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Influence of stress on a person’s mental activity in difficult conditions. The process of stress formation.
The concepts of “stress” and “mental tension” are used as synonyms for the characterization of human mental activity in difficult conditions.
Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to increased demands on it. Requirements are understood to mean all influences, or stressors, which lead to a change in the activity of the body. This can be a change in social status, and increased workloads, and conflict, and problematic relationships with subordinates, and sudden trauma, illness, loss of a loved one, and much more. That is, factors of the external or internal environment that cause the development of stress can act as stressors. The term "non-specific" is due to the fact that the human body responds to the effects of any stressor stereotypically, with the same biochemical changes. The purpose of these changes is to maintain the stability of the state of the organism and its integrity under the conditions of the requirements and loads imposed on it, i.e., adapt to new environmental conditions and survive. However, this adaptation is accompanied by the development of extreme tension of organs and systems of the body and leads to the maximum mobilization of functional reserves.
The effectiveness of employees in extreme situations is directly dependent on their individual psychological characteristics and, in particular, adaptive ability.
The adaptive ability to work in extreme situations is an important psychological and pedagogical factor that determines the effectiveness of the formation of psychological readiness of employees. The process of adapting to activities in extreme situations is complex and does not go the same for everyone. A study of this issue in the units of the OMON of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia showed that after 2 months in the combat area, 58% of the personnel adapted to these conditions, 36% partially adapted, and 6% did not adapt at all.
Among the difficulties affecting the adaptation process, combatants emphasize the possibility of getting injured, death, great workload, dissatisfaction with the sanitary and hygienic conditions of life, the impossibility of a good rest and restoration of strength and, as a consequence of this, fatigue. A significant part of the personnel is insecure in their actions, associated with a poor knowledge of their rights and obligations, the procedure for using weapons and special means, and insufficient information about the situation in the combat area.
Analyzing the activities of employees of special units, the following classification of stress factors or stressors can be distinguished:
I. By the nature of psychosocial motivation.
1. Stressors of everyday intense professional activity: this includes features of various areas of activity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, regulated by orders, regulatory documents of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, etc.
2. Stressors of extreme conditions for the functioning of the personnel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs:
Under extreme conditions (EU) are understood - emergencies - crisis situations of a socio-political nature, emergency situations of technogenic environmental and natural nature, emergency situations of a criminal nature; speaking of extreme situations (ES), one should keep in mind the above extremes of a more or less short-term action;
a) extraordinary circumstances (Ч0) constitute a real emergency and inevitable threat to the security of citizens or the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, which can be expressed in the following: attempts to forcibly change the constitutional order or seizure of power, mass asty, mass Russia and terrorist acts, blockade of certain localities , interethnic and regional conflicts accompanied by violence, threatening the life and safety of citizens or the normal functioning of state institutions;
b) emergency situations are a violation of normal living and working conditions of people at the facility or in a certain territory (water area), which can be caused by the following - natural disasters: epidemics, epizootics, fires, floods, earthquakes; major technological disasters on land, on water, in aerospace, endangering the life and health of the population and requiring large-scale emergency rescue and restoration work;
c) criminal emergencies (PE) constitute a real threat to the life, health, honor and dignity of people, any forms of property, which is the result of serious crimes requiring special measures.
The constant participation of police officers and military personnel in the processes of preventing and eliminating the consequences of extreme situations causes them certain changes in the body, psychological and psychophysical in nature.
3. Stressors of family life (love, divorce, marriage, childbirth, death or illness of loved ones, etc.).
4. Moral stressors (remorse, responsibility for the life and health of both innocent people and criminals; the need to use weapons and other means of destruction).
5. Stressors of mixed origin (the need to resign and adapt to other living conditions, sexual disharmony, illness, the need for surgery, unmet material needs).
The above stressors may differ in time of action and in the nature of the effect on the human body.
II. By duration of action:
1. Stressors with short-term action (from several hours to several days):
- causing fear (meeting with an armed enemy, hostage-taking, acting in conditions associated with heavy human losses, with a real threat to life);
- pace and speed (the need to process a large flow of information and make a decision, the need to show the maximum speed and speed of movement);
- alarming and unpleasant physical sensations (pain, fatigue due to adverse conditions - fires, floods, poisonous substances);
- distractions (tactical maneuvers of the enemy; unsuccessful actions, miscalculation in assessing situations, an error in the technique of movement), etc.
2. Stressors with a long action (from several months to several years):
- prolonged workloads that generate fatigue (long shifts associated with a certain risk and danger, protection of values, special objects, monotonous working conditions, the need to constantly fulfill the requirements of superiors for a limited time, etc.);
- isolation (service associated with a long separation from the family and familiar conditions, long trips in stressful conditions;
- war (conducting lengthy hostilities).
III. By the nature of the impact on the human senses, stress factors are divided into:
1. visual and mental range (death of loved ones, colleagues, contact with a large number of wounded, crippled, panicked people: destruction of buildings, equipment, structures, landscape, fires, explosions, type of corpses, blood, etc.);
2. auditory range (rumble, roar, roar, shooting);
3. of the olfactory-olfactory series (vibration, shock of air waves, concussions, smells of gas and corpses, cold, heat, electric current, etc.)
The specified separation of stress factors is rather arbitrary and in each specific field these factors are intertwined and affect employees in a complex. For example, the following stressful factors affect the participants in special operations to free hostages to one degree or another: an immediate and high threat to life and health; responsibility for the life and health of the hostages, the constant risk of harm to them through their inaction or wrong actions; the wide public resonance of each particular case, especially the close attention to the actions of law enforcement agencies by the media, the socio-political significance of their mistakes (this was especially clearly demonstrated in Budenovsk, Pervomaisk, Beslan, during the period of hostilities in Chechnya); lack or inconsistency of information about criminals, about their psychological characteristics; extreme dynamism and difficult to predict the nature of changes in the situation in connection with the peculiarities of the behavior of criminals; the need for long-term containment of natural, extremely negative emotions in the process of direct contact with criminals; constant overload of psychophysiological functions, due to the need to analyze and predict the development of the situation, make responsible decisions, organize and carry out clear and coordinated actions in a tight time limit; moral experiences associated with the need to use weapons or other means of destruction against the criminal as a person and against the civilian population.
External stress factors acting in a particular extreme situation do not matter on their own, without correlating them with the internal characteristics of the human body and its physical and spiritual preparation.
So, stress is primarily a reaction of the body. The process of stress formation in any person, including employees of special units, takes place in several stages:
1. Exposure to a factor (cross-gene).
2. The receipt of information about the factor in the central nervous system, in the cerebral cortex.
3. Assessment of the factor. If regarded as threatening, then:
4. The sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is activated.
5. Nerve impulses from the brain are directed along the activated sympathetic section of the autonomic nervous system:
- in muscle structures, which are promptly brought into a state of stress as a result of the release of norepinephrine by the nerve endings. This mobilization of muscle activity is a manifestation of the most ancient mechanism of survival: when all living organisms encounter a stressor, they either clash with it or run away from it, which in any case requires active muscle work. And man is no exception, only this program is not fully implemented among representatives of the human race: most modern people do not use the techniques that were in the ancestors' repertoire to protect themselves from stress factors. But, nevertheless, the muscles are brought into a state of readiness for vigorous activity to ensure that the actions necessary to protect against the stressor are performed (since all attention is paid to the stress factor, muscle tension is not always recognized and can be subjectively perceived as trembling);
- in the adrenal medulla, which secrete certain hormones: adrenaline and norepinephrine. The appearance of these hormones in the blood affects various organs and systems of the body, determines the picture of stress.
The functional systems of the body are included:
1. Sympathoadrenal. It consists of the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal medulla producing hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine. This system is an emergency "help" to adapt the body to subsequent actions and is activated in the first minutes of exposure to a stress factor. This system causes the following changes in the body:
- narrowing of the peripheral vessels (the color of the skin changes - they turn pale), which leads to an increase in blood pressure;
- redistribution of blood from the periphery to the center to the main life-supporting organs: brain, heart, lungs;
- Strengthening the activities of life-supporting functions: intensification (acceleration) of heartbeat and respiration;
- intensification of mental activity: increased attention, accelerated reaction;
- narrowing of the pupils;
- increased activity of sweat glands;
- decreased activity of the salivary glands;
- decreased activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
2. Hypothalamic-adrenal gland. It consists of the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland (adenohypophysis) and the adrenal cortex. This system is activated later, but is valid for several hours (up to several days). The result of this system is:
- strengthening of metabolic processes;
- suppression of inflammatory processes (glucocorticoids of the adrenal cortex);
- prevention of allergic reactions (glucocorticoids of the adrenal cortex), but the reverse side of this effect is a decrease in immunity, which develops to the third stage of stress;
- an increase in the threshold of pain sensitivity, i.e., analgesia with beta-endorphins and enkephalins secreted by the pituitary gland.
Figure 1. shows the process of stress formation.
So, the possibilities of the human body are not unlimited. To a certain extent, the body, having mobilized all resources, suffers the influence of constant stress factors; a person works, as if through force. But, if preventive measures have not been taken, depletion inevitably ensues.
Preventive measures are, first of all, the training of certain skills, that is, special training.
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Influence of stress on a person’s mental activity in difficult conditions. The process of stress formation.
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