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PSYC 1002
Kim O' Neil

Health and Stress Health and Illness: Approaches - Quebec has highest stress rate. Newfoundland has the least, but has the greatest sense of humour which seems to be a good way of keeping stress at bay. - Biomedical Model – focus is on illness rather than health; looks at biological factors • Looking at biological factors and how they affect health. - Biopsychosocial Model – focus is on health as well as illness; looks at psychological and social factors in addition to biological factors • Approach seen in a lot of research, example: looking at social interactions. • Biopsychosocial model: Amodel of illness that holds that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. Health Psychology - Interested in positive lifestyle choices - Health psychology: The subfield of psychology concerned with how psychosocial factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness. - Concerned with psychological factors that contribute to health, illness and response to illness - Promotes interventions to foster good health and aid in recovery from illness Modern-Day Illness - Don’t necessarily have an underlying biological reason but is related to our psychological part. - Unhealthy lifestyle and stress - Lifestyle diseases Stress - Stress doesn’t have to be a negative challenge or change, just any type of situation that requires you to change/adapt equals a stress. - Stress: Any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one's well-being and that thereby tax one's coping abilities. - The physiological and psychological response to a condition that threatens or challenges a person and requires some form of adaptation or adjustment. - Stress depends on our appraisal of the situation Major Types of Stress - Acute – short with an end • Ashort term event ex: 9/11, a clear beginning and end. - Chronic – long and no limit • Don’t need to be major, little things that go wrong on a daily basis and are the most dangerous. • Acute stressors: Threatening events that have a relatively short duration and a clear endpoint. • Chronic stressors: Threatening events that have a relatively long duration and no readily apparent time limit. - Frustration • Our goals are being blocked • Frustration: The feeling that people experience in any situation in which their pursuit of some goal is thwarted. - Conflict (more on this later) • Really about choice, two choices are presented and you don’t know which one to pick. • Conflict: Astate that occurs when two or more incompatible motivations or behavioral impulses compete for expression. - Change (good or bad) see p. 568 • Don’t need to memorize table - Pressure • Many people put themselves under a lot of pressure (ex: social comparisons) • Pressure: Expectations or demands that one behave in a certain way. Responses to Stress - Releasing stress is good, as long as it isn’t done in an extreme manner. - Emotional • Ex: internalizing (withdrawal) or externalizing (angry) behaviors - Physical • Ex: eczema - Behavioral: Learned Helplessness,Aggression, Catharsis, Indulgence, Defense mechanisms (p. 577), constructive coping • Learned helplessness: Passive behavior produced by exposure to unavoidable aversive events.  If a stress is presented enough, you will give up on trying to deal with the stress • Aggression: Any behavior that is intended to hurt someone, either physically or verbally.  Displaced aggression • Catharsis: The release of emotional tension. • Constructive coping: Relatively healthful efforts that people make to deal with stressful events. Hans Selye(1907-1982) - GeneralAdaptation Syndrome • All organisms are constantly confronted by stressors  Stress is embedded in our existence, stress can prompt us. • Need to adjust or return to homeostasis (resting point)  When stressed, we are out of balance (physical and psychological) • If we don’t we will experience problems as a result GeneralAdaptation Syndrome - General adaptation syndrome: Selye's model of the body's stress response, consisting of three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. - This concept says we go through stages as a result of stress starting with alarm, ending with exhaustion • 3 stages - Alarm – heart rate, blood pressure, and blood-sugar levels increase, giving person energy to cope with stressful situation. - Resistance – the adrenal cortex continues to release glucocorticoids to help the body resist stressors. • Dealing with the stress - Exhaustion – all of the stores of deep energy are depleted. • Energy is depleted, hopefully it will return back to our inner balance. Lazarus’s Cognitive Theory of Stress - Primary Appraisal:An evaluation of the meaning and significance of a situation— whether it effects one’s well-being as positive, irrelevant, or negative. • Evaluate and make a decision - Secondary Appraisal: If the situation is within the person’s control, they evaluate available resources to alleviate the stress. • Equivalent to the resistant stage More Sources of Stress - Unpredictability and Lack of Control • Stress in the workplace (or an academic realm) • Catastrophic Events  Ex: 9/11, war, natural disasters. • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - results from a trauma or can also result due to prolonged exposure to stress  Agroup of traits that consist of sleeping problems, acute anxiety, increased rate of aggression, losing touch with reality, can even alter brain development (ex: young children in an abusive environment).  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Disturbed behavior that is attributed to a major stressful event but that emerges after the stress is over. • Racism Conflict with Choices - Stress can also be seen as a result of conflict between choices: • Approach-Approach:Achoice between two positive alternatives.  2 good things are presented to you and you need to make a choice. Ex: acceptance to 2 great schools and now you have to choose which one you would like to attend  Approach-approach conflict: Aconflict situation in which a choice must be made between two attractive goals. • Avoidance-Avoidance:Aforced choice between two negative alternatives.  Avoidance-avoidance conflict:Aconflict situation in which a choice must be made between two unattractive goals. • Approach-Avoidance:Achoice that has both a good and bad alternative.  Approach-avoidance conflict: Aconflict situation in which a choice must be made about whether to pursue a single goal that has both attractive and unattractive aspects. Coping Strategies - Not mutually exclusive - Coping:Active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the demands created by stress. - Problem-focused coping: Consists of reducing, modifying, or eliminating the source of stress itself. • Targeting what’s causing the problem and eliminating it. (Ex: a bad job is stressful, so you quit) - Emotion-focused coping: Involves reappraising a stressor, in other words teaching yourself that this in fact is not really a “big deal” • Teaching yourself to think differently about the situation, used in a lot of therapy. - Proactive coping: Consists of efforts or actions taken in advance of a potentially stressful situation to prevent its occurrence or to minimize its consequences. • Getting ahead of the game, a healthy way to deal with stress can
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