In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in Communication Arts II
Cabrera, Dayana Ara
Mrs. Susana C. Gallo
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
Coping mechanisms can be described as the sum total of ways in which we deal with minor to major stress and trauma. Some of these processes are unconscious ones, others are learned behavior, and still others are skills we consciously master in order to reduce stress, or other intense emotions like depression. Not all coping mechanisms are equally beneficial, and some can actually be very detrimental. The body has an interior set of coping mechanisms for encountering stress. This includes the fight/flight reaction to high stress or trauma. A person perceiving stress has an automatic boost in adrenaline, prompting either action, or inaction. People have a variable level of physical reaction to different levels of stress. For some, merely getting interrupted from a task can cause an inappropriate fight/flight reaction. This can translate to “fight” mechanisms, where a person gets very angry with others for interrupting him. Alternately, flight may include physically leaving, or simply being unable to regain focus and get back on task. Other unconscious coping strategies can include the way our minds deal with a constant barrage of stress. People in the psychiatric field suggest that mental illnesses tend to be coping mechanisms that evolve from certain stressors. For example, multiple personality disorder may result in children who are severely abused. Panic disorder may be the body’s coping mechanisms for inappropriate fight/flight reactions to minor stressors. Some mental illnesses also have a genetic basis, but stress certainly often plays a role in making these illnesses more severe.
Coping is thus expending conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict. Psychological coping mechanisms are commonly termed coping strategies or coping skills. Unconscious or non conscious strategies (e.g., defense mechanisms) are generally excluded. The term coping generally refers to adaptive or constructive coping strategies, i.e., the strategies reduce stress levels. However, some coping strategies can be considered maladaptive, i.e., stress levels increase. Maladaptive coping can thus be described, in effect, as non-coping. Furthermore, the term coping generally refers to reactive coping, i.e., the coping response follows the stressor. This contrasts with proactive coping, in which a coping response aims to head off a future stressor.
Coping responses are partly controlled by personality (habitual traits), but also partly by the social context, particularly the nature of the stressful environment. The effect of stress is directly linked to coping. The study of coping has evolved to encompass large variety of disciplines beginning with all areas of psychology such as health psychology, environmental psychology, neuro psychology and developmental psychology to areas of medicine spreading into the area of anthropology and sociology. Dissecting coping strategies into three broad components, (biological/physiological, cognitive, and learned) will provide a better understanding of what the seemingly immense area is about.
Significance of the Study
This study is deemed significant to the following:
Primarily to the Students, this study will enable them to determine level of stress and develop personal strategies to reduce stress which may post threat to their sense of well being and disrupt their normal functioning in etherealized learning experience.
For clinical instructors, results of this...