Discuss biological coping strategies for stress (12 Marks)
Benzodiazepines are a group of drugs used to treat anxiety and stress. They work by slowing down the activity of the central nervous system. GABA is a neurotransmitter that is used by the body as a natural anxiety relief. Benzodiazepines enhance the action of the GABA by binding to the receptor sites and boosting the action of the GABA. This allows more chloride ions to enter the neuron, making it even more resistant to excitation. This results in a reduction of the brains excitatory and makes the person calmer.
Beta blockers work by reducing the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are part of the beta receptors on the cell of the heart and other parts of the body which are usually stimulated during arousal. By blocking the receptor sites, they can cause a reverse effect of stress hormones, causing the heart to beat more slowly and with less force. The action of beta blockers results in a fall in blood pressure and therefore less stress on the heart.
A strength of using biological methods to manage stress is that they are very effective in combating the effects if stress. Beta blockers are effective in reducing anxiety in a variety of stressful situations and in sports such as golf or snooker where accuracy is needed more than physicality. Kahn et al conducted a study that supported biological methods for stress management. They followed nearly 280patients over 8 weeks and found that BZs were more effective than placebos given to some of the participants. Another strength is the ease of use of the biological methods This means that little time and effort is required for the usage of the drugs whereas psychological methods can take a much longer period of time such as stress inoculation therapy.
However there are some limitations that come with the biological methods of managing stress such as the effect of addiction. When BZs were first introduced over 40 years ago, users began to find the...