Discuss biological or psychological methods of stress management (12 marks)
‘Stress management’ is defined as any sort of attempt to reduce the negative effects of stress. Management techniques are generally either biological or psychological approaches to dealing with the stress. Psychological methods of stress management try to control the body’s response to stress by altering the way we think about the stressor. These methods include Stress Inoculation Training and Hardiness training. However I am going to focus on the Biological methods of stress management. They try to control the body’s response to stress by reducing physiological activity, it often includes methods like biofeedback and drug therapy. The group of drugs most commonly used to treat anxiety and stress are Benzodiazepines, this drug slows down the activity of the central nervous system. GABA is a neurotransmitter, which is the body’s natural form of anxiety relief, when it is released it has a general quieting effect on many of the neurons in the brain. It does this by reacting with GABA receptors on the outside of receiving neurons. When GABA locks into these receptors it opens a channel which increases the flow of chloride ions into the neuron. Chloride ions make it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other neuro-transmitters, which slows the activity down and makes the person feel more relaxed. Benzodiazepines enhance the action of GABA by binding special sites on the GABSA receptor and boosting the action of GABA. This allows even more chloride ions to be released into the neuron, therefore making the brain even more resistant to excitation. One of the strengths of drugs is that they are very effective in combatting the effects of stress. Kahn et al followed around 250 paitents over eight weeks and found that BZs were significantly more superior to a placebo. A meta- analysis of studies focusing on the treatment of social anxiety found that BZs were more effective at reducing this...
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