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PSYA2 - Stress - Bio methods of stress mgmt

Group task

Clare Schulze

on 30 November 2015

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Transcript of PSYA2 - Stress - Bio methods of stress mgmt

Biological Methods of Stress Management
One example of a biological method to help stress management is the use of drug therapies.
Some work by slowing down the activity of the CNS whereas others work by slowing down the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Learning Outcomes
Applying precis methods choose appropriate information to summerize the two biological methods
Describe two examples of drug therapy
Outline how biological methods work
Evaluate biological methods of stress management
Sympathetic Branch
Works with Sympathetic Adrenal Medullary System (SAM) to activate the adrenal medulla
Release of adrenaline
Prepares body for fight or flight response
Physiological Reactions e.g. increased heart rate
Drug Therapies - Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines (BZs), which includes Librium and Valium slow down the activity of the CNS.
How benzodiazepines enhance the inhibitory role of GABA at the synapse
Commonly used drugs to combat stress are the:
Benzodiazepines (BZs)
Reduce brain arousal
Reduce activity of sympathetic nervous system
Drug Therapies – Beta-Blockers (BBs)
Beta-blockers (BBs) reduce the activity of adrenaline & noradrenaline.
How do they work?
Stress causes an arousal of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and this can lead to:
- raised blood pressure
- increased heart rate

These then can cause:
- cardiovascular disorders
- reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system functioning
BBs reduce the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are responsible for preparing the body for the “fight or flight” response.
They do this by binding to receptors on the cells of the heart and other parts of the body which are usually stimulated during this arousal.
Real World Application
Lockwood (1989) studied over 2,000 musicians in major US symphony orchestras and found that 27% reported taking BB's. It was found that those musicians who had taken BB's felt better about their performance, as well as receiving a better report from critics.
Drug Therapies - Benzodiazepines
How do they work?
BZ’s enhance the action of GABA.
GABA is a neurotransmitter and the body’s natural form of anxiety relief.
When the neurons in the brain respond to this neurotransmitter, it has a quietening effect on them.
The neurons do this by reacting with GABA receptors on the outside of receiving neurons.
The GABA then locks into these receptors and opens a channel which increases the flow of chloride ions into the neuron.
Research support:
Kahn et al (1986) followed nearly 250 patients over eight weeks and found that BZ’s were significantly superior to a placebo. A meta-analysis of students focusing on the treatment of social anxiety

Beta-blockers are effective in reducing anxiety in a variety of stressful situations e.g. among musicians and in sports where accuracy is more important than physical stamina ( e.g. snooker and golf)
Increased aggressiveness with BZs

Treating the symptoms rather than the problem

Strength - Ease of use:
One of the great benefits of using drugs for stress is that the therapy requires little effort from the user.

You just have to remember to take the pills. This is much easier than the time and effort needed to use psychological methods.

Typical exam questions on this area

"Outline drug therapy as a method of stress management" (4 marks)

"Name one biological method of stress management" (1 mark)
Explain strengths of this biological method of stress amangement "
(5 marks)

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