MANAGING STRESSCrime Scene Investigation/Law Enforcement
WHAT CAUSES STRESS? Imagine that it is early in the morning and youare fast asleep. Suddenly, your alarm clocksounds. You sit up quickly, open your eyes, andjump out of bed. As you react to the ringingalarm, you experience stress. Stress is a reaction of your body and mind tothreatening or challenging events in your life. You experience stress when situations,events, or people make demands on yourbody and mind. These demands are often a part of your dailyroutine.
WHAT CAUSES STRESS? Many different situations, events, and peoplecan cause stress. The causes of stress arecalled stressors. Examples of STRESSORS: Your alarm clock Upcoming Tests Athletic games Arguments with friends Arguments with Parents Trouble at school
WHAT CAUSES STRESS? What are some other causes of stress? Talkwith your tablemates and come up with a listwe can discuss.
MAJOR LIFE CHANGES In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes andRichard Rahe decided to study whether or notstress contributes to illness. They surveyedmore than 5,000 medical patients and askedthem to say whether they had experience any ofa series of 43 life events in the previous twoyears. Each event, called a Life Change Unit (LCU),had a different "weight" for stress. The moreevents the patient added up, the higher thescore. The higher the score, and the larger theweight of each event, the more likely the patientwas to become ill.
MAJOR LIFE CHANGES Look at the “Ranking of Stressors by High SchoolStudents”. Most of these stressors are major life changes,especially changes that affect one’s family orschool life. These changes are stressfulbecause they threaten the person’s sense ofsecurity or self-esteem. Each change ismeasured in “life-change units” and given ascore. The number of life-change units youaccumulate during a year is one way to measurethe amount of stress you experience.
MAJOR LIFE CHANGES As you look over the stressors listed in the chartin front of you, notice that the list includes somepositive changes as well as negative ones.While being accepted to the college of yourchoice is indeed as positive event, it can be justas stressful as a negative event. It is importantto realize that change, both positive andnegative, is in itself, stressful. How many of you went to District or Statecompetition last year??? Nationals???? Wasthat stressful???
MAJOR LIFE CHANGES Look through the list of stressors. On aseparate sheet of paper, add up the pointsvalue for any stressors in your life for THELAST YEAR. We will discuss thesignificance of your score here in a littlewhile. You will not have to share anythingwith the class (if you don’t want too), but youshould know the significance of your LCUscore and how it affects your health and wellbeing.
MAJOR LIFE CHANGES Is there anything that is NOT on that list thatyou think should be there?? Lets’ talk aboutthem. They may not be on your list, but dohave a LCU assigned to them.
EVERYDAY PROBLEMS Some of the most common stressors are notlisted on the list I gave you. These commonstressors are sometime called “hassles”, -minor,but frequent, everyday events that cause youstress. Hassles include misplacing or losingsomething, being concerned about how youlook, forgetting an important item, and havingtoo many things to do at once. While suchproblems seem minor, they contribute greatly toyour overall feeling of stress. This is becausehassles occur day in and day out. Can youremember a day in the last month that was freeof hassles……??? Probably not.
PHYSICAL SURROUNDINGS Conditions in your immediate surroundingsaffect your level of stress each day. Consideryour bus ride to school each day – is itpleasant? Is the bus crowded? Is it hot/cold?Your level of stress might be quite high by thetime you arrive at school. A major stressor that occurs all around you butis often overlooked is noise. Living in high traffic areas Extreme weather conditions like snow, drought,excessive heat Living in unsafe, crowded or polluted areas Earthquakes Fires Other major catastrophes
SHARPEN YOU SKILLS Coping with Change Select three life events from the list with yourpartner. List three things that a person could doto make each event less stressful.
SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS Herbert Walker, MD, clinical professor ofpsychiatry at New Your University MedicalSchool in New York City, believes that peoplecan learn to deal with stress by writing abouttheir problems. Walker recommends gettingin the habit of recording something each dayin a “stress diary”. He suggests thatindividuals record stressful incidents, tell howthey handled them, and explain other, betterways in which they might have handled theproblem.
OTHER STRESSORS Another major source of stress for teenagersis worrying about the future. Graduation Jobs Military College Living arrangementsFor teenagers, all of these decisions as youapproach then end of High School can be VERYstressful.
OTHER STRESSORS Conflict – disagreements with family members,friends, and others - is another source of stress forteens. Some teens experience more conflict thanthey did when they were young or disagree overdifferent issues. These conflicts can be verystressful. Another source of stress is special events- dates, team tryouts, job interviews, and more.Think about special events that you haveexperienced over the past few months. Where thoseevents stressful for you? Think of some think coming up here at the CTC thatcould be stressful?? What are they??
POSITIVE STRESS AND NEGATIVE STRESS Stress is POSITIVE when it promotes growth andaccomplishment. Positive stress is sometimescalled eustress. Negative stress, on the otherhand, is called distress. Think about something you have accomplishedlately – You may remember the feelings youexperienced before and during the event. Do youthink you performed better as a result of thestress? Competitions ACT Test ASVAB Test TSA in your SKILLS Area Eagle Scout What are some other accomplishments??
POSITIVE STRESS AND NEGATIVE STRESS Research has shown that, at moderatelevels, stress can actually improve yourability to concentrate and perform at yourbest. Beyond that level, however, stressbegins to take a negative toll onperformance. List ten stressful experiences you have facedsince school started. Next to each one, notewhether it was a positive or negativeexperience for you.
STAGES OF STRESS As soon as you perceive something to be astressor, your body springs into action. Yourbody’s response is automatic – like yourheartbeat, it is not under your control. Allstressors – from serious ones like lifethreatening situation, to moderate ones likean upcoming test – trigger the same stressresponse in your body, although at differentlevels of intensity.
STAGES OF STRESSThe body’s response to stressoccurs in three stages -The alarm stageThe resistance stageThe exhaustion stage
ALARM STAGE Scenario: You are on a peaceful walkthrough a forest in Colorado. Just as you areenjoying the sights, sounds, and smells ofthe forest, a huge grizzly bear appears infront of you. How do you react? You determine that the bear is a threat, andthat you do not have the resources to handlethe situation.
ALARM STAGE When your walk in the forest began, your mindand body were in a state of balance. Your mind was at ease All of your body’s systems were functioning normallyThis normal, balanced state is calledhomeostasis.When you saw the bear, homeostasis wasdisturbed and you entered the first stage ofstress, the alarm stage.
ALARM STAGE In the alarm stage, your body releases a substanceknown as adrenaline into your bloodstream. Adrenalinecauses many immediate changes in your body: You get a immediate burst of energy Your heart beats faster, increasing blood flow to vitalorgans and muscles Your breathing quickens to provide oxygen for yourbody’s activities Your muscles tighten, making you ready to run or fight Less blood flows to your skin and digestive system,leaving more for vital organs and muscles Your pupils widen, allowing more light in You feel a lump in your throat as your throat musclescontract to help open the airways to your lungs and makebreathing easier
ALARM STAGE As your body responds tothe stressor, your mindalso reacts. During thealarm stage, you becomemore aware of thingsgoing on around you. These changes only takea few seconds, but oncethey have taken place,you are ready to react. You have two choices: Stand and Fight Run
ALARM STAGE This immediate reaction of the body to stressis called the fight or flight response, becausethe changes prepare you to either “fight” thestressor or “take flight” and escape.
FIGHT OR FLIGHT Scientists believe that the fight or flightresponse was essential for primitive peoplewho had to survive wild animals and otherdangers. Today, the same reaction occurswith any serious stressor. When faced with achallenge, such as a difficult test orcompetition, your body reacts with the samephysical changes, to different degrees.These changes make it possible for you tochose between fight or flight.
RESISTANCE STAGE What do you do if it is not possible to fight ortake flight? In such cases, if the stressorcontinues or doesn’t kill you, you enter into theresistance stage of the stress response. Duringthis stage, the body tries to recover from thealarm of the first stage. Because the stressorstill remains, the body cannot restorehomeostasis. Instead, the body continues tofunction at a higher-than-normal level. Thebody uses a lot of energy in the resistancestage. As a result, you may become tired,irritable, and less able to handle any additionalstress.
EXHAUSTION STAGE If the stressor still continues,you may enter theexhaustion stage, the thirdstage of the stress response.In the exhaustion stage, thebody is worn down and nolonger has enough energy tofight of the stressor. As yourbody’s balance remainsdisturbed, you become moresusceptible to illness. Yourability to make judgmentsand to interact with others isimpaired. In extreme cases,the exhaustion stage canlead to unhealthy behavior,serious illness, or evendeath.
EXHAUSTION STAGE The exhaustion stage does not occur witheach stress response. If it did, your bodywould wear out. Exhaustion occurs only if astressor continues for a long time – usuallyweeks, months, or even years. People oftenenter the exhaustion stage when theyexperience stress that is beyond their control– such as divorce, a death, or anotherserious family problem. Discuss PTSD
RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF STRESS How can you keep stress under control andprevent the resistance stage or theexhaustion stage form occurring? The first, most important step incontrolling stress, is recognizing whenyou are under stress.
RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF STRESS Look at the early warning signs of stress. Asyou look over the list, think about how youact and feel when under stress. From thelist, select those reactions that apply to you.List them on a sheet of paper and title it “MyWarning Signs of Stress”. Add to your listany other reactions you have. The next timeyou experience some of your warning signs,you will know that you are under stress.
RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF STRESS Recognizing when you are under stress willsoon become automatic. You may begin tonotice patterns – perhaps you always showsigns of stress when you haven’t had enoughsleep, for example. You may be able to cutdown on such avoidable stressors. Byrecognizing these signs early, you may alsobe able to prevent some of the more seriouseffects of stress.
STRESS AND INJURIES When you are under a lot of stress, it caninterfere with your ability to focus and thinkclearly. Unfortunately, when people aredistracted and preoccupied with other things,they are more likely to injure themselves andothers. Car accidents Bike accidents Job related accidents
STRESS AND ILLNESS By itself, stress does not usually causeserious illness. Most people experiencestress from time to time, but regainhomeostasis quickly. Severe or prolongedstress, how-ever, can affect your health. Itcan lower your resistance to illness, and itcan make some diseases harder to control.
PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLNESSES You may have heard the termpsychosomatic illnesses todescribe stress related illnesses.Psycho means “of the mind” andsomatic means “of the body”.Psychosomatic illnesses arephysical disorders that result fromstress or other emotional causes. These illnesses are evidence ofthe ways in which the mind affectsthe body. Some people think thatpsychosomatic illnesses areimagined, or that they are “all inyour mind”. This is not true.Psychosomatic illnesses are realphysical disorders that are eitherbrought on or made worse bystress.Survival oriented behaviorholes
LOWERED RESISTANCE The immune system protects the body from diseasethrough a complicated process involving a number ofspecialized body cells. When you speak of fighting off theflu or a cold, the immune system does the fighting. Whenyour immune system functions well you hare able to resistsome illnesses to which you have been exposed. Scientific research has shown that prolonged stress canprevent the immune system from functioning well. If yourimmune system is not working well, you may have someminor illnesses, such as colds and flu, more often. Forpeople with diseases such as cancer, a weakenedimmune system may worsen their condition. Some researchers feel that a major stressful or traumaticevent can lower disease resistance for a year or more.
ULCERS An ulcer is an open sore in the lining of thestomach or other part of the digestive tract.For some people, stress increases theamount of acid in the stomach, whichworsens the ulcer and can prevent it fromhealing.
ASTHMA People with asthma, a disorder o fhtrespiratory system that makes breatingdifficult, may react to stress with an asthmaticattack. Durnign an asthmatic attack, theperson coughs, wheezes, and gasps for air.Although these symptoms usually can becontrolled with medication, people withasthmaneed to recognize their bodies’reactions to stressors so that they canmanage serious asthma attacks.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART DISEASEAs you already read, stressincreases the blood flow in thebody. Long periods of stress, thencan lead to high blood pressure.Because high blood pressure hasno obvious symptoms and oftengoes undetected, it is sometimesreferred to as “the silent killer”. If itis not controlled, high bloodpressure can lead to heart diseaseand stroke.Stress also contributes to heartdisease in other ways. Becausethe heart must work harder whenunder stress, prolonged stress candamage the heart muscles. Overtime, this can increase a person’srisk of heart attacks.
MANAGING STRESS Although stress is a part of life, it does not have tocontrol your life. You can do many things to keepstress under control. Managing stress helps to restore balance in yourlife – it prevents the stressors from taking controland making you ill. In a sense, everything that you do to maintain yourhealth is a way to manage stress. Eating well,exercising regularly, expressing your feelings, andsaying no to alcohol and other drugs – these are allways in which a healthy person manages stress. But,you can do more.
MANAGING STRESS Confront the problem Time Management Poor time management is one of the biggestcontributors to stress. Physical Activity Relaxation Mental Rehearsal