Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.4. Identify physiological responses to stress and give an indication of behaviour that may be associated with the response

ryanrori February 7, 2021

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There are a range of responses to stress and they can be emotional, behavioural or physical. The following table sets out to show the most common responses to a stress overload. 

Cognitive SymptomsEmotional Symptoms
Memory problems
Inability to concentrate
Poor judgment
Seeing only the negative
Anxious or racing thoughts
Constant worrying
Irritability or short temper
Agitation, inability to relax
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Depression or general unhappiness
Physical SymptomsBehavioural Symptoms
Aches and pains
Diarrhea or constipation
Nausea, dizziness
Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or too little
Isolating yourself from others

Source: www.helpguide.org 


Identify behavioural reactions to stress with examples

The behavioural problems that arise are over and above what the above table suggests. 

Should a person be unable to cope, a number of events such as substance abuse and also illness that might arise due to chronic stress (continuous stress) you might not identify it at first that you are in fact suffering from stress, but it is a warning sign if you find yourself staying away from work more than you normally would. 

Other indications could be also indicative of stress such as:

Fast Speech

This behaviour can be the result of nervousness, restlessness and anxiety. This may even lead to individuals being able to speak, as a result of feeling tightness in the chest, dry mouth, unable to swallow or just feeling confused.

Drugs – Substance abuse

This type of behaviour can increase because of stress: alcohol abuse, excessive smoking, use of increasingly stronger drugs. This provides a temporary relief but may lead to physiological as well as psychological addictions.

Poor work performance 

People who are under stress also do not perform as well as they should because at a point everything becomes overwhelming – and mistakes can creep in, or deadlines are no longer met

Sex Drive

Increased or decreased sex drive can also be symptomatic of stress and anxiety. Increased sexual behaviour can be characterised by two key features:

  • A recurrent failure to control the sexual behaviour
  • Continuation of the sexual behaviour despite significant harmful consequences