12.outline.intro.lsu.f.09

12.outline.intro.lsu.f.09 - Chapter 12 Stress and Health...

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Chapter 12 – Stress and Health Behavioral medicine – interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease. Health psychology – application of psychological concepts and research to illness prevention and treatment, and to health advancement. Stress and Illness Stress and Stressors Stress - process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors , that we interpret as challenging or threatening Interpretation is important – what is stressful for you might not be stressful for me Stress reaction – physical and emotional responses to stressors Increase in heart rate and blood pressure, may secrete more stomach acid, may feel overwhelmed/angry Stress can be seen as beneficial or harmful. Eustress - pleasant or curative stress. Controlled stress gives us edge in performance-related activities like athletics, giving a speech, acting, taking a test Distress – unpleasant or disease-producing stress Chronic, uncontrolled negative stress -> compromised immune system, illness, and even death For this chapter, when we say stress, we will be referring to distress. The Stress Response System
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Stress is a psychobiological process, with both physiological and psychological components and consequences. An early contribution to the understanding of stress was the physiologist Walter Cannon’s 1932 description of the fight or flight response organism prepares for danger with sympathetic activation. Adaptive, helpful. Saves you from tiger Can’t stay that aroused for a long time without paying a price If danger doesn’t go away, ur always aroused deteriorating health as body diverts resources away from everyday maintenance and toward emergency readiness Another major contributor to the study of stress was Hans Selye. Experiments with a wide range of stressful events, from injections to fatigue to extreme cold, revealed that the body responds to stressful conditions with a general adaptation syndrome , consisting of three parts: Stage 1: Alarm reaction – immediate response to stressor (fight or flight) Can lower effectiveness of immune system Stage 2: Stage of resistance (Adaptation) – if stress continues, body starts to adapt Hungry – lack of food – you will feel lethargic (body adapting to low levels of food) Stage 3: Stage of exhaustion – body’s resistance to stress gradually reduces or completely collapse Stressful Life Events 1. Catastrophes – unpredictable, large-scale events, like an earthquake or tsunami. After 9.11, many people had hard time concentrating Depression and anxiety are very likely reactions 2. Significant Life Changes – anytime we have to adjust to new life circumstances, there can be stress involved. Most people seek order, continuity, and predictability in their lives. There fore, they experience change, good or bad, as stressful.
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Most people seek order, continuity, and predictability in their lives. Therefore, they experience change, good or bad, as stressful.
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This note was uploaded on 05/11/2010 for the course PSYC 2000 taught by Professor Munson during the Spring '10 term at LSU.

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12.outline.intro.lsu.f.09 - Chapter 12 Stress and Health...

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