1.1.1 Increase the activity of a chemical called GABA
184.108.40.206 GABA increases the uptake of chlorine ions at the synapse
which prevents other neurotransmitters being so effective
220.127.116.11.1 This acts to reduce the activity of other
neurotransmitters such as serotonin
18.104.22.168.1.1 By increasing the activity of GABA, BZs therefore
dampen activity and arousal of neurons in the CNS.
1.1.2 Unfortunately GABA reduces
activity in about 40% of the
brain’s neurons so doesn’t just
effect stress pathways
22.214.171.124 Side Affects
126.96.36.199.4 Memory Loss
1.2 Beta Blockers
1.2.1 BBs slow down activity in the sympathetic branch of the
ANS by reducing levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline
188.8.131.52 This has two positive effects; it reduces heart rate and blood pressure
184.108.40.206.1 and because it is difficult to feel stressed when your heart isn’t
pumping away like a mad ‘un, it helps to make us feel calm.
1.2.2 Because they have fewer side
effects they tend to be the drug of
choice for sports people and
especially musicians. Lockwood
found that 27% of musicians had
used BBs and generally found them
1.3 Evaluation 2
1.3.1 However, they can be addictive. BZs especially can
induce withdrawal symptoms even when taken in small
doses. There is also the issue of tolerance with greater
and greater quantities needed to gain the same stress
reduction when they are taken for any length of time.
1.4 Evaluation 1
1.4.1 Drugs are convenient being quick
and easy to take. Compared to
lengthy sessions of therapy they are
cheap and far less time consuming.
2.1 New kid on the block and works by increasing the
effects of serotonin. It has fewer side effects than
benzodiazepines; fewer headaches, less
drowsiness but it can cause headaches!
3.1 The body is not designed to
allow us to be consciously
aware of subtle changes in our
bodies such as blood pressure.
3.2 Biofeedback aims to provide this information
allowing us to take steps to reduce heart rate
etc. by relaxation. A biofeedback machine
produces precise information (or feedback)
about bodily processes such as heart rate
and/or blood pressure. This may be presented
in visual or auditory form (or both).
3.3 The fact that some people can apparently regulate
some bodily processes has led to biofeedback
being used with many types of stress-related
disorders. These include migraine headaches,
tension headaches and high blood pressure.