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Stress and how it can affect behaviour

Stress and how it can affect behaviour

stressStress can affect behaviour in many ways and this will depend on what an individual perceives as stress as some individuals can cope with much more stress than others. Most people will perform better if under a certain level of stress but could feel completely out of their depth if too many demands are place on them. Reactions to stress also differ between individuals and these will vary from person to person. The flight or fight response which is a result of a rush of adrenalin could either have a positive or a negative outcome as this adrenalin could cause an individual to become aggressive or angry and therefore not deal with the situation appropriately.

Most individuals can cope with stress on a daily basis but if this is ongoing and seemingly relentless this can cause the individual to become drained and unable to function or to burn out completely. When stress becomes very intense, which could also only be for a short period individuals could develop a post traumatic stress disorder. Michael Argyle, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rodgers shared and focused on the belief that basic needs had to be met and that if the individual does not feel that these most basic needs were being met then they would not be able to function as productive and well balanced individuals. This would probably result in the individual having difficulties dealing with emotional and practical issues which would in turn be a cause for further stress.

Different kinds of stress provoke different kinds of behaviour, grief for example as argued by Kubler Ross (1969) who believes that there are five different stages to grieving and these are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance, whereas Bowlby (1980) listed four main stages or processes as shock and numbness, yearning and searching, disorganisation and despair, and finally reorganisation.
Other signs of stress include the individual withdrawing from what may be their normal activities, becoming quiet and feeling isolated which could lead to depression requiring medication and counselling.

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