Essay Sample on Physiological Mechanism Underlying the Stress Symptoms

Published: 2023-01-17
Essay Sample on Physiological Mechanism Underlying the Stress Symptoms
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare Stress Organizational behavior Stress management
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1578 words
14 min read

2.1. Physiological Mechanism Underlying the Stress Symptoms

Stress is something that affects the majority of people in their everyday lives. Life is full of frustrations, hassles, demands, and deadlines. Any inability to adapt with these variables can lead to the development of stress. For some people, stress can form an integral component of their lives by acting as a motivational factor (Powell & Enright, 2015). However, studies have shown that extreme stress can be harmful to the body and can cause memory problems, moodiness, headaches, drinking and pains. In the case depicted in 2.1, the young woman demonstrates considerable symptoms of stress. In order to understand the mechanism of stress and the effects it poses on the patient, this paper will determine the appropriate psychological theory that can be used to provide a better view of the symptoms, the effects of the stress and the coping strategies available.

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2.2.Cognitive Appraisal Theory

The Cognitive Appraisal Theory of stress offers a tremendous view of the stress symptoms that the patient in case 2.1. Fundamentally, Cognitive Appraisal Theory focuses on the cognition of an individual about the stressors, and this informs their emotional responses. As observed in case 2.1, the theory offers a tremendous exposition of the emotions of the patient in this case, and consequently implicates her interpretation of various circumstances she is undergoing so as to establish their emotional reaction. The manner in which the patient in the case study interprets the stressors is critical. In the view of Folkman and Lazarus, human being responds to stressful events by making the primary appraisal (Rush and Sharma 2017: 349).

The patient in the case study is able to demonstrate all these symptoms. Further, she assesses whether the event is harmful to her either physically or in terms of her esteem, core values as well as their beliefs. Undeniably, this argument is portrayed whereby the patient insisted that she has to be hospitalized overnight for extensive diagnostic tests and that her internist is consulted after her next severe attack which occurred after a fight at work with her boss over a new marketing campaign (Tetrick and Winslow 2015). The psychological mechanism that underlies the stress symptoms of the patient is explained offered by the theory.

The secondary appraisal involves a strong consideration by the stressed individual regarding whether or not they have the necessary resources to manage the conditions or the situation and its outcome greatly influenced the coping strategies of the affected. The coping strategies to the effects of stress can be understood in terms of being a problem based or emotional based. The problem-based, in this case, means that where the stressor is viewed as a challenge, people generate the coping strategies and solution remove it (Holman, Johnson, and O'Connor, 2018). On the other hand, when it is emotionally based, the stressor is perceived as an insolvable threat and thus the coping strategies such as the avoidance, distancing and acceptance are adopted. Cognitive Appraisal Theory, therefore, perceives that individuals should establish if there is a threat, employ coping strategies and then reassess the threat which results in the identification of the emotional responses as part of the response to a stressor. The stress, in this case, is treated in a more transactional sense, usually as a two-way process whereby the individuals can respond dynamically to their environment.

Evaluation of the Sources of Stress

The stress in human beings has been for a long time linked to various activities that people do in their daily lives. Stress generally involves the emotional and physiological responses to circumstances that people view as threatening (Holman and O'Connor 2018). Majority of theories of stress argue that stress is the interaction between problems people face and their resources for dealing with them. According to the transactional theory, the stress is a direct by-product of the transaction that emanates between the individuals and their environment, which may tax their resources, and thus threaten or disrupt their wellbeing. This means that any aspect that endangers the wellbeing of an individual in work can be perceived as the stress. However, the individuals' appraisal of demands and capabilities can be influenced by other factors that include the personality, situational demands, the coping skills, the time lapse as well as the current state of the stress that is already influenced.

According to the interactional model, the interaction of the environmental stimulus and the associated personal responses constitute to stress. For example, various models have shown that the effort at work is spent as a part of the psychological contract. These are based on the norms of social reciprocity, where the efforts at work are renumbered with the rewards as well as the opportunities. In these circumstances, the imbalance caused may result in stress or distress to the person involved. Other theories such as the Person-Environment Fit Theory suggest that work-related stress occurs based on the lack of fit between the individuals' variables. This implies that the interaction between the objective reality and the subjective perceptions constitute to stress. The stress is therefore as a result of the lack of fit between the degree to which the attitudes of an employee and the abilities to meet the demands of the jobs. Other sources of stress have also been proven to exist. These include the unfair treatment at the workplace, little or no acknowledged or rewarded at the workplace, loss of job security, loss of control which is mainly caused by the micromanagement.

Effects of Stress on Health

Stress has been shown to have significant effects on the life of an individual. Selye Theory of Stress provides a comprehensive model on the relationship between Stress and diseases. Notably, the theory studies on the specific diseases and symptoms related to stress. The Selye Theory holds that the symptoms of the tress divides the total response to stress into three phases. These include the alarm reaction, stage of resistance and the stage of exhaustion. Whenever individuals are exposed to a stressor, a disruption in the health occurs due to the attempt of maintaining homeostasis through resting the change (Rush and Sharma, 2017). Eventually, an individual encounters the stressor which affects their general well-being.

The stress can affect both the physical and psychological health, and this, therefore, means that these can deteriorate rapidly. It can further contribute to severe problems of depressions and burnout if left uncontrolled. In regard to this influence of stress in the body, it becomes evident that stress can lead to muscle tension. Ideally, the stressor of this type can further propagate to other symptoms such as severe headaches. Individuals with a chronic type of stress often experience headache symptoms in most cases (Rush and Sharma, 2017). Other than this, stress can lead to a tremendous disruption of an individual's rhythm, which will later lead to the fatigue in addition to susceptibility to other risks. In this way, an individual's immune systems become lowered especially when one sleeps poorly. The stress can further hurt the circadian rhythm. This means that the affected individuals may end up waking up tired and exhausted (Powell and Enright 2015).

Stress has also been shown to affect the mental wellbeing of an individual tremendously (Rush and Sharma, 2017). It can introduce a severe state of worrying, which is a sped-up version of thinking in circles. Under these circumstances, an individual may get stuck up on something for a long time without getting the right solution. Depression and burnout may emerge as a result.

Coping with Stress

The stress and its related conditions are not medical diagnoses. This means that there is no specific treatment for it. However, it is advisable that individuals who experience stress especially through the associated systems should seek variously available help. These include taking the medicines, ecotherapy, and medication, complementary and alternative therapies. Taking the treatment involves talking to the experts and professionals who will help the affected person learn about ways of dealing with the stress and develop the knowledge regarding their thoughts and feelings (Tetrick and Winslow 2015). Common types of talking treatments related to stress reduction include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-based stress reduction. Medical prescription for stress can consist of sleeping pills or minor tranquilizers especially when the affected person is having trouble sleeping. Antidepressants can also help to relieve the patient from depression and anxiety.


In conclusion, stress is a condition that can cause a complete disruption of an individual's activities. It can lead to severe disruption on the individual's physical and mental well-being. It is therefore important for the affected individuals to embrace both the treatment and coping strategies in order to overcome the effects of stress. The coping strategies involve embracing optimism as part of daily life (Tetrick and Winslow 2015). This will help to predict the success in making the health changes associated with the lower risks of cardiac diseases. The confidence is significantly and directly related to enhanced health outcomes, and these include reduced levels of saturated fats and the global risks of coronary.


Holman, D., Johnson, S. and O'Connor, E., (2018). Stress management interventions: Improving subjective psychological well-being in the workplace. Handbook of wellbeing. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF Publishers.

Powell, T.J. and Enright, S.J., (2015). Anxiety and stress management. Routledge.

Rush, S.E. and Sharma, M., (2017). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for cancer care: a systematic review. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, Vol. 22 Issue 2, pp.348-360.

Tetrick, L.E. and Winslow, C.J., (2015). Workplace stress management interventions and health promotion. Annual Review. Journal of Organizational. Behavior. Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp.583-609.

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