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Unformatted text preview: Stress and Health
Psychology 1107 Introduction Our behaviour has serious health effects
• • • • Smoking Drugs Diet Reaction to stress We’ll talk about the last one but all of these behaviours fall under ‘behavioural medicine’ Behavioural Medicine Interdisciplinary OT MD Psychologist Nutritionist Psychology’s part is played by health Psychologists Health Psychologists How do our perceptions affect our reaction to stress Emotions, personality and disease When/why do some seek treatment (and of course why do some not Stress and Illness Evolution and the fight or flight response Made great sense 100 000 years ago Maybe today you just got pwned playing Halo2 Good things about stress Sometimes it will save your life, or help you Fight Accident Test… What is stress? The process by which we appriase and cope with environmental threats and challenges Good a definition as any Careful, the idea of stress is way over used How does it work? Cannon Fight of flight Epinephrine, norepinephrine Heart rate goes up Breathing increases Seyle Injected rats with various hormones Found enlargement of adrenal cortex Shrinkage of thymus Ulcers Other liquids did the same thing! Same response to fear, shock etc. General Adaptation System 1) Alarm reaction 2) Resistance
• • • • • Heart rate up Blood to skeletal muscles Stay ‘up’ Peak Hormones released until you don’t have any more More GAS 3) Exhaustion • Defenses depleted at this point • Very vulnerable Lots of this is bad • Leads to destruction of hippocampal cells caused by cortisol release • So, memory loss! Stressful Events Catastrophes Significant life changes
• Death • Divorce • Job loss • Nobody likes these Stressful Events Daily Hassles
• • • • • While these seem like nothing, if you are facing other bad stuff they can add up Loud neighbours Annoying profs… Bad weather Coffee maker breaks down Your team loses Perceived Control Effects of stressors are mediated by perceived control Executive monkeys Optimists fare better in life than pessimists Less control, more stress hormones released Coronary Heart Disease, Stress Coronary and Personality and Friedman and Rosenman got the ball rolling Fat in diet and smoking were equal in men and women Men got CHD not women Men had higher stress jobs Accountants were fine until April Type A Personality Type A personality Driven Time dependent Why more CHD? Sleep less Smoke more Fly off the handle more easily anger Stress and the Immune System Immune system has two types of cells B Cells fight bacteria T cells fight viruses, cancer Stress suppresses the immune system
• • • Diverting resources to the GAS More infections Even more cancer Remember Only a healthy lifestyle can help you in a big way You can’t smoke, drink, smoke crack, have unprotected sex and say “Oh, but I have a positive outlook, so I will be just fine… Health psychologists are also interested in promoting health, why people go to the Dr. etc. In other words…. How do you deal with stress Aerobic exercise is the key Probably helps you stay in the resistance phase of the GAS for longer Therefore, less exhaustion Biofeedback Learn to control heartbeat, blood pressure
Know what it takes to calm down May be no different than other cheaper methods! • Really just learning how to relax • • Illness and Behaviour Smoking
• • Nutrition Quitting Biggest deterrents are price and the short term effects, not long term! • Fat is good • Fat is bad Dieting Hard to change your set point Dieting alone is less effective than diet and exercise You do not ‘burn off’ fat and turn it into muscle Maybe the overweight should accept themsleves? Acceptance Advantages Disadvantages • Happier so less stress • Still overweight… Much of the publicity is poorly done Conclusions Stress is good Stress is bad Your mom was right ...
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- Winter '10