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Lecture 40

Psychology 1000 Lecture 40: Stress

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Psychology 1000

• The Stress Response • Psychosomatic Disorders • Traumatic Stress • Next time: Freud • Scan: p. 524 - 531 Questions: 1. What causes stress? 2. Are there consequences of prolonged stress? 3. How can you protect yourself against stress? Stress Definition: 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 1. Stressors a. Catastrophes, life changes, hassles b. Daily hassles can add up 2. Intervening Factors a. Appraisal i. Lazarus theory- Theory of appraisal b. Perceived Control c. Personality d. Social Support e. Coping 3. Stress Reaction a. Physiological b. Emotional c. Behavioural 1. Sense Stressor Response 1 a. Activate sympathetic nervous system b. Adrenal Medulla - Middle of the brain c. Epinephrine 2. Sense Stressor Response 2 a. Anterior pituitary b. Adrenal cortex c. Glucocorticoids (Cortisol) Cortisol • Effects similar to epinephrine • Converts protein to glucose • Makes fats available for energy • Increased blood flow • Almost every cell in body has a receptor for glucocorticoids - Cortisol is much more accessible and invasive as the receptors are everywhere - Difference between cortisol and epinephrine Immune System • Stress can suppress the immune system, making the person more vulnerable • How? Stress results in release of glucocorticoids … Directly suppress the action of white blood cells • Under stress, high state of arousal, immune system is compromised Support? • Rats faced with inescapable shock showed a decrease in lymphocyte production - White blood cell count goes down • Husbands show decreased immune response after wife's death - Immune system compromised because of the stress relation - When the immune system is compromised you are more likely to be exposed to other diseases • People are more likely to get sick a few days after exposure to stressful event • Acute infectious disorders increase during final exams Note: • Reaction depends on appraisal • Do you perceive that situation is a threat and that you can cope? Or not? • If you believe you can cope, you stop the stress reaction • Stressful beliefs cause distress - Convince yourself you are not stressed to limit the immune system decline • Distress - Physically and mentally ill Psychosomatic Disorders • Disorders with primarily physical systems, but "caused" or maintained by psychological factors • Ex. Hypertension, higher cholesterol - Maintained if you're stressed more Gastric Ulcers • Painful lesions of stomach lining • Over 500K new cases per year • Linked to living in stressf
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