Are You Stressed?
Who isn't under stress these days? While many used to ignore it, the importance of actively alleviating stress in our everyday live's can not be over-rated as the incidence of people suffering and even dying from stress related conditions reaches epidemic proportions. No-matter what industry profession or walk of life you are from, learning about stress management can assist yourself, clients, family and friends to combat this increasing health concern.
Everyone deals with stress differently; and some people do not deal with it at all. Sometimes stress can be mild and manageable; but at the other end of the spectrum, it can be severe and a serious health problem.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a terrifying ordeal or event. This can include events such as violent assaults, such as rape, mugging, a beating, or natural disasters, military combat, accidents or the sudden death or loss of a loved one. People who suffer from PTSD can experience emotional numbness, sleep disturbances, anxiety, anger, depression and guilt. It is often diagnosed when the symptoms have lasted for more than one month. Although symptoms typically develop within three months of event, but can take longer for some people.
PTSD sufferers can experience a range of symptoms, such as disturbing flashbacks, nightmares, traumas, frightening thoughts, particularly when they experience something similar to the trauma or it is an anniversary of the trauma (for example).
The person will often re-experience the trauma, so having the same emotional, physical and mental feelings that they had at the time of the trauma. They may feel agitated and have the same physical sensations as when they were experiencing the trauma. They will feel as though they are in danger. The person cannot control them or stop them from happening. They may also have trouble controlling their emotions, such as anger, upset and anxiety. It can also affect their concentrate and thinking.
Sufferers of PTSD will obviously find thinking about the trauma very upsetting, so they may avoid reminders of the trauma. This may be intentional, but some may not be aware that they are doing this. They may avoid people, places or activities that remind them of the trauma.
They may also have other symptoms, such as –
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Have trouble feeling love or strong emotions
- Feel that things around them are unreal or strange
- Feel that they are not “themselves”
- Have problems remembering some parts of the traumatic event
- Have weird physical symptoms
- Feeling physically numb
- Feel disconnected from the world
- Losing interest in things they used to enjoy
- Not feeling pain or other sensations
Treatment of PTSD
The treatment of PTSD will vary, but research has found that cognitive-behavioural therapy, exposure therapy and group therapy can be very effective. The person is gradually, and repeatedly, encouraged to relive the trauma under controlled conditions to help them to work through their trauma. Avoidance of thinking about the trauma will have the opposite effect as the person is not dealing with or resolving their feelings. Medication can also ease feelings of depression and anxiety that the person may feel.
Dangers of intervention
As with any intervention, we have to treat everyone differently. For a person suffering from PTSD or who has experienced a serious trauma, being encouraged to face it too soon can cause a serious effect. If the person is not ready, it can be more harmful than good, but an experienced counsellor or psychiatrist will recognise the signs that the person is ready to being their therapy.
This correspondence course gives students an insight into the latest techniques available to help alleviate stress.
Duration 100 Hours (you study at your own pace).
The course is divided into 8 lessons as follows (students complete one assignment per lesson):
1. Body Changes – The fight or flight response; the stress and immune system; long term problems; sources of stress
2. Easy Living – Anxiety; panic; fear; controlling stress; goal setting; relaxation
3. Pills and Alcohol – Drugs and alcohol; smoking; seeking help
4. Self Esteem – Self esteem; social support;
5. Managing Your Own Career – Career goals; career management
6. Security and Decision Making – Self assurance; decision making; problem solving
7. Relaxation and Nutrition – Relaxation; we are what we eat; nutrition, diet and weight loss
8. Personality and Stress – Type A and Type B personalities; personality types and stress; personal style inventory
WHAT YOU WILL DO IN THIS COURSE
Here are some examples of some of the exercises you may undertake in this course:
You may know of, or have a friend in a highly stressful occupation (eg. Doctor, Policeman, Teacher, Manager). Arrange an appointment and interview them, find out about the stresses involved in their job, the people they work with, and how they cope
Talk to some of your friends and acquaintances. Find out what type of work they do, how long they work for, and if possible, the reasons why they work. What sort of things do they do at work & at home that cause them stress or tire them out? What activities do they do, that they enjoy, and that help relax them?
Talk to friends or relatives who are or have been smokers. Ask such questions as why did you startsmoking; how long have you been smoking; how many cigarettes (or pipes, or cigars) do you smoke a day; are they aware of the health risks; what do their family, etc. think of their smoking; do they get hassled by other people about their smoking; have they tried to give it - if they were successful thenhow hard was it, if not successful then why?
To enrol in Stress Management, click here.