Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes -Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Coronary Artery Disease, Sympathetic Nervous System

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
1
Chapter 15
Stress,
Coping and
Health
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2
The Nature of stress
Stress in 3 different ways
o Eliciting stimuli or events (stressors) that place among demands on us
o Response that have cognitive, physiological and behavioural components
o Person-situation interaction or transaction between organisms and environment
Stress is a pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses and behavioural tendencies that occurs in
response to a perceived imbalance between situational demands and the resources needed to cope with them
Situation demands/resources; stressor characteristics cognitive appraisal physiological responses coping
Stressors
Stimuli that place demands on us that endanger us and require us to adapt
Sympathetic nervous system’s adrenal medulla epinephrine sense stressor and signal hypothalamus
Measuring Stressful Life Events
Amount of life stress, type of appraisal, intensity, predictability, controllability experienced over duration of time
The Stress Response
Starting point of stress is how we appraise the situation
Primary appraisal of the demands of the benign, neutral/irrelevant situation
Secondary appraisal of the resources available to cope with it e.g. knowledge, abilities, supportive peers
Judgements of what the potential consequences of the situations could be
Appraisal of the personal meaning (what the outcome might imply about us)
o Basic beliefs about yourself or the world (how much does this situation mean to you)
Distortions and mistaken appraisals can occur causing inappropriate stress
o Overestimate situation and occurrence, underestimate resource or irrational self-beliefs
As soon as we make appraisals, autonomic and somatic feedback respond and they affect each other
Chronic Stress and the Gas
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS): physiological response pattern to strong and prolonged stressors
Alarm reaction sudden activation of sympathetic nervous system to activate muscles (more oxygen) , organs
(pupil dilation to enhance vision), glands and release stress hormones
o Perception of threat from hypothalamus pituitary glands adrenal glands hormones
o Cortisol similar to epinephrine, by converting protein to glucose and making fats available for energy
Suppresses immune system by releasing glucocorticoids that suppress white blood cells
Cortisone cortisol to treat inflammation, arthritis
Too much will causes depression and anxiety disorders
o Parasympathetic nervous system reduces arousal to maintain homeostasis
Resistance body’s resources continue to be mobilized so person can function under stress
o The length of this stage depends on the severity of the stress, health and available support
o Increase heart rate, respiration, suppression of digestion, immune system, change in blood sugar levels
o Eventually exhaust body
Exhaustion body’s resources are seriously depleted
o Increase vulnerability to disease and even death
o Severity of stress, ability to cope and health are factors that can lead to exhaustion faster
o Selye whichever system of the body is weakest, it will be the first to be affected during exhaustion
E.g. maturation, genetic, experimental weak (cardiovascular breakdown), immune weak
(diseases)
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Document Summary

The nature of stress: eliciting stimuli or events (stressors) that place among demands on us, response that have cognitive, physiological and behavioural components, person-situation interaction or transaction between organisms and environment. Stress is a pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses and behavioural tendencies that occurs in response to a perceived imbalance between situational demands and the resources needed to cope with them. Situation demands/resources; stressor characteristics cognitive appraisal physiological responses coping. Stimuli that place demands on us that endanger us and require us to adapt. Sympathetic nervous system"s adrenal medulla epinephrine sense stressor and signal hypothalamus. Amount of life stress, type of appraisal, intensity, predictability, controllability experienced over duration of time. Starting point of stress is how we appraise the situation. Primary appraisal of the demands of the benign, neutral/irrelevant situation. Secondary appraisal of the resources available to cope with it e. g. knowledge, abilities, supportive peers. Appraisal of the personal meaning (what the outcome might imply about us)

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