Phone: (510) 428-0111
Susceptibility to Stress
Certain factors may predispose an individual to react to stressful life events in either more or less traumatized ways. These factors include early childhood nurturing, personality traits one is born with, and genetic factors. Certain classes of individuals have also been found to be more vulnerable to the effects of stress than others, including: younger adults, women, working mothers, less educated individuals, divorced or widowed individuals, the unemployed, isolated individuals, people who are targets of racial or sexual discrimination, those without health insurance, and people who live in cities.
Causes of stress
Any sort of life change can make an individual feel stressed, even a positive change. It's not just the change or event itself that is stressful, but also how one reacts to it. What may be stressful is different for each person. For example, one person may not feel stressed by getting a new job, while another may. Other things that may be stressful include being laid off from a job, retiring, a child leaving or returning home, the death of a spouse, divorce or marriage, an illness, an injury, a job promotion, financial problems, moving, or having a baby.
Effects of Stress on Mind and Body
Studies suggest that the inability to adapt to stress is associated with the onset of depression or anxiety. In one study, two-thirds of subjects who experienced a stressful situation had nearly six times the risk of developing depression within that month. Stress diminishes the quality of life by reducing feelings of pleasure and accomplishment, and relationships are often threatened. Stress can also cause health problems or worsen pre-existing health problems if an individual does not learn ways of coping with stress. Stress can lead to, or worsen, the following problems:
Back pain, headaches, or stiff neck
The first part of stress reduction is to learn to recognize when one is feeling stressed. The next step is to choose a way to deal with the stress. One way is to avoid the situation that leads to the stress. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Usually a more successful approach is to change how one reacts to the stressful situation. The following is a list of ways to improve one's tools for coping with stress:
Become aware of stressors and one's emotional and physical
Stress and its related symptoms can be treated in psychotherapy under the care of a qualified Psychologist
Psychodynamic therapy, one goal is to identify unresolved issues
from childhood, which have continued into adulthood which may affect one's
reactions to stressful life events. This type of therapy entails exploring
thoughts, emotions, relationships, behaviors, and dreams. This process
can help an individual understand and come to terms with his or her conflicts,
which can in turn decrease negative reactions to stressful life events.
Noah Oderberg, Ph.D.
5435 College Avenue, Suite #201
Oakland, California 94618
Phone: (510) 428-0111