible as compared to other persons? The retirement age in the U.S is 70; however, it is important to understand that that many people work into their 70’s. With the rapid velocity of technology in the workplace, it is often stressful for the elderly people to compete with their coworkers who are younger. In fact, seniors have been known to be pressured to retire sooner that they would have liked. Further, a person often faces many challenges upon retiring. Income, Lifestyle, as well as identity, are all affected. The movement into a skilled nursing facility is the top stressors that exist for the elderly people. This is because they have to bear a lot of losses.
Firstly, they may no longer be able to keep their personal belonging. Secondly, they are known to lose control, as well as privacy over their daily life. It is obvious that with the increase in age, the loss of a spouse becomes eminent. The loss of a spouse can be said to be the single greatest loss that an individual can experience. It often leads to a loss of companionship and security. In their old age, elderly persons may not have a family unit close by. This is because their adult children are often busy running their lives, and consequently there is nobody available to help the aging parent.
The Long terms stress is known to increase the risk for heart disease, digestive problems, and high blood pressure, as well as sleep disorders. The elderly are often at an elevated risk when it comes to getting this condition because they often have multiple stressors such as illness and the loss of a spouse. In fact, at times, the multiple stressors are often too much for a person to deal with, and this might lead to depression.
It is important to understand that because the immune system’s defense mechanism often becomes impaired as one grows older, the ability to resist infection consequently progressively declines. Further, the ability to respond effectively to other different and diverse causes of inflammation also changes. In fact, stress is often widely believed to accelerate biologic aging and this literature is supported by the adverse effects that stress has on the immune system. Studies have shown that stress reduces the immune system of persons and especially the elderly, and it exposes them to disease. In fact, it reduces the immune response to pneumococcal vaccine and influenza.
Interventions and lifestyle changes related to a risk factor
The first level when it comes to coping with stress is often learning to recognize it. For example, if one has suffered a loss, is struggling with a disability or illness or is having trouble dealing with a major change in life, one should recognize them and understand that these symptoms are normal, and they are not in any way a sign of weakness. Prolonged sadness, loss of interest in life, anxiety and giving up activities that a person once enjoyed cannot be described as a normal part of getting older. In fact, they could be signs of depression. In order to cope with pressure, there are several strategies that one should take.
Firstly, one should take care of themselves in the best way possible. In fact, studies have shown that plenty of sleep and the maintenance of a healthy diet are known to reduce stress levels dramatically. Therefore, persons that are stressed should ensure that they try as hard as possible to get sleep. Sleep is important as it reduces the activities of the body, and it is at this point that the stressed person has peace of mind. The peace of mind during sleep often means that the cortisol levels in the blood decrease because there is no stress. There is also a need to avoid alcohol as well as caffeine at this time when one is suffering from stress.
Another important strategy for coping with stress is getting regular exercise. The first effect of exercising in uplifting stress is the fact that during exercise that there is pumping up of endorphins. The endorphins are often known as the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Therefore, they give the person a sense of joy, and this might be extremely important to a person that is suffering from stress.
Exercise is also a meditation in motion. It is important to understand that after a fast paced game, one often finds that he has forgotten the day’s irritation and only concentrated on the body’s movement. Exercise helps one to regularly shed their daily tensions through physical activity, and they might find that they are focusing on a single task and this result into more energy as well as increased optimism.
This can help one to remain calm as well as clear in everything that they do. Exercise is known to decrease the incidence of stress by improving one’s mood. Research has shown that regular exercise can often increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms which are often associated with mild depression, as well as anxiety.
The exercise is also known to improve one’s sleep, which in most cases is disrupted by anxiety, depression and stress. Therefore, exercise can help one to ease the stress levels in his or her body and give them a sense of power over their body as well as life.
Participating in social activities is another important way to cope with stress. One should try to find activities that he or she enjoys and which will give them more social interaction. The interaction with people gives a person the human perspective, and he or she understands that suffering and stress is not his or hers alone.
Further, the engagement in an activity that one likes gives that person joys, and this automatically helps in the elevation of the mood of that particular person. It also focuses the person from the stressors in his or her life and gives them a chance to be happy doing something else and forgetting about the problems that one has.
One should talk about their feelings with their loved ones and friends. This is an important way to get the bottled up emotions out in the open and when this happens one can start to deal with them. Further, one can also get advice from the loved ones and friends regarding how he or she can be able to tackle the problem at hand.
If one is struggling with stress after trying different strategies of coping with stress, one should talk with their healthcare provider. It has been noted that sometimes treatment with medication or counseling is often needed to get one back on track. In fact, treatment is not something that one should be ashamed of; this is because it is a treatment for something that will help one to get better quality of life.
When it comes to the elderly, their senior years do not have to be filled with sadness or stress. Studies have shown that older adults do feel happy about their lives. Stresses from the inevitable losses that come as a result of aging are normal and never should they ever define one’s life. If one is struggling with stress, the best thing that one should do is to recognize it and take different lifestyle changes in order to manage it. It has been said that stress in many cases accelerates the biological aging process. Therefore, one should not let stress rob what can be some of one’s best years of his or her life.
Health teaching regarding stress
There is little information that exists amongst the population regards how to cope with stress. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that people understand why stress is risky and how it is a major factor when it comes to acquiring some dangerous diseases. Almost all cardiovascular diseases are accelerated by stress, and this is something that people in the populace should understand (Gordon, 2003). There is a need for health promotions that will help in giving information to the communities regarding how to cope with stress and the strategies that they can have in order to minimize the effects of stress in the first place.
There exists no quick-fix cure for stress, and there is no single method that can work for everyone and consequently, there is a need for persons to change their lifestyles in order to change the common life problems which can cause stress or even make stress a problem (Verghese, Holtzer, Lipton, & Wang, 2012). They include exercise, relaxation techniques and the talking of issues through.
Stress should be diagnosed early in order for a person to work on it. The acceptance that there is existence of stress is the first step towards dealing with it. It is of the essence to understand that when one accepts a problem, one starts to look for ways in which he or she can deal with the problem. Stress is a daily part of life and, therefore, because one cannot wish it away, one should instead get different strategies and methods in which one can be able to cope with it (Zhang, Shi, Wang, & Liu, 2012).
In conclusion, stress is a daily part of life and in fact, some stress helps to motivate a person. Stress becomes negative when one is unable to cope. Stress levels affect the immunity of a person against vaccinations as well as several viral infections. The elderly are especially prone to stress because they have multiple stressors with the losses that come as a result of aging. Stress has been described as a big factor when it comes causing disease.
In fact, it is important to comprehend that indeed almost all cardiovascular diseases are exacerbated by stress. There are several ways that one can deal with stress; firstly, one should take care of their body by eating right and regularly sleeping. Secondly, one should exercise and ensure that they do so regularly. Finally, one should join social groups and go for therapy in order to elevate the situation.
Gordon, S. (2003). Common stressors experienced by the well elderly: clinical implications. Journal of Gerontological Nursing , 38-46.
Verghese, J., Holtzer, R., Lipton, R. B., & Wang, C. (2012). Mobility Stress Test Approach to Predicting Frailty, Disability, and Mortality in High-Functioning Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , 1901-5.
Zhang, Z., Shi, Z., Wang, L., & Liu, M. (2012). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among the Elderly: A Survey of the Hard-hit Areas a Year after the Wenchuan Earthquake. Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress , 61-8.
Mood disorders can either come from genetic or environmental effects. There has been a raging debate on whether mood disorders come exclusively from genetic makeup or the environment. However, there are those that argue that indeed the two come hand in hand when it comes to mood disorders. Research has shown that mood disorders can at times be a family affair; there are several genes that have been identified that are linked to bipolar disorder.
They have been able to find common genetic mutation associated with a person that has developed mood disorders (Cummings 85). Further, research has also come to show that when an identical twin has a mood disorder, there is often a 50 percent chance that the other twin will often share the same illness at some point. It is also of the essence to understand that genetics plays an important role when it comes to treatment as it influences an individual response to a particular drug. There has been evidence that people may at times do better if they are prescribed medication that has been effective for a depressed first-degree relative.
Therefore, genetics is often linked to bipolar disorder and depression. However, it is of the essence to understand that the environment plays a very important role when it comes to mood disorders. This is because mood orders often occur because of several environmental triggers such as psychological stress and medical conditions that are caused by the environment. A therapist should often look on the cause of mood disorders whether it is environmental or genetic. It is, therefore, important to understand that indeed there is a need to discern the two and, therefore, give the right treatment.
Anxiety, mood, dissociative and somatoform disorders often have one thing in common; they all take from individuals the capacity when it comes to social engagement as well as daily functioning (Cummings 19). It is important to understand that these mood disorders are often at times hard to treat because biological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral components often vary at times with environmental factors, and consequently they become difficult to diagnose. There are times when biological components of mood/affective disorders often include genetic predispositions, hormonal excesses, malfunctions and it often affects mood regulation. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to understand at times the true cause of the disorder is not understood, and consequently it is difficult to properly diagnose the disorder.
The researchers are often not sure exactly which genes are linked to mood disorders and consequently, specific genetic tests are never available for years, and it will be difficult to treat. Further, biological, behavioral, cognitive and emotional components often vary and each symptom and parts often overlap with the next (Cummings 22). Therefore, at times it becomes difficult to understand the role of each component and its role in the cause of the mood disorders. Therapists have yet to find the exact cause of somatoform, and, therefore, it at times becomes difficult when it comes to giving treatment if one does not know the exact cause of the disease. There are times when a psychological dissociation can be described as a mental phenomenon because the descriptors for the conditions might exist but, they might not manifest in their presumed cause. For this reason, it might be difficult for a therapist to effectively treat an individual that has dissociative, mood disorders and somatoform.
Cummings, Michael R. Human Heredity: Principles & Issues. Australia: Brooks/Cole
Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Gastro esophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder occurring when acidic stomach juices, food or fluids back from the stomach to the esophagus (Porth, 2009). Patients suffering from the asthma are at higher risks of suffering from the condition. Some of the symptoms associated with the disorder are burping, heartburn and as well having an acidic taste in the mouth. In addition, patients also experience sudden excess of saliva (In Rubin, 2012).
On the other hand, gastritis is an inflammation condition in the protective lining located in the stomach. Patients suffering from the condition experience upper abdominal pains, belching and loss of appetite. This is due to nausea and vomiting (In Rubin, 2012). Lastly, peptic ulcers refers to painful sores along the lining of the duodenum. Patients suffering from peptic ulcers experience symptoms such as bloating, feeling of fullness and in severe cases, they experience hunger and empty feelings in the stomach.
The above disorders have different treatment methods. While dealing with Gastro esophageal reflux disease, patients undergo through endoscopy (an inside examination of the esophagus), X-ray of the upper digestive system and as well esophageal impedance tests. These methods help psychiatrists in determining the best medication for the patient (In Rubin, 2012). On the other hand, patients suffering from peptic ulcers undergo an inside examination of the upper stomach (In Rubin, 2012). This involves insertion of an endoscope through the throat to the stomach aiming at viewing the abnormalities in the duodenum. Gastritis patients undergo a stomach ulcer bacteria test as prescribed by the psychiatrists. In addition, there are cases when an endoscopy is done on the patient (Porth, 2009).
Patients suffering from gastro esophageal reflux disease should follow the following strategies while dealing with the condition. They should stop smoking, decrease their caffeine intake, stop smoking, avoid heavy meals and as well avoid lying down within a few hours of eating.
Both crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases. They share similar symptoms. However, there are slight differences between the two disorders. The location of the inflammation is different in the two disorders. As with Crohn’s disease, the inflammation occurs along the digestive tract (that is from the mouth to the anus). However, as with ulcerative colitis, inflammation takes place in the colon. On the other hand patients suffering from ulcerative colitis experience pain in the on the left part of the abdomen (Porth, 2009).
This is in contrast with patients suffering from Crohn’s disease experience pain in the lower right abdomen (In Rubin, 2012). Lastly, with patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, bleeding from the rectum during the bowel movements is common while those suffering from Crohn disease bleeding is much less common. In ulcerative colitis, the colon wall is thinner and shows a continuous inflammation with no patches. However, in Crohn disorder, there is the thickening of the colon wall. On the other hand, the mucus lining of colon in ulcerative colitis is ulcerated. Ulceration in this case does not extend beyond the inner lining of the large intestines. However, as with Crohn disorder, the ulceration is deep and there are cases where the ulceration extends to the bowel wall (Porth, 2009).
A patient suffering Crohn disorder should have a diet plan. The following foods triggers the condition. Therefore, it is crucial avoiding the following foods; carbonated beverages, corn husks, raw fruits, raw vegetables and as well nuts and seeds (Porth, 2009). The patient should have boiled foods and as well avoiding fatty foods as they triggers the symptoms (Porth, 2009).
Porth, C.M., & Matfin, G. (2009) Pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states. (Eight ed.) Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
In Rubin, R., In Strayer, D. S., & In Rubin, E. (2012). Rubin's pathology: Clinicopathologic foundations of medicine. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
The term stress has a number of definitions, but when it comes to psychology, it refers to the state of mental or emotional strain that is caused by adverse or demanding circumstances. Stress can also be termed as the reaction of the body to harmful situation. In the world, a huge number of the population is visiting hospitals seeking help from stress. The causes of stress are many and vary from problems at home to problems at school and even at work. Failure of the treatment of stress may cause an individual to go into depression. Depression refers to a state where an individual feels miserable, rejected and is at most times sad and unhappy. Depression is also associated with emotional problems, just like stress (Dobson & Dozois, 2008, p. 424). According to medical practitioners, stress is a normal state in the life of a human. Stress is caused by experiencing different situations in life and how one handles them determines how long the stress stays. In some cases, stress can be used as a motivation to achieve one’s goals and dreams. In this essay, the discussion revolves around stress and the physiology and consequences of stress in women.
Research shows that both men and women have similar stress levels, but surprisingly, women are more likely to show physical symptoms associated with stress compared to men. Men and women have different methods on how they respond to stress and how to cope with stress. Men tend to be stronger in their reactions when stressed; that is why women show more physical symptoms when stressed compared to men. The experience of stress is also different from the different levels of women, from adolescents to single women and married women. The response to stress between these three categories is different. When comparing women to men, women have a likelihood of twenty-eight percent of experiencing stress, while men have a likelihood of twenty percent. Before tackling the reasons behind rise of stress in women and consequences of stress in women; it is important to acknowledge the factors that cause stress.
Stress triggers differ among different people, with some people being offset by very simple things. Some of the stress triggers include being unhappy at one’s place of work, working for long hours, too much responsibility at work, and working under dangerous conditions (Martin, 2004, p. 401). One might also experience stress when talking in front of colleagues or giving a report; this is the case for those who are not used to this kind of stuff. Another cause of stress at work is facing discrimination and harassment constantly, without trying to find a solution. In some cases, the company that they work for does not offer support to protect workers being discriminated. Therefore, such a worker may opt to keep quiet about her troubles in order to save her job. Stress at work is not the only kind of stress that can trigger stress in an individual. Stress caused by various life situations is one of the serious triggers for stress.
Examples of life stresses include death of a dear one, loss of job, divorce, moving to a new region, getting married, being a parent, and increase in financial obligations. Other examples include suffering from chronic illness or injury, traumatic experiences like an accident, theft, rape or acts of violence. Emotional problems that include depressions, guilt, grief, low self-esteem and anxiety may also cause an individual to experience stress (Humphrey, 2004, p. 31). In other situations, the cause of stress may come from inside, rather from factors in the outside world. One may be stressed by the fear and uncertainty of the outcome of the future. In this century, there are factors that can stress out an individual and they include; threat of global warming, terrorist attacks or natural causes like flooding or epidemics like Ebola. At home, one can also experience stress from factors like an unfinished school project or lacking the money to pay one’s bills the next month (Lush & Vredevelt, 2011, p. 82).
One may also be stressed due to their perceptions and attitudes towards certain things in life. At work individuals who feel they are incompetent may be threatened by the change in management or coming up of a major project. However, individuals who are sure that they do a good job will not be affected if there is a change in management or coming up of a major project. A life-changing experience may also lead to an individual experiencing stress. Most people think that only sad events like death in the family, financial setback or divorce are triggers of stress. An event like marriage can equally cause an individual stress and this occurs when one starts thinking of the change of responsibilities after the marriage is completed. One factor that is different among people is the stress level and stress triggers. The stress level can be measured based on the personality of an individual, and how one responds to stress.
To effectively manage stress, one needs to handle stress, whether work-related of life-related, as a normal thing in life. Therefore, with this kind of perception, one can easily handle any stress they come across. Women and stress are like two poles that never get along, meaning that when a woman is stressed, then she experiences more physical symptoms compared to men. The major causes of stress for women are money, rape, violence, disasters and epidemics like floods and Ebola. When the body of a human responds to stress, it is the body’s way of offering protection. The human body is created in a way that when one sense’s danger or a threatening or upsetting situation, the body produces a stress response. The stress response can also be referred to as ‘fight-or freeze-or flight’ mode. In some emergency situations, stress can help an individual by providing them with extra strength that can be used in self-defense (Rosdahl & Kowalski, 2008, p. 57).
Stress can also be associated with sharpening the concentration of an individual when a watching a football game or when studying for a crucial exam. However, when it reaches a certain point stress stops becoming helpful and rather becomes destructive. Stress can cause major harm to the health of an individual, one’s productivity, quality of life, mood and relationships. It is surprising that despite women being more prone to the consequences of stress compared to men; the female brain chemistry and sex hormones offer protection form stress. The reaction of women to stress can be associated with their body chemistry (Gregoire, 2013). Women possess higher estrogen levels, while men have higher androgen levels and in addition, the brains of women are wired differently. Unlike men who respond to stress with a fight, flight or freeze response, women tend to opt to negotiate.
Oxytocin is an anti-stress hormone that is produced during giving birth, breastfeeding and in both males and females during organisms. The anti-stress hormone oxytocin is enhanced by estrogen and reduced by testosterone, giving women the upper-hand advantage to men (Kittredge). The tricky part is that women need higher levels of oxytocin, compared to men. Women need higher oxytocin levels to maintain their emotional health compared to men. A good example is a relationship, women fall under stress in relationships more often compared to men. Despite stress being the way the body reacts to dangerous situation, prolonged negative effects of stress may affect the emotional and physical health of an individual negatively (Rosdahl & Kowalski, 2008, p. 57). The physical effect of stress in women depends on the personality of a person and the stress one is exposed to. Research shows that seventy-five to ninety percent of visits by women to primary care physicians are as a result of stress-related problems.
The National Women’s Health Information Center agrees that the physical effects of stress may move from simple headaches to irritable bowel syndrome. Stress may cause an individual to experience eating disorders, which include eating too much, eating too little or use of harmful ways to get rid of calories. The eating disorders are in most cases concerned with the individuals trying to burn off excess calories and constantly checking their weight. Women are prone to the problem more than men are and constantly look at themselves inform of the mirror and in pictures to reassure themselves that they have lost weight (Humphrey, 2005, p. 25). In women, the eating disorders are ten times more prevalent than in men. Women are also prone to stomach ailments, which cause the individual to search for junk or comfort foods to calm their ailing stomachs. Stress-related stomach ailments include bloating, cramps, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Depending on how one responds to the stomach ailments, that determines if one gains weight or losses it.
In some women, stress can lead to skin reactions like rashes and breakouts. The condition is not common among very many women, but still a number of women experience itchy rashes stressed. The major consequence of stress in women is that it leads to emotional breakdown like depression. In a woman, a bad mood can cause her to eventually be depressed if she does not seek help. When it comes to aggressiveness and anger, women are better at hiding these two emotions compared to men (Kittredge). The reason is that the part of the brain responsible for emotions in women is greater than that in men. Therefore, women can accumulate more emotions without releasing them compared to men. This is partly why women are twice as prone to depression compared to men. The accumulation of emotions in women is dangerous and can lead to serious emotional problems like depression.
Men have the benefit that they can easily let go of their emotions, and, therefore, the emotions do not accumulate. Women when experiencing stress also have difficulties when it comes to sleeping. The woman may either have problems falling or staying asleep, and this is counterproductive. A good night’s sleep is one of the simplest ways, to ease stress. Therefore, when one cannot sleep peacefully while stressed, then the following morning they will have the same problem to face. Despite stress being beneficial in some situations that require an individual to concentrate; in other situations it affects an individual’s level of attention. Therefore, women have problems in concentrating in their places of work and at home when stressed. The lack of focus affects the effectiveness of a woman in her responsibilities at either work or home and some cases both.
Women are becoming more prone to the risk of heart diseases due to the competition in today’s job market. Stress can cause the entire cardiovascular system to have negative effects and may increase the chances of stroke, high blood pressure or heart attack. One of the complex effects of stress in women is that it can cause a lower immune response in a body. In some conditions, stress can cause the body to have reduced ability even to fight off a normal cold or flare-up of a chronic disease. Some studies have linked the effects of stress to the cause of breast and ovarian cancer. In one such study, the researchers discovered that the risk of breast cancer was sixty-two percent higher in women who have experienced a highly-stressed life. The kind of stress includes events like death of a dear one, divorce, financial problems or rape.
With such adverse effects, women need to find better ways of handling stress to avoid enduring such consequences. Despite primary care physicians offering techniques on how to handle stress, one should create her method of handling stress. This is because, all women have different stress levels; therefore, only one knows what causes them to be stressed. It is also true that as an individual, one has the best experience about what to do in order to reduce the levels of stress. Therefore, in addition to the methods that physicians offer in order to relieve stress, one needs to figure what methods do not favor them and what methods favor them as an individual. It is important to have a stress management strategy to avoid being affected negatively by stress (Russell & Roseby, 2010, p. 45). One key to creating a stress management strategy is to anticipate the stress one can face and consider the kinds one has endured.
Using that kind of knowledge one can easily determine the best stress management strategy that can fit them. One factor to consider in a stress management plan is improving one’s diet by eating balanced meals (LaMeaux). One also needs to consider skipping junk foods and the result of improving one’s physical health relates to the emotional health. An individual should also exercise often and keep fit. Research shows that being active can lift the spirits of an individual. This causes to an increase in the release of endorphins, which is a natural chemical associated with the mood. One should also find fun ways through which they can feel relaxed. Being relaxed is the easiest way of relieving stress since an individual can shift their minds. An individual needs to connect with family and friends, and engage in their hobbies. Research shows that stress reducing activities include yoga, tai chi, and meditation.
In conclusion, stress is a normal occurrence in the life of every human being. For one to be normal, they must experience stress at some certain stages of life. As one advances in age, the more the stress triggers increases, and one is advised to handle stress in the best way. Women when it comes to stress are affected more compared to men. Despite the body of a woman being created to resist stress more than men, the effects of stress greatly affect women compared to men. The physical problems that women may experience due to stress include headaches, sleeping problems, stomach ailments, feeding problems, and even increased chances of contracting cancer (Humphrey, 2004, p. 25). However, there are proven methods that one can use to relieve stress. The methods include eating healthily, exercises, engaging in hobbies and being around people who bring happiness in one’s life. However, if all these fail, at this point it is important to visit a physician and seek professional advice before the situation gets out of hand.
Dobson, K. S., & Dozois, D. (2008). Risk Factors in Depression. Burlington: Elsevier.
Gregoire, C. (2013, June 2). 10 Ways Stress Affects Women's Health.
Humphrey, J. H. (2004). Women and stress: Don't be a victim. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Humphrey, J. H. (2005). Women and stress research. New York: Novinka Books.
Kittredge, C. (n.d.). The effects of stress on your emotional and physical health may be worse than you thought. The Physical Side of Stress.
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Lush, J., & Vredevelt, P. W. (2011). Women and stress: Practical ways to manage tension. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell.
Martin, J. (2004). Organizational behaviour and management. London: Thomson Learning.
Russell, J., & Roseby, P. (2010). Deal with stress: How to Improve the Way You Work. London: A & C Black.
Rosdahl, C. B., & Kowalski, M. T. (2008). Textbook of basic nursing. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, includes one or more depressive disorders. The individual with major depressive disorders must be without a history of hypomanic, manic or a mixed episode. The disorder causes an individual to have problems in working, studying, eating, sleeping and enjoying leisure activities. Therefore, in short, it is correct to state that major depressive disorders disorient an individual from the normal activities in their lives. In this essay, the discussion focuses on two different case studies where the individuals face the major depressive disorder. The paper provides the symptoms of the two individuals and their difference and similarities.
The Major depressive disorder requires a patient to show more symptoms than those required for dysthymia, with the symptoms being more persistent. Any individual who wants to receive a diagnosis of the major depressive disorder must have experienced or is currently under a major depressive disorder episode (Herrman, Sartorius & Wiley InterScience, 2009, 44). The individual also needs not to have experienced a hypomanic, manic or mixed episode. In the first case study, the dysthymic executive is depressed due to the major disappointments in her life. Her marriage was not functional, and she was not impressed with her job, despite passing very well in college (Butcher, Mineka & Hooley, 2013, 217). In Connie’s case, for the five years that she was married to Donald, she endured four years of beating from her husband. Three months after Connie left Donald, she has fallen into depression with her case worsening. Her appetite is poor; she has sleeping problems and has lost weight.
In both cases, the individuals feel depressed and for some reason blame themselves for the disappointments in their lives. The marriages in both cases have failed, and the women blame themselves for not being better. In the first case study, she regrets marrying her husband while Connie wishes she was a better wife to Donald (Butcher, Mineka & Hooley, 2013, 218). In Connie’s case, the depression makes her lose her appetite and reduce weight while the executive does not have such effects. The diagnosis of the disorders is different since the two individuals possess different symptoms, despite some being similar. Therefore, for a psychiatrist, they would have to evaluate the different symptoms of the two individuals, considering every detail (McIntyre, Cha & Soczynska, 2014, 67). The small details will provide the psychiatrist with a way of determining the difference between the two disorders. In conclusion, the two individuals both have major depressive disorders that affect their normal lives.
Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. M. (2013). Abnormal psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Herrman, H., Maj, M., Sartorius, N., & Wiley InterScience (Online service). (2009). Depressive disorders. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
McIntyre, R. S., McIntyre, R. S., Cha, D. S., & Soczynska, J. K. (2014). Cognition in Major Depressive Disorder. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bipolar disorder is a common psychiatric disease with severe effects on patients. It is a brain disorder which results to changes in mood, energy, activity levels and consequently impacts a patient’s ability perform normal duties and daily activities (Barlow, 2014). This disorder manifests through mood episodes which are mainly two episodes; an over excited or joyful state called manic episode and a low or hopeless episode called a depressive episode. At some instances, the two episodes may occur at the same time and in this case condition is described as a mixed state. The patient’s brain tries to handle the depression episode of this disease through adjustment of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine levels.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder cannot be directly pointed out, but it is clear that its onset is from stressful life events and that it is a biological brain disorder. Research shows that genetic factors contribute about 80% of the cause of bipolar disorder as most patients inherit it from parents (Acton, 2013). Aberrant levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, also causes this disorder. These abnormal levels result to irregular mood swings because other brain chemicals are also affected. Some environmental factors such as stress and a rapid increase in hours of bright sunshine exposure trigger the manifestation of this disorder. There are some medication and also conditions such as pregnancy that could trigger manifestation of the disorder for people already predisposed.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be described by considering those of manic episode and those of a depressive episode. Manic episode occurs along with mood changes involving long periods of extreme excitement and irritability whereas depressive episode involves long periods of sadness and loss of interest in various activities. Behavioral changes experienced in manic episodes are; restlessness, unusual distraction, insomnia, talking very fast and impulsive and high-risk behavior (Barlow, 2014). On the other hand, depressive episodes have some behavioral changes involving; suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, irritability, memory and decision making problems.
Treatment of bipolar disorder depends on the type of disorder that a patient suffers. There are four basic types of this disorder; bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified and cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia). This disorder is not curable, but effective treatment with acceptable pharmacological agents result to patients gaining good control of their mood swings and other symptoms. Lithium is an acceptable pharmacological agent used in the treatment of this condition. It is a mood stabilizer which was the first to be approved to treat manic and depressive episodes. Fluoxetine, venlafaxine and Sertraline are also other pharmacological agents used as alternatives to Lithium as mood stabilizers.
Some pharmacological agents referred to as atypical antipsychotics treat symptoms of this disorder. Olanzapine is one such agent which blocks serotonin, dopamine, histamine, and alpha 1 –adrenergic receptors. All these are neurotransmitters in the brain. Risperidone is also an acceptable pharmacological agent used as an alternative. There are antidepressants used in the treatment as pharmacological agents in combination with other agents (Acton, 2013). Taking antidepressants alone may result to increased risk of mania, depression or hypomania episodes. Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine and Citalopram are some antidepressants used.
During the treatment of bipolar disorder, it is very important to follow monitoring and follow-up procedures. Patients should work closely with their doctors where an open relationship is very necessary. Medication should be accompanied with properly planned psychotherapy sessions to monitor the progress of patients. People respond differently to the different medication and, therefore, patients may try different medications to find the most effective (Acton, 2013). A daily life-style chart is a very effective monitoring strategy. Such a chart will record sleeping behavior mood swing events, treatments and emergence of bipolar episodes. This chart helps the doctor and the patient in effective treatment.
Antipsychotic pharmacological agents such as Risperdal and olanzapine have a mechanism of action that affect neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin and dopamine while neuroleptics affect cholinergic and adrenergic systems (Barlow, 2014). The mechanism of toxicity of these drugs and the others used in treating bipolar disorder ranges in patients because of the mixed neuro-chemical effects. Neuroleptics are known to have effects on extra-pyramidal motor system, especially on old patients using the drugs. These are complications on the motor system whereby either the voluntary or the extra-pyramidal motor system of the brain are affected. Other side effects known for antipsychotic medication include Tardive Dyskinesia, Dystonia and drug-induced Parkinsonism.
Antipsychotics, neuroleptics and atypicals cause orthostatic hypertension and tachycardia, toxicities described as autonomic side effects. The mechanism of action of these drugs result to low-blood pressure and a rise in heart rate, and this has negative impacts on the patient (Acton, 2013). On top of this, antipsychotic drugs used in treating bipolar disorder have psychiatric side effects such as sedation, apathy and confusion. Psychiatric side effects are common for antidepressants when regularly used. Risperidone has a mechanism of action of blocking serotonin, dopamine and histamine. Pharmacological agent has the described toxicities. On the other hand, lithium has complex kinetics and a narrow therapeutic index, and this result to adverse effects on blood levels on the patient’s body.
In conclusion, bipolar disorder cannot be cured but through use of some acceptable pharmacological agents it is managed (Edmunds, 2014). When these agents are being administered, prescriptive authority parameters should be taken into account as they vary from place to place. All precautions, when it comes to medication should also be keenly followed in combination with monitoring and follow-up process.
Acton, Q. A. (2013). Bipolar Disorders: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional. ScholarlyEditions.
Barlow, D. H. (2014). Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders, Fifth Edition: A Step-By-Step Treatment Manual (5th ed.). Guilford Publications.
Edmunds, M. W. (2014). Pharmacology for the primary care provider. [Vital Source digital version]. St.Louis: Missouri: Elsevier.
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