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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Stress

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Western University
Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

Chapter 3: Stress- The Constant Challenge 1 What is Stress? • stressor: physical or psychological event/condition that produces stress • stress response: physical & emotional changes associated w/ stress stress: general psychological/emotional state that accompanies the stress response • Physical Responses to Stressors: autonomic NS: controls basic body processes; sympathetic & parasympathetic divisions • • parasympathetic Division: moderates the excitatory effect of the sympathetic division, slowing metabolism & restoring supplies • sympathetic Division: reacts to danger & other challenges by almost instantly accelerating body processes • norepinephrine: neurotransmitter released by the sympathetic NS onto specific tissues to increase their function during increased activity; when released by the brain, causes arousal (increased attention, awareness, alertness) • endocrine system: system of glands, tissues, cells that secrete hormones into the bloodstream to influence metabolism and other body processes • hormone: chemical messenger produced in the body & transported in the bloodstream to target cells or organs for specific regulation of their activities • cortisol: steroid hormone secreted by cortex of adrenal gland • epinephrine: hormone secreted by medulla of adrenal gland, affects functioning of organs involved in responding to a stressor Chapter 3: Stress- The Constant Challenge 2 • endorphins: brain secretions that have pain-inhibiting effects • fight-or-flight reaction: defense reaction that prepares an individual for conflict or escape by triggering hormonal, cardiovascular, metabolic & other changes changes: - heart/respiration rates accelerate to increase O2 levels - hearing/vision become more acute - liver releases extra sugar for energy - perspiration - brain releases endorphins • homeostasis: state of stability & consistency in an individual’s physiological functioning Emotional & Behavioural Responses to Stressors: • cognitive (mental) appraisal of potential stressor strongly influences how you view it • reduce magnitude: successful prediction, perception of control • certain amount of stress can promote optimal performance Effective & Ineffective Responses: • somatic nervous system: governs motor functions & sensory information, largely under conscious control effective behaviours: exercising, learning time-management skills, laughing • • ineffective behaviours: overeating, expressing hostility, using harmful substances Personality & Stress: • personality: sum of behavioural, cognitive & emotional tendencies Chapter 3: Stress- The Constant Challenge 3 1. typeA: ultra-competitive, controlling, impatient, aggressive, hostile, react explosively to stressors 2. type B: relaxed, contemplative, more tolerant of others’behaviours 3. type C: anger suppression, difficulty expressing emotions, feelings of hopelessness, exaggerated response to minor stressors 4. type D: feel negative emotions, avoid social contact, gloomy, anxious • hardiness: optimistic, committed to activities, sense of inner purpose, inner locus of control • resilience: emotional intelligence & violence prevention, set goals, face adversity 1. non-reactive: does not react to stressor 2. homeostatic: react strongly but return to baseline functioning quickly 3. positive growth: learns/grows from stress experience Cultural Background: • clashing of cultures leads to disrespectful treatment, harassment, violence learning to accept cultures can be mind-opening • Gender: • gender role: culturally expected pattern of behaviour & attitudes determined by a person’s sex • ex. crying may be deemed more appropriate for one gender over other • can affect our perception of stressor Experience: • traumatic events • ex. public speaking Stress Experience as a Whole: stress-management strategies: • - building greater social support through relationships Chapter 3: Stress- The Constant Challenge 4 - participating/contributing to family/community in productive ways - setting higher expectations w/ boundaries - building life skills ex. decision making, conflict management - avoiding urge to control outcome of every situation - knowing own limits/limitations - trusting others Stress & Health: GeneralAdaptation Syndrome: • pattern of stress responses consisting of three stages: alarm, resistance, exhaustion 1. alarm: more susceptible to disease/injury, headaches, indigestion, anxiety, disruptive eating/sleeping patterns 2. resistance: new level of homeostasis, cope w/ normal life & added stressors 3. exhaustion: b/c first 2 stages require great amount of energy • eustress: stress resulting from pleasant stressor • distress: stress resulting from unpleasant stressor Allostatic Load: • long term negative impact of the stress response on the body • factors: genetics, life experiences, emotional/behavioural responses • high- poor adaptation to common stressors, inability to shut down stress response • lead to heart disease, hypertension, obesity, reduced brain/immune system functioning Psychoneuroimmunology: study of interactions among nervous, endocrine & immune systems • • increased levels of cortisol are linked to decreased # of immune system cells, lymphocytes Chapter 3: Stress- The Constant Challenge 5 • neuropeptides: hormone-like substances that translate stressful emotions into biochemical events acute stress- white blood cells move into skin & increase immune response • • chronic stress- prolonged secretion of cortisol, accelerate courses of diseases • mood, personality, behaviour & immune functioning are intertwined • ex. depression=less physical activity, affects stress levels Links Between Stress & Specific Conditions: Cardiovascular Disease: • heart rate increases, blood vessels constrict, causes blood pressure to rise • atherosclerosis: blood vessels become damaged/caked w/ fatty deposits, block arteries, cause heart attacks & strokes • cardiomyopathy: mimics heart attack, doesn’t damage heart • emotions of anger/hostility can cause heart attacks • cholesterol- elevated levels of CRP (homocysteine & C-reactive protein) Psychol
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