stress 

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  • STRESS
    • The bodys response to stress
      • the nervous system
        • central nervous system - Brain and spinal cord
        • peripheral nervous system - nerounes that connect the CNS to the rest of the body.
          • Autonomic nervous system (ANS) - responsible for our unconscious activities eg, digestion & breathing
            • Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) - gets the body ready for fight/flight
            • parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) - calms the body down
      • Acute stress
        • in the cerebral cortex it is evaluated whether something is a stressor
          • when there is a stressor, signals are sent to the hypothalamus
            • sympathomedullary pathway (SMP)
              • hypothalamus triggers activity in the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system
                • it stimulates the adrenal medulla within the adrenal glands, which releases adrenalin and nor adrenalin
                  • increases blood pressure /heart rate decreases digestion muscles tense increased perspiration increased breathing rate
      • Chronic stress
        • countershock produced to replace energy used by the sympathomedullary pathway
          • Pituitary adrenal system (PAS)
            • Hypothalamus triggers release of CRH
              • CRH stimulates adrenal pituitary gland
                • releases ACTH which stimulates the adrenal cortex
                  • which releases corticosteroids
                    • which gives us energy by converting protein/fat
    • stress and illness
      • Hans Seyle - GAS
        • rats become ill when exposed to daily harmless injections
          • Alarm stage - perceive stressor, first reaction - increase arousal levels so that the body is ready for any necessary physical responses
            • Resistance stage - bodies seem to adapt and cope in a normal way, eg staring a high pressured job initially we are unable to cope, in time we seem to adapt although physiologically arousal levels are still high
              • Exhaustion stage - bodies will eventually be unable to cope, alarm signs may return and we may develop illness
      • Krantz et al - stress and the heart
        • lab study, 1/3 stress inducing tasks. blood pressure and the extent to which the vessels around their heart contract (myocardial ischaemia) high, med, low.
          • it was found those with the highest increase in blood pressure showed the highest myocardial ischaemia suggesting stress may have direct influence on aspects of body functioning
      • Russek - cardiovascular disorders
        • 1st group - low stress dermatologists 2nd group - high stress GPs
          • found more doctors in high stress jobs suffered from heart disease supporting the theory that stress can lead to cardiovascular disorers
      • Brady et al - stress and development of ulcers in moneys
        • monkeys put in pairs, executive monkey was able to push a lever to postpone shocks
          • executive monkeys more likely to develop ulcers and later on die due to the stress felt in trying to avoid the shocks
            • concluding that the stress caused illness and eventually death
      • Kiecolt glazer - stress and the immune system
        • punch biopsy in 13 carers of Alzheimers & control group of 13
          • wounds in carers took an average of 9 days longer than control
      • Cohen - questionnaire and general life stress index scores then exposed to common cold virus
        • 82% became infected, and it was found after 1 week those with high stress scores were more likely to develop a cold
    • Life changes & Daily Hassles
      • Holmes & Rahe - Life chnages SRRS
        • studied 5000 patients medical records and noted any major life events that occured before they become ill
          • made a list of 43 common life events and rated them with LCUs then ranked them from high - low on the SRRS
            • High LCU scores positively correlated with an increases risk of illness, with scores of 300+ incurring an 80% risk of heart attacks
        • Rahe et al - SRRs on navy seamen
      • Kanner et al - Daily hassles
        • 100 adults completed a quesionnaire each month for 9 months and were asked to choose wihich hassles they had experiences out of a list of 117, and also to rate how severe they were.
          • they found high scores positively correlated with psychological / physical health problems. they also found that high scores on an uplifts scale were negatively related to ill health, and may even protect us from it
            • Concluding that daily hassles are linked to stress and ill health with a stronger correlation that the SRRS
    • Workplace stress
      • 5 key areas - relationships at work. lack of control. environment. role. work pressures.
        • Marmot et al - lack of control in the workplace
          • 7000+ civil service employees surveyed to get information on grade of employement, how much control and social support they felt they had and medical histories followed up 5 years later
            • those on the lowest grade of employment 4x more likely to die of a heart attack than those on the highest grade suggesting stress from lack of control is linked to cardiovascular diorders
        • Frankenhaesuser - stress levels in saw mill workers
          • 2 groups of workers studied at a saw mill - 1st group - repetitive task of feeding logs into a machine all day, very noisy and isolated, little control as machine dictated speed. 2nd group - more social contact and control
            • stress levels were testes by urine samples and blood pressure.
              • it was found that those with minimal social contact, and little control had higher levels of stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline in their urine, and were more likely to suffer from high blood pressure which can cause other cardiovascular disorders suggesting the lack of control causes stress which is linked to ill health
    • Personality types
      • Friedman & Rosenhan - Type A
        • studied approx 3000 39-59 males and assessed their personalities using interviews and observation. at the time of the study none of the men had CHD. 8 years later 257 had developed CHD.
          • 70% of the men that developed CHD were classed as Type A personality, exhibiting characteristics such as time urgent, competitive, hostile and being a workaholic. type B characteristics were less competitive and less impatient
            • Type A personailities were 2x more likely to have heart disease than type B, even when extraneous variables such as smoking were taken into account
      • Kobassa - the hardy personality
        • 3 main characteristics - High levels of commitment (work hard at relationships and job) enjoy a challenge (opportunities to develop themselves) control (internal LOC)

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