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PSY1102 - Stress and Health - Chapter 12

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Najwa Haddad

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STRESS AND HEALTH (CHAPTER 12) 1. Stress and Illness A. Introduction - 1400’s - dying from infectious diseases - today - dying from diseases with strong lifestyle component (heart, cancer, strokes...) - half of the mortality rate of 10 cultures are based on behaviour - behavioural medicine: - scientific field combining psychological knowledge and medical knowledge - health psychology - psychological contribution to behavioural medicine - try to understand any factors linked with illness - link between motivation and disease, behaviours and disease... B. Stress & Stressors - psycho-bio process - a negative emotion experienced when facing events that are seen as threatening or taxing to us. - how we perceive an event affects our stress. - stressor: any event we perceive as threatening, challenging or taxing 2. The Stress Response System - Canon - one of the first to scientifically study stress - concluded that humans and animals when faced with threatening situation their bodies go through a psychological change - stress hormones - epinephrine, norepinephrin - fight or flight response - when we are stressed - heart rate and blood pressure go up, pupils dilate - body will decrease other functions and shut down - short term stress is good for us - adaptive...helps us survive - chronic stress is very harmful - Selye - coined the term stress - general adaptation syndrome (GAS) - the body has a generalized response to stress - sequence of psychological phases - alarm reaction - body activates, mobilizes resources in order to fight or flight - if stress continues: - resistance - body will do anything to resist or cope - if stress continues: - Exhaustion - body resources are depleted, can no longer resist or cope, we become more vulnerable to illness and disease - “korocho” - Japanese word for dying from over work. - adrenal glands: - sit on top of kidneys, release stress hormones - when faced with stress body will activate 2 systems: - 1. cortex - hypothalamus - spinal cord - sympathetic nervous system - adrenal module (inner part of adrenal gland) - 2. cortex - hypothalamus - pituitary glands - adrenal cortex (outer) - cortisol (short term is beneficial, long term is toxic to the brain for cortisol) 3. What Causes Stress? - stressful events - catastrophes, unpredictable, massive event - hurricane.. - significant life changes - break ups... - daily hassles - little problems in everyday life - stuck in traffic - social and cultural factor - racism, poverty... - conflict - conflicted with 2 choices - approach - approach conflict - 2 equally pleasant choices - approach - avoidance - cause lots of stress, good & bad associated with choice - avoidance - avoidance - only undesirable choices - Perceived control - self perception we can deal/cope with whatever comes our way - need a realistic amount - healthier, confident, less likely to be stressed - know what is controllable and uncontrollable C. Stress and the Heart - Friedman and Rosenman - 1956 - heart disease - psychological variables can cause disease - type A and B - type A - angry, aggressive - after 9 years 69% had heart attacks - type B - 0% - what is it about type A? - unhealthy behaviour - temperament - stress hormones speed up the blocking of arteries - negative emotion - anger - other toxic emotions - pessimism - depression D. Stress and Susceptibility to Disease 1. Stress and the Immune System - immune sy
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