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Psychology AS stress lesson 8

Therapies for managing stress

Amanda Lane

on 6 February 2015

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Transcript of Psychology AS stress lesson 8

Methods of stress management
Biological therapies: Drugs
Benzodiazepines (BZ's)
Benzodiazapines... How they work!
Reduces brain arousal
BZ's enhance the brains natural arousal suppressor GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
GABA tells the neurons that it comes into contact to slow down or stop firing.
BZ's react with the GABA receptors on the receiving neurons.
This allows negatively charged CHLORIDE ions to pass inside the neuron
Chloride ions make the the neuron less responsive to exciting stuff.
Stressy head feels calmer
Works by reducing the activity of the SNS
Suppresses adrenaline and noradrenaline activity
Blocks the beta-adrenergic receptors from stimulating the heart, brain and blood vessels
Slows heart rate and blood pressure which is less wear and tear on the heart
Used by people who are most effected by the effects of stress such as snooker players or musicians
Strengths of drugs
Speed and effectiveness
Research support - Hidalgo (2001) BZ's are best!
Weaknesses of drugs
Dependency- -although BB's are less addictive than BZ's as they do not affect the brain as much
Tolerance - the body builds up a resistance, dosage needs to be increased
Side effects - BZ's cause drowsiness, BB's makes breathing more difficult in asthmatics.
Only treats the symptoms and not the cause
BB's can cause type 2 diabetes
Psychological methods of stress management
CBT - Cognative Behavioural Therapy
A technique used to describe helping patients to identify their irrational, negative thoughts with positive rational ones
SIT - Stress Inoculation Training
A cognitive behavioral method to prepare people for future stressors and promote resilience
Conceptualisation - Evaluation of stressful situations
Skills training and practice - relaxation techniques such as breathing
Real-life application - Putting the training to the test!
Strengths and weaknesses
Targets symptoms and causes
Effective treatment
Lacks scientific backing and research
Practicality - takes time
Difficult to change deep rooted habits
Treating Abnormality
Biological therapies
ECT - Electro-convulsive therapy
Drug treatment
ECT - Patient receives an anaesthetic and muscle relaxant. An electric current (70-130 volts) is passed through the brain for half a second. The current induces convulsions (a seizure such as an epileptic fit) for approx 1 minute.
This method reduces memory loss
ECT is used primarily for treating severe depression but can be used for treating schizophrenia
Treatment are usually given for 2-3 times a week for 3-4 weeks
In 1999 11,000 people in the UK were treated with ECT. 2/3 of these were women.
Strengths and Weaknesses of ECT
ECT is a quick and effective treatment compared to drugs. Effects are short term. Relapse rate is high (60% within a year)
When to use - This method is only used when the risk of suicide is high and antidepressants have no effect.
Not sure how it works!
Side effects
Ethical issues - has been used as a form of punishment in mental asylums
Drug Treatment
Anti-anxiety drugs: BZ's
Anti-depressants: Improve mood by increasing the availability of neurotransmitters such as Serotonin
Anti-psychotics: Alleviates symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions
Strengths and weaknesses
Effective in relieving symptoms
Can be argued that there is a placebo effect
Side effects and dependency
Only treats the symptoms and not the cause
Ethics - people in mental institutions do not have the capacity make choices about medication. Some mental institutions use medication as a form of control
Psychological therapies
Psychoanalysis (Freud, Psychdynamics) Bringing repressed impulses and memories into conscious awareness
Systematic Desensitisation (Behavioural Approach) behaviours that have been learnt can be unlearnt. (Operant and classical conditioning.
Methods of psychoanalysis
Dream analysis
Free association
Transference - subconscious thoughts and feelings are transferred onto the therapist
Strengths and weaknesses
Only treats neurotic disorders such as anxiety and not psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia
No research to prove it works
Systematic Desensitisation
Relaxation techniques
Hierarchy of anxiety - series of events from least to most stressful
Reciprocal Inhibition - The idea that relaxation and anxiety cannot happen at the same time. Relaxation is associated with the hierarchy of anxiety.
Complete desensitisation - hierarchy is completed without anxiety
Application to real life
Strengths & weaknesses
Research supports success
Depends on imagination
'Flooding' - forcing a person to conform their fear is quicker
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