Kohlberg's stage 4 in chapter 3), destructiveness, and
conformity, according to Fromm (Monte, 1980).
Unconscious urges from childhood (Freud says sex and
aggression; Adler says overcoming inferiority; Horney says
resentment of parents) may cause stress.
Unconscious conflicts--like Oedipus and Electra complexes--
cause stress which manifests itself symbolically as fears,
phobias, and neurotic symptoms.
One emotion can be converted into another, e.g. anger
(wanting to kill someone) becomes fear (of knives) or lust
becomes suspicion that spouse has been unfaithful, but the
stress is not entirely avoided by this process.
The list could go on and on. My intention isn't to give you a
"complete list" of sources of stress. I merely want you to realize there
are many possibilities to explore, if and when you go looking for the
sources of one of your anxieties. Be open-minded. Explore every trail.
You may discover very different, unique sources. Look in every nook,
consider every possibility. It can be an interesting investigation into
the workings of your mind.
Summary of the Effects of Stress and Anxiety
The effects or consequences of stress are also numerous; they are
both positive and negative. First, the desirable results:
We need and enjoy a certain level of stimulation...a certain
number of thrills. It would be boring if we had no stresses and
challenges. Some people even make trouble for themselves to
keep from getting bored.
Stress is a source of energy that can be directed towards useful
purposes. How many of us would study or work hard if it were
not for anxiety about the future?
Mild to moderate anxiety makes us more perceptive and more
productive, e.g. get better grades or be more attentive to our
By facing stresses and solving problems in the past, we have
learned skills and are better prepared to handle future
Anxiety is a useful warning sign of possible danger--an
indication that we need to prepare to meet some demand and a
motivation to develop coping skills. Janis (1977) has studied
one aspect of this process by observing patients scheduled for
surgery. He found that patients with mild "anticipatory fear"
adjusted better after the surgery than those who were
traumatized or those who denied all worries.
Other researchers have found personality differences: some
deniers do well post-operatively, others do not. This lead to an
investigation of how to prepare different personality types for surgery,
i.e. how to help the patients prepare to deal with a serious, painful
stress, by Shipley, Butt, Horowitz, and Farbry (1978). They studied