Introduction to Stress

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  • Created by: Elysia
  • Created on: 29-11-12 14:23

What Is Stress?

  • Stress can be considered in three ways;
  • Stimulus: things happen to us
  • Response: what happens within us
  • As an interaction between an individual and his/her environment

Each individual manages stress in a different way.

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  • General Adaptive Syndrome
  • The body's defence against stress, regardless of the stressor or whether it is environmental or from within the body
  • By Selye
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Stage One of G.A.S

  • Stage One: Alarm Reaction
  • The body releases adrenaline and other psychological mechanisms to combat stress and to stay in control
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Stage Two of G.A.S

  • Stage Two: Resistance
  • Also known as "adaption"
  • When the stressor is not removed the body goes into long term protection
  • The adrenal cortex produces corticosteroids (hormones) that increase blood sugar to sustain energy and raise blood pressure
  • If this adaption phase continues for too long the sufferers become prone to fatigue and negative stress.
  • Overuse of this mechanism eventually leads to disease
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Stage Three of G.A.S

  • Stage Three: Exhaustion
  • The body has run out of its reserve of body energy and immunity
  • The blood sugar levels decrease as the adrenals become depleated
  • Leads to decreased stress tolerance, mental and physical exhaustion, illness and collapse
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How Do Our Bodies Respond To Stress? (Selye)

Selye proposed there is a similar response to stressors regardles of the nature of each stressor. He observed this by...

  • Exposing rats to extreme cold, fatigue, electrical shocks and surgical trauma
  • Observing hospital patients who displayed the same symptoms regardless of illness - loss of ambition, appetite, weight and strength, and a characteristic facial expression
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