Stress in Man and Woman Essay Example

6Stress in Man and Woman

Background Information

In 1930s, the term stress was borrowed from the fields of engineering and physics and first used in the context of biology around the same time. According to Aldwin (2007), stress is a psychological and biological term which refers to the consequences that organisms face when they fail to adequately respond to emotional, physical and mental demands, whether they are real or imagined. Keil (2004) notes that stress, especially in human beings, has varied signs which could either be behavioural, physical, emotional or cognitive. These signs may include excessive worrying, irritability, moodiness, agitation, feelings of loneliness, depression, inability to relax, eating too much or too little, social withdrawal, sleeping too much or too little, neglect of responsibilities or procrastination, increased use of alcohol or drugs, nail biting, pacing about, neck pains, constipation, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat and general negative outlook among many other symptoms. Other scholars such as Seyle (1975) have defined stress as the feeling that on experiences when they react to particular events.

Stress affects both men and women. Numerous studies have shown that men and women are affected by stress in different ways. Research also shows that men and women respond to stress differently because gender plays a major role in how different people will respond to stress (Ron de Kloet, Joels & Holsboer, 2005). Men and women use the word stress when they get the feeling that everything else in life has become too much. They use it to refer to situations where men and women feel overloaded and they are not sure whether they can cope with the pressures that have been placed upon them with life. Many scholars agree that everyone is somehow familiar with stress. Men and women experience it every day in varying degrees and forms as is discussed in this paper.

Comparison and Contrast of the Topic to a Similar Item

According to Ron de Kloet, Joels & Holsboer (2005), a group of scientists from the University of Montreal led a study which revealed that men and women of different ages respond to stress in different ways. It is therefore correct to conclude that age and gender are major determinants of how different people respond to stress. The study incorporated both men and women aged between 20 and 64 years old. According to the results, it was discovered that cardiovascular risk was much higher in women who were more defensive. This is ironic because it is quite opposite in men. Older men who were less defensive had severe effects on their health as compared to women and younger men. This can be compared to another item by Schore (2003) which seems to agree that defensiveness is a trait that is characterized by the denial, avoidance and the holding back of information that is perceived as threatening. Both sources show that in women, a strong defensive reaction to a threat to self esteem or judgment from others will lead to high heart rate and high blood pressure. The two sources also seem to point out that older men who have lower defensive reactions have higher cardiovascular rates.

The two sources also differ in some ways. The first one tends to focus more on gender while the first one focuses on age. The first source seems to identify gender as the major cause of differences between stress levels and how different people cope with stress. The second sources on the other hand seems to focus more on age as the major cause of differences between stress levels in men and women and how they both cope with stress. Both articles are however very useful and insightful in explaining the concept of stress and its causes in men and women and how they cope with it (Schore, 2003).

Description of the Problem and Possible Solutions

Stress is a major problem that affects both men and women. Stress is anything that poses threats or challenges to the wellbeing of humans. Stress is definitely a problem because it is common to almost everyone and it may have very adverse effects if not controlled. It has been established that stress affects men and women differently. It has also been found out that men and women deal with stress in different ways. Stress can cause many problems to both men and women. These problems include the symptoms of stress which can be very detrimental to the health of these individuals. These symptoms and dangers of stress include excessive worrying, irritability, moodiness, agitation, feelings of loneliness, depression, inability to relax, eating too much or too little, social withdrawal, sleeping too much or too little, neglect of responsibilities or procrastination, increased use of alcohol or drugs, nail biting, pacing about, neck pains, constipation, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat and general negative outlook. All these characteristics appear differently in men and women. There are some that are higher in men and lower in women while there are others that are higher in women and lower in men (Schore, 2003).

Many researchers have given numerous solutions of coping with stress. The first and most common solution is to recognize stress when it strikes. This involves identifying the symptoms of stress so that one can be in a position to deal with stress effectively. Other solutions that people can use to deal with stress include not worrying about situations that we do not have control over, solving little problems before they become big, preparing ourselves for stressful events, working to resolve conflicts with people, talking to counselors, family and friends, looking at situations positively, setting realistic goals and regularly exercising while eating well balanced meals and getting enough sleep among others (Selye, 1975).

Summary and Reflection

In conclusion, stress is a serious problem that affects many men and women. The symptoms of stress alone are strong enough to lead to the severe deterioration of the health of human beings. It has been established that women and men have different capacities to deal with stress. They are also stressed by different situations and these situations affect them differently. Stress has been found out to be part of human life and many people undergo stress on a daily business. It is up to humans to know how to deal with the stress in their lives so as to reduce its effects. There are also numerous solutions that have been proposed by researchers that are aimed at dealing with stress effectively. These solutions are based on research, surveys and case studies. All in all, stress will continue to be there for a long time. It is how humans react to stress that will determine their healthy (Keil, 2004).

As part of my reflections, I have learnt that stress can either be good or bad. Most people associate stress with negativity but there are other types of stresses that are good for human beings. These include those stresses that make us want to work more and more so as to achieve more. Such stress is usually productive because it leads us to put in more effort and be determined to achieve more. However, stress should not be allowed to go beyond certain levels because it can be very detrimental to one’s health. People should be able to manage stress when it catches up with them and also know how to prevent themselves from getting stressed. I have also learnt that women and men cope differently with stress and that they are sometimes stressed by very different factors. Men and women are also stressed by different situations and in different ways.

References

Aldwin, C. (2007). Stress, Coping, and Development. 2nd ed. New York: The Guilford Press.

Keil, R. M. K. (2004). Coping and Stress: A Conceptual Analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 45(6), 659–665.

Ron de Kloet, E., Joels, M. & Holsboer, F. (2005). «Stress and the Brain: From Adaptation to Disease». Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6 (6), 463–475.

Schore, A. (2003). Affect Regulation & the Repair of the Self. New York: W.W. Norton.

Selye (1975). «Confusion and Controversy in the Stress Field». Journal of Human Stress, 1, 37- 44.