How distress appears in our life
The stress response serves one obvious need - reacting as quickly as possible to a physical threat. Stress is a "ready-made", universal physiological reaction for dealing with all kinds of physical threats. This way, the brain loses no time thinking how to react - it has a "ready-made" reaction, which can be applied instantly.
Given such a quick protective mechanism, supposed to be only of help to us, why do we suffer so much distress?
It is supposed that human organism has adopted this set of reactions in ancient times, when man had to tackle primarily physical threats. Nowadays man has to deal with social, mental and emotional problems and the stress reaction turns out to be inappropriate. This is largely the cause for stress-induced illnesses - the effects of all those hormones during the alarm phase are not utilized by an expected physical activity and this harms the organism - cardio-vascular diseases are only one example. Nevertheless, stress reaction still remains a useful one - it can save our life in case of extreme danger such as a fire. Under stress one may become capable of executing strenuous physical(and mental) tasks, which he would be unable to perform otherwise, no matter how strongly motivated he is. Man is simply unable to consciously make the
organism deplete its reserves without "a good enough" reason. Although stress may sometimes cause unnecessary "adrenaline rush", without it a single case of physical danger can cost our lives.
Stress is not such a negative thing, as we are used to think. Let's not forget that stress brings variety and zest in our lives. The feelings of thrill, of excitement, of joy, of love are associated with stress… Life without stress would be boring and tedious.
Whereas distress causes only a small number of illnesses, it is a predisposing factor for a great number of other conditions.
The ailments given bellow can be caused by distress alone. For some of them links are given for further information.
- cardiovascular diseases
- psychical disorders
- stress induced ulcers(this is relatively rare kind of ulcers; the more frequent one is caused by bacterial infection(bacteria H. pylori))
- endocrine disorders
- temporary malfunctions resulting from the exhaustion phase
It is interesting to know that stress can be used for cure. Two major examples are the use of corticoids (for suppression of inflammation/immune reactions, when necessary) and shock therapy. The mechanisms of the latter are not well studied and nevertheless it shows some positive results.
suggest additional material/new interpretations on the subject
http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH?d=dmtUSPV2&c=319389&p=~br,IHW|~st,9276|~r,WSIHW000|~b,*| -read about corticosteroid therapy
http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/8271/8543/191820.html?d=dmtJHE -shock therapy
Common distress conditions:
Below is a list of common conditions, which cause distress. For some of them we have provided links for further information or recommended books. We have not prepared our own content on those topics because each one of them requires deep understanding and professional knowledge. Many of them raise controversy in science and successful treatment for them is still at experimental level. Thus, we considered it is far better to give reference to resources prepared by specialists with first-hand experience. We welcome all suggestions and contributions.
You can still find useful tips and directions about distress prevention in the next chapter.
- Distress in early childhood
It is interesting to note that distress in early childhood usually results in deviant behaviour and not in impairment of thinking abilities or dementia. For further information read the book "General Psychology", Moskowitz, Orgel -> the chapter "Abnormal Behaviour".
- Panic Disorder
- Adjustment Disorder
- Information Overload
- Sleep Disorder
- Post - traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Disorder