Discuss about the Biological and Psychological Interactions System.
Single parenting is stressful as raising a child single-handedly pose challenges to the single parents. Single parents face problems that are linked with upbringing of children and their future as they are dependent on them. They face various problems that greatly affect their health and well-being. It is difficult to make children disciplined as single parent is the only disciplinarian and as a result, there might be behavioural problems witnessed in them. Single parents are unable to spend quality time with their children as responsibilities of childcare; earning and housing make them feel stressed, pressurized and fatigued (Golombok 2014). This is also witnessed in the given case study of Raffaella where she is finding it difficult to take care of her 6 months old baby, Ellie due to her full-term job as a CEO in a NGO. As Raff is going back to work soon, she gave bottle milk to Ellie that resulted in urticarial rash and allergy. Moreover, Ellie is attending full-time childcare where she is showing signs of separation anxiety as her mother Raff leaves the childcare centre. According to Kotwal and Prabhakar (2009), single mothers face emotional, social and economic problems that become the main stressor for majority of them. As given in the case scenario, single mother, Raff is unable to cope up with her stress and feels tired, lonely, helpless lacking self-confidence and self-identity.
Single parenting greatly affects their physical and mental health that results from stress trying to balance the home responsibilities, employment needs, child rearing and interactions with the kid lacking social support. Single parenthood between the ages 16 and 45 may face increased risk for health problems including poor mental health, cardiovascular episodes and increased morbidity (Rousou et al. 2013). The more the men and women spend time in single parenting, the more they are likely to get health problems that worsen with age affecting their capability to perform multiple tasks. There is also growing recognition that substance abuse is also linked to single parenting that pose obstacle to self-reliance and work life participation (McLanahan, Tach and Schneider 2013). In the given case study, Raff adopted unhealthy coping strategy to deal with the stress as she found it difficult to handle Ellie’s childcare responsibility and establish full-term childcare routine for her. Therefore, efforts need to be made to improve participation and engagement in assisting single parents to improve their functioning and their children.
Describe how stress plays a role in illness?
Stress is usually referred to as an environmental change that causes the body to react and adjust as a response (Groesz et al. 2012). The body reacts to the environmental changes physically, either mentally or emotionally. Although stress is considered a normal phase in life that is short though constant, in its extreme, it can aggressively change body and thought processing (Staufenbiel et al. 2013). The body may be designed to react and handle stress. In its positive nature (stress), it awakens responsibility like keeping one alert to avoid danger and in negative nature (distress), it evokes stress related tension and overworked situation (Scott et al. 2015). This evokes physical symptoms among them being headaches, upset stomach aches, elevated blood pressure chest pain amongst other related problems like sleeping anomalies (Dhabhar 2014). It may also aggravate already present illnesses like chronic diseases among then cancer and high blood pressure (Cohen et al. 2012). Stress with use of other drugs among them alcohol use, drug abuse and tobacco smoking lead to more stress and may cause health complications to the body and mind (Folkman 2013). There are over 43 percent of people who suffer from stress health effects like anxiety and over 75% who suffer from stress related illnesses among them asthma (Leuner and Shors 2013). The body responds to stress by building an autonomous nerve response. It also known as the flight response and is usually activated on situation where an emergency occurs. The response is sometimes chronically activated in times of prolonged periods of stress. This results in wear and tear of the body that affects one’s physical and emotional well-being (Krantz 2011).
It also affects the body’s hormonal imbalance and affects the equilibrium that activates psychical symptoms such as headaches, chest pains and even sexual dysfunction (Heim and Binder 2012). Its harm causing effects usually because by behavioral changes that is adopted in a bid to reduce stress among they drug abuse, food addition, alcohol abuse, overworking of tobacco, sex, shopping addiction and overuse and dependency on the internet. Instead of relaxing, the body to a relaxing state, the substances and the compulsive behaviors tends to cause more stress to the body and even cause more problems (Baldwin et al. 2014). The body becomes more dependable on the stress and the substance abuse to cope. The effects of stress and the indication of stress are seen through physical symptoms like high pulse rates, sweaty palms and cold sweats, constant exhaustion, trembling of the body, weight gain, general aches, dizziness, clenched jaws, indigestion and sleeping problems (Lovallo 2015).
The best way to overcome and manage stress is defeating it “Through and from the mind”. This means being positive, accepting change as a part of life, being assertive regular exercises, healthy balanced meals, proper time management, taking up hobbies and getting enough rest amongst others.
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Folkman, S., 2013. Stress: appraisal and coping. In Encyclopedia of behavioral medicine (pp. 1913-1915). Springer, New York, NY.
Golombok, S., 2014. Parenting: What really counts?. Routledge.
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Kotwal, N. and Prabhakar, B., 2009. Problems faced by single mothers. Journal of Social Sciences, 21(3), pp.197-204.
Krantz, D.S., Whittaker, K.S. & Sheps, D.S. (2011). “Psychosocial risk factors for coronary artery disease: Pathophysiologic mechanisms.” In Heart and Mind: Evolution of Cardiac Psychology . Washington, DC: APA
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Lovallo, W.R., 2015. Stress and health: Biological and psychological interactions. Sage publications.
McLanahan, S., Tach, L. and Schneider, D., 2013. The causal effects of father absence. Annual review of sociology, 39, pp.399-427.
Rousou, E., Kouta, C., Middleton, N. and Karanikola, M., 2013. Single mothers’ self?assessment of health: a systematic exploration of the literature. International Nursing Review, 60(4), pp.425-434.
Scott, S.B., Graham-Engeland, J.E., Engeland, C.G., Smyth, J.M., Almeida, D.M., Katz, M.J., Lipton, R.B., Mogle, J.A., Munoz, E., Ram, N. and Sliwinski, M.J., 2015. The effects of stress on cognitive aging, physiology and emotion (ESCAPE) project. BMC psychiatry, 15(1), p.146.
Staufenbiel, S.M., Penninx, B.W., Spijker, A.T., Elzinga, B.M. and van Rossum, E.F., 2013. Hair cortisol, stress exposure, and mental health in humans: a systematic review. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(8), pp.1220-1235.