Essay on The Stressor

Submitted By jimrode
Words: 1627
Pages: 7

The Stressor
James Rode
PSY350 A03
Argosy University

I spent 14 years in the Marine Corps, from 1974 to 1988. I worked in the aviation field doing aviation ordnance, which is working with bombs rockets guns and missiles. I was the senior door gunner instructor at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton California. In the mid 80’s I was a recruiter working in Pasadena California. One day while working I came across a house on fire. I went to see if I could help and found out there was a child inside. I did everything I could but I couldn’t save the child. To this day I still suffer from bouts of depression, anger, rage, anxiety attacks, and nightmares. This is definitely a stressor in my life today, and I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I have bad days and good days. Depending on how much sleep I get at night plays a big part on how I will feel the next day. I have undergone cognitive therapy, and seeking safety courses to help me with my PTSD. I also see a psychiatrist monthly and I take medications for PTSD, and I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Both of these disorders cause me a fair amount of stress in my life. When an acute stressor happens your body goes into a fight or flight mode. Your heart rate increases. Your blood pressure goes up; your breathing begins to deepen getting the maximum amount of oxygen into your lungs and muscles. Your brain sends a signal to your adrenal glands getting them to produce adrenaline. This boosts the amount of sugar in your blood. Anyone that is experiencing long term stress their bodies produce a hormone called cortisol (Stress: Your brain and body, ND). Tests have shown that raised levels of cortisol affect your memory and weaken your immune system. It can also raise your blood pressure making you prone to stroke or heart attack. Prolonged stress can also affect ones mood and is likely to cause depression. People normally experience the ups and downs of everyday life but if these feelings are prolonged or interfere with work, and day to day life, you may be experiencing major depression. With major depression feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, an inability to concentrate or maintain a relationship are some of its symptoms. Age and gender affect stress. The older generations have less stress than the younger generations. Men and women react to stress differently. Men tend to respond in the fight or flight mode to a stressor. Women respond to stress with a tend-and-befriend response. Women will nurture their young during a stressful situation as well as seek out friends to talk with keeping a line of communication going. Men on the other hand will respond with fight or flight behavior, it was thought that both sexes used this method to cope with stress. Women were usually not included in research because it was thought that their monthly periods caused fluctuations in their hormones, which would cause the responses to vary too much to be useful (The Human Brain, ND). Men are affected by stress more than women. Men develop stress related problems like hypertension, drug abuse, alcoholism or aggressiveness. This is one of the factors that have women living seven and a half years longer than men. The tend-and- befriend response women have is thought to have evolved through natural selection (The Human Brain, ND). Constant stress will affect one’s health. Long term stress can increase women’s chances at getting a heart attack, or it can lead to heart disease. Stress can also lessen recovery time from such things as infidelity, alcohol abuse, or different types of mental illness. Stress can lower your immune system. Getting exercise daily can help reduce the effects of stress on your body (American Psychological Association, ND). A sudden stressful event that causes your brain to react automatically producing lifesaving hormones and quick reactions to danger can save your life. It’s when the response goes on after the threat