Less Known Effects of Stress

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stressStress is the disruption of physical or psychological equilibrium in our body. It results in responses from from multiple systems like the endocrine, nervous and immune systems of our body. These response cause either short term or long term effects on our body and mind. While some of these effects are apparent and known, several others remain latent but are equally dangerous in their nature. Stress in small amounts is quite desirable for the development of personality.

Less Known Effects of Stress:

  • Under stress, the cells from the three main areas inside the brain, namely the aygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex get stimulated, leading to the fight-flight response
  • If the person experiences stress on a repeated basis, this frequent hyperactivity of the brain cells causes undesirable changes in the functioning of the brain affecting the mental health
  • Over stimulation of these brain cells cause release of calcium along their walls or the cell membrane.
  • This over-loading of the calcium however compels the body to shut down the brain cells in order to avoid the death of the individual
  • Stress causes the brain to focus all of its resources on coming out with a solution to deal with the threat
  • In this process, it is unable to carry out its other important tasks like repairing the damaged neural pathways and restricting the new ones for learning and comprehending activities
  • This results in excessive decline in the ability of the brain to comprehend or memorize things for long
  • Stress also affects the most important T-cells of the immune system in our body. Signaling molecules called cortisol are released all over the body when it is under stress
  • These molecule cause rapid cell division of the T-suppressor cells increasing their number. However, they suppress the number of T-helper cells.
  • These undesirable activities with the T cells make the body vulnerable to infection and diseases
  • In this way, stress consumes a lot of the body’s energy and resources and reduces its ability of remaining protected from external threats
  • Some of the psychological manifestations of stress on the body are skin rashes, loss of appetite, lack of sexual desire, gastrointestinal difficulties, menstrual problems and heart problems
  • Studies have shown that frequent job changes and a sense of insecurity with respect to jobs can cause insomnia, sleep disorders and impaired sleep patterns. All these problems are triggered by the inherent stress associated with them
  • Awareness of the types of conflicts associated with stress can prove handy in dealing with them on their appearance in our day to day life
  • For instance, psychologists divide conflicts into three types. They are appearance-apperance conflict, avoidance-avoidance conflict and appearance-avoidance conflict
  • In the first type, he person has to make a choice between two equally attractive options. In the second type, the person is compelled to take a decision between two equally unattractive options.
  • In the last type, the choice is made between an attractive and an intimately related unattractive option.
  • Homes and Rahe Stress scale are well-known measuring methods for stress. Here, life events related to stress are given units. They are added up based on an individual’s life event to form a square
  • A person with score higher than 300 is at risk of illness. Scores within 150-300 and below 150 pose moderate to low risk respectively
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