Whereas individuals can respond differently to the same type of stress, if stressed too frequently, the body may suffer harmful effects given that stress is the body's response to challenging situations and circumstances. In biological terms, stress refers to responses by organisms to stressors that could be environmental stimuli or conditions (Heidenreich, 2009). It is usually a way in which individual’s bodies respond to challenges by means of the activation of the sympathetic nervous systems. The resultant effects of the responses to stress could either be a flight response or a fight response. Stressful conditions are typically conditions that are either negative or positive and do have an impact on the mental state or the psychological well being of individuals who are faced with stressful situations. The stressful conditions are usually characterized by a series of physical reactions and are argued to represent the mental disorders or even physical disorders in the individual that is stressed out. Studies have shown that individuals have the potential of responding differently to the same stressors. If the individuals are always stressed in a frequent manner, their bodies will definitely develop harmful effects as the body responds to the challenges it faces and the circumstances presented. This paper discusses the effects that stress has on individual persons and the manner in which they respond to the stressors.
Studies have shown that there are vital organs within the body which play significant roles in the perception and response to stress. The human brain is the most active organ in the human body that perceives situations of stress and responds to it (Lupien et al, 2009). The brain is charged with the responsibility of processing various types of information within the body. There are also smaller sections of the brain like the hypothalamus that actively responds to the stressful conditions that the individual person on. Individuals are found to respond differently to the stressors and thus there is no uniform response that people have when it comes to responding to stressors.
The effects of stress can either be moderate or chronic depending on the intensity of the stressful condition. The stress can affect the emotions of an individual as well as the body of the individual under stressful conditions. Stress can also affect the immune systems of individuals. When the frequency of stress is constant, the immune system is weakened significantly (Thompson, 2010). The weakening of the immune system makes individuals become more likely to develop sickness as opposed to being healthy and stress free. For those who have chronic diseases, they become more vulnerable to effects of stress as it worsens their immune system even more. Stress also affects the human heart significantly. It usually has a link to the bodies’ blood pressures which studies have revealed that stress causes high blood pressure. It also causes the heart to beat abnormally and causes the blood to clot. Either, stress has the potential of making the human arteries to harden- a condition normally referred to as atherosclerosis. It can also cause heart failure and heart attack diseases.
Stress also affects the human lungs as it has the potential of worsening certain diseases that are associated with the human lungs. Stress worsens disease conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary and asthma conditions (Heidenreich, 2009). Studies have also found that stress can also affect the human skin more so on individuals who have the problems of skin diseases. For example, individuals with acne and psoriasis skin diseases are at higher risk of their condition becoming worse due to stress. Stress significantly affects the manner in which the stressed individuals feel, the manner in which they think and the eventual manner in which they act. Under stressful conditions, individuals respond with feelings of crankiness that may make them be unable to deal with even smaller problems. There are those who respond to stressful situations by losing their tempers while others end up developing feelings of frustrations
In many occasions, stress is found to affects the human muscles as the constant tensions lead to pains in the shoulders, low back and around the neck. Studies have also shown that the presence of stress in individuals acts as a contributing factor to the development of irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and gastro esophageal reflux diseases (Edu, 2009). Individuals with such diseases are at higher risk since stress worsens the conditions. Either, the reproductive system of individuals is also affected by stress. There are those who respond to stressors with dysfunctional reproductive system. Constant presence of stressors alters the normal functioning of the reproductive system. In both male and females, stressful conditions can lead to low infertility which essentially affects the ability to reproduce off springs and is more pronounced in women than in men. Women respond to stressors through miscarriages and painful menstrual cycles. The men might respond with inability to experience full erection (Heidenreich, 2009).
In conclusion, stressful situations are shown to have differing effects on the individuals who are stressed. The individuals stressed tend to respond differently to the stressors with some showing variations in their biological body processes while others showing variations in their attitude or mental states. There are those who have medical conditions that are worsened by the presence of stressors within their day to day life. For the stressors to cause the severity of these medical conditions they have to be experienced on a constant basis.
Heidenreich, P. (2009). Handbook of Stress: Causes, Effects and Control. New York: Nova Science Publishers
Thompson, H. L. (2010). The Stress Effects: Why smart Leaders make Dumb Decisions and What to Do about It. San Francisco, California: Josssey-Bass
www.umm.edu (2009, February 13) Stress Complications. Retrieved from http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_health_consequences_of_stre ss_000031_3.htm
Conrad, C. (2011). The Handbook Of Stress: Neuropsychological Effects On The Brain. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell.
Lupien, S. Mcewen, B. Gunnar, M. & Heim, C. (2009). Effects Of Stress Throughout The Lifespan On The Brain, Behaviour And Cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. Page 434-445.