STRESS – Read Without Stress – 6
From THE HOMOEOPATHIC PRIMER by Rajgopal Nidamboor, 1994
It is a different proposition to measure and study stress, because the phenomenon happens to be a non-specific reaction, response to be precise. With the conceptualization of individual responses to stress in terms of a general adaptation syndrome by Hans Selye, who investigated the behavioural and physical changes in stressful situations, people’s response to a stressor was divided into three stages: an initial period of alarm, followed by a longer phase of resistance, and a final stage of exhaustion.
Alarm produces escalated physiological arousal: of excitement, anxiety, or fear. While metabolism is speeded up dramatically, along with shunting of the blood to the brain, individuals may experience symptoms such as anorexia, insomnia, headaches, ulcers, or hormonal changes.
Since individuals cannot stay highly aroused for too long, the alarm response gives way to resistance, where the behavioural responses become more restrained. In the resistance phase, individuals may exhibit symptoms like irritability, impatience and anger, besides continued fatigue. The stage can persist for a few hours, days or even months and years together.
The final stage of exhaustionaffects both emotional and physical health. If the individual’s stress status of an extreme nature is not relieved, the results could be anything from maladjustment, withdrawal to in extreme cases even death.