Lecture Notes 14-17 - Lecture#1 Stress Chapter 15 Stress...

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Lecture #1 – Stress Chapter 15 – Stress The Stress Response Stress is a pattern of physiological, behavioural, emotional and cognitive responses to real or imagined stimuli that are perceived as blocking a goal or endangering our well–being Stress Process Stressors Intervening Factors Stress Reaction Stressors – catastrophes, life changes or hassles Anything over 100 on Life Events Stress Test (Holes and Rahe 1970) is a potential stress Intervening Factors – appraisal, perceived control, personality, social support and coping Stress Reaction – physiological, emotional and behavioural responses Physiological – sense a stressor so we get the “fight or flight” response, kick in the sympathetic nervous system, the adrenal and medulla kick in and epinephrine is release – signal is also sent to the hypothalamus so it tells the anterior part of the pituitary gland and stimulates the adrenal cortex and the glucocorticoids are released Cortisol o Effects similar to epinephrine o Converts protein to glucose o Makes fats available for energy o Increased blood flow o Almost every cell in the body has a receptor for cortisol Immune System o Stress can suppress the immune system, making the person more vulnerable o How? Stress results in release of glucocorticoids which directly suppresses the action of white blood cells o When a stressor is dealt with, they end up getting sick right after because the immune system was suppressed and you pick up a virus Support? o Rats faced with inescapable shock showed a decrease in lymphocyte production o Husbands show decreased immune response after wife’s death o People are more likely to get sick a few days after exposure to a stressful event o Acute infectious disorders increase during final exams Note: o Reaction depends on an intervening factors: appraisal o Do you perceive that situation as a threat or that you cannot cope o If you can that’s fine, but if you cannot that is where someone experiences distress Psychosomatic Disorders Psychosomatic Disorder Disorders with primarily physical symptoms, but “caused” or maintained by psychological factors Example: Hypertension (high blood pressure is something that is caused by your psychological response to a stressor)
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Gastric Ulcers Air Traffic Pilot Painful lesions of stomach lining Over 500K new cases per year Linked to living in stressful environment But not due to stress alone Importance of control Control Weiss (1977) Group 1: No Shock Group 2: Avoidable Shock – jump over the hurdle, you’re fine Group 3: Unavoidable Shock Note: Groups 2 and 3 are “yoked” (delivered at the same time) Noise?
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