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4 Tutorials that teach Stress Disorders
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Stress Disorders

Stress Disorders

Description:

This lesson will identify, differentiate, and explore stressors and stress disorders.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson will look at anxiety disorders caused by stressors in a person's environment by examining:

  1. Stress Disorders
  2. Types of Stress Disorders

1. Stress Disorders

Anxiety disorders are disorders where a person feels anxious in a pervasive, strong, or unnecessary kind of way. Typically this impairs a person’s life in some way through the increased anxiety or stress they might feel.

Stress disorders are a type of anxiety disorder caused by something specific within a person's environment. Other anxiety disorders have no real apparent cause or are caused by something that isn’t rational in some

ExampleA generalized anxiety disorder is a general feeling of anxiety that a person has with no actual cause within the environment, and a phobia is an irrational fear of something that isn't a problem or a real danger.

Stress disorders have a recognizable stressor, either an event or thing within the environment, that threatens a person, and causes some degree of stress or anxiety to them. Oftentimes these stressors can be significant events and major changes within a person's life. These stressors can include people in a person’s life.

ExampleTo a child, a school bully might be an undue stressor in their life.

Traumatic stress refers to major events that cause a person psychological or emotional harm or damage. Things like natural disasters, or being raped or tortured can cause huge amounts of stress or anxiety.

Acculturative stress is caused by moving to a foreign country and all the requirements needed to adapt to a new and strange place. This is something that is especially common for immigrants coming over to the United States.

Terms to Know

    • Traumatic Stress
    • Major events that cause a person psychological or emotional harm.
    • Acculturative Stress
    • Stress caused by moving to a foreign culture and all the requirements to adapt to a new and strange place.

Stressors such as these can lead to stress disorders. Symptoms that can disrupt a person's life may include insomnia or nightmares, jumpiness and irritability, and poor concentration. A person might have a short temper, they may practice avoidance or may emotionally withdraw from others. A person who has experienced traumatic stress may have flashbacks where they relive the events like it is happening to them in real time.


2. Types of Stress Disorders

There are two different types of stress disorders. The only difference between these two being the amount of time that the person displays the symptoms and displays this mental disorder.

  • Acute Stress Disorder- if the symptoms last for less than a month.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- if the symptoms last for a month or longer; this is also known as PTSD.

Terms to Know

    • Acute Stress Disorder
    • A stress disorder where symptoms (like trouble sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, avoidance and emotional withdrawal) last for less than a month.
    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • A stress disorder where symptoms (like trouble sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, avoidance and emotional withdrawal) last for more than a month.

PTSD is very common for soldiers that are returning from the military duty, and the majority of PTSD cases come from this source. The terrible sights and sounds of war, as well as the constant stress of being in danger or of being attacked can lead to stress disorders. In addition, stress disorders can lead to the development of unhealthy coping strategies.

ExamplePeople that have acute stress disorder or PTSD might develop problems with drugs or alcohol or resort to self harm as a way coping with the stress and anxiety.

Therapies, like psychodynamic therapy, treat stress disorders and can help a person to recognize unhealthy coping strategies and develop alternative healthy ones.

Summary

Stress disorders are a type of anxiety disorder caused by a recognizable stressor. This can be an event or something in an environment which threatens a person. Traumatic stress refers to major events that cause a person psychological or emotional harm, where as acculturative stress is caused by moving to a foreign country. Symptoms of a stress disorder can interfere with a person’s life. There are two types of stress disorders. Acute stress disorder lasts less than a month, and PTSD occurs when the symptoms last longer than a month.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart.

Key Terms

Traumatic Stress

Major events that cause a person psychological or emotional harm.

Acculturative Stress

Stress caused by moving to a foreign culture and all the requirements to adapt to a new and strange place.

Acute Stress Disorder

A stress disorder where symptoms (like trouble sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, avoidance and emotional withdrawal) last for less than a month.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A stress disorder where symptoms (like trouble sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, avoidance and emotional withdrawal) last for more than a month.