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Flashcards in stress Deck (27)
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the real or perceived threat to the homeostasis of an organism, that produces a stress response, which is a series of  adaptive responses designed to protect the organism 



The event triggering the stress response


stress response

the physiological response to the stressor



Emotional, cognitive and/or behavioral response generated in response to a stress response



the range of an organism's ability, to regulate its environment so as to maintain a stable condition



The process of an organsim responding to a change in homeostasis


Allogenic Load 

  Challenges that cause an organism to begin and carry out efforts to maintain stability. 


Acute stress 

stress of immediate events that are a threat to survival or sense of wellbeing 


Chronic stress

 unique to humans in that we create stress from things that do not immediately affect our survival 


Describe the stress bell-curve


Describe the 3 stages of stress

immediate response 

  • Sensory information gets interpreted cognitively via neocortex and affectively integrated via limbic system
  • lasts 2 to 3 seconds
  • neuromuscular nervous system detects stimuli and is activated
  • parasymathetic activity activated 
    • increases heart rate, turns off digestion

intermediate response (adrenal response) 

  • epinepherine and norepineperine are released from the adrenal medulla (lasts 20-30 seconds)

prolonged stress response 

  • response to severe stress 
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal  axis (HPAC) activated 
    • prolonged stress responsible for disease


describe the hypothalmus-pituritary-adrenal axis

relate it to the prolonged stress response

  • Hippocampus directs neural impulses to the hypothalamus to release corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)
  • CRF is sent to the anterior pituitary which releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and endorphines 
  • ATCH stimulates the release of glucocorticoids, cortisol and corticosterone which activate the long stress response 


describe the effects of adrenal corticosteriods

  • Decreases effects of insulin on blood glucose
  • Increases breakdown of proteins
  • Decreases inflammation, immune system function and healing
  • Increased glucose production
  • Increased urea production
  • Increased release of free fatty acids
  • Increased ketone body production 


How does chronic stress affect the immune system?

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine

  • alters circulation of leukocyte sub-populations
  • decreases cytokine production and release


  • increses risk of infection by causing a shift in the type of T-helper cells the types of cytokines secreted

 cortisol secretion

  • responsible for more prolonged inhibition of cellular and humeral immune responses


define psychoneuroimmunology


Investigations of the bidirectional linkages between the CNS, the endocrine system and the immune system, and the clinical implications of these linkages.  


describe cortisol's effect on Cytokines

cortisol causes imunosupressant cytokines to be released, reducing the body's ability to fight infection when an individual is exposed to longterm stress


Describe the structures of the brain and how they activate the stress response

limbic system - activated by the immediate stress response and sends sensory information to the frontal cortex to evaulate the threat

Frontal cortex - evaulates the stress signal from the limbic system and determines if it is a threat or not 

amygdala - transfers the signal to the hypothalamus and brainstem 

  • if there is no threat, amigdala activates the septal region (responsible for relaxation) 

hypothalamus and brainstem - activate stress response by releasing stress hormones


Describe the psychological apriasial response to stress?

(this is basicly the thought process occuring in the prefrontal cortex)

appraisal - how people determine what event is stressful 

  • primary appraisal – is there something to stress about
  • secondary appraisal – do I have the resources to deal with the stressful event 


What are the factors that determine one's ability to deal with stress?

  • Outlets for attention
  • Predictability of stress
  •  Sense of control
  • Sense of whether things are worsening or improving
  •  Resilient/hardiness personality
    • Cluster of stress-buffering traits consisting
      of commitment, challenge, control
    • Hardy people are more likely to engage in positive reappraisal of stressful events

other factors

  •  Genetic factors, Personality features, Epigenetic factors, Neurocognitive, Disability, Maturity level, Gender, Parent/family functio, Peer network and other social support, Previous life experiences, Spirituality


Describe some behavioral manifestations of excess stress


•Difficult concentrating






What are the 7 behaviors that reduce stress?

1. Sleep 7 to 8 hours
2. No eating between meals
3. Eat breakfast regularly
4. Maintain proper weight
5. Regular exercise
6. Moderate or no use of alcohol
7. No smoking


What are some stress reducing-behaviors that tend to increasing stress

·      Smoking

·      Drinking too much

·      Overeating or undereating

·      Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer

·      Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities

·      Using pills or drugs to relax

·      Sleeping too much

·      Procrastinating

·      Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems

·      Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence


What are some diseases associated with stress?

  • Headaches
  • increased serum cholesterol levels
  • Infections
    • Titers following vaccination with Hepatitis B and influenza were lowered in medical students taking exams, caregivers of family members with Alzheimer’s
  • Cardiovascular disease
    • Police & Fire studies show that stress increases heart disease
  • Diabetes
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer
  • high stress compromises immune response to cancer
  • depression
  • stress causes depression
    • associated with prolonged elevation of cortiso
  • psychosomatic pain
    • autoimmune diseases
  • stress increases morbidity in diseases like lupus 


What are the 5 R's of Stress/anxiety?

Recognition of the causes and sources of the threat or distress; education and consciousness raising

Relationships identified for support, help, reassurance

Removal from (or of) the threat or stressor; managing the stimulus.

Relaxation through techniques such as meditation, massage, breathing exercises, or imagery.

Re-engagement through managed re-exposure and desensitization


Describe problem focused coping

Planful Problem-Solving – analyzing the situation to arrive at solutions and then taking direct action to correct the problem.

Accepting responsibility – acknowledging one’s role in the situation while trying to put things right.

Confrontive Coping – taking assertive action, often involving dealing with others (social stresses )


  • Seeking social support – can be either problem or emotion-focused coping.
  • Distancing – cognitive effort to detach
  • Escape-avoidance – wishful thinking or taking action to escape or avoid it.
  • Self-control – attempting to modulate one’s feelings in response to the stressor.
  • Positive reappraisal – create positive meaning.
  • Cognitive restructuring - altering stressful thinking


What types of irrational thinking errors does cognative therapy help pts correct 

  •  Emotional reasoning
    • “I feel so depressed, this must be the worse place to work in the world.”
  • Overgeneralization
    • “I didn’t get a good grade on this test. I am a lousy student.”
  • Catastrophic thinking
    • “When I get turned down when I ask for a date it means I will never be successful in love”.
  • •Mind reading
    • “Everybody in the audience must think I’m a complete idiot up here.”
  • Selective negative focus
    • seeing the negatives but missing the positive details