Stress as a bodily response

Types of stress, GAS model etc.

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  • Created by: Abbie
  • Created on: 18-05-09 11:48
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Stress as a bodily response
Stress - a state of physiological or psychological strain caused by adverse stimuli that tend to
disturb the functioning of an organism.
Stress is a type of alarm reaction, involving heightened mental and bodily states
Acute stress - sympathomedullary pathway (SAM)
SNS --> noradrenalin --> fight or flight changes in body
SNS --> adrenal medulla --> adrenaline --> fight or flight changes
Chronic stress - pituitary-adrenal system (HPAA)
Hypothalamus --> CRF --> pituitary --> ACTH --> adrenal cortex --> cortisol
This system is self-regulatory - high levels of cortisol lead to reduction in CRF and ACTH.
Sudden and severe stress generally produces: increased heart rate, pale skin and sweating

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The immune system:
Poorer functioning during acute and chronic stressors
Acute stress can enhance efficiency of immune system
Chronic stress only reduces efficiency
Stress associated with increased susceptibility to cold, flu, herpes virus, chickenpox
Cardiovascular disorders:
Higher anger ratings (acute) - higher risk of heart attack
Effects of stress are worse in people with existing coronary conditions
Psychiatric disorders:
High-stress job - more likely to suffer from depression
Stress/depression link may be other way around i.e.…read more


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