Flashcards in Stress, Anxiety & Health Deck (45)
What 3 features characterise the character of stress?
1. subjective sensations
What are examples of subjective sensations of stress?
What are examples of behaviours that characterise stress?
What are examples of health problems that characterise stress?
1. cardiovascular disease
3. susceptibility to colds
4. skin disease
On the normal distribution curve that describes optimum stress, what are the axes?
What are the 3 regions?
y - performance
x - level of stress
The three regions are:
2. eustress (optimum stress)
What region of the stress is optimal?
Optimal performance occurs in eustress
This is where individuals are energised, focused and work feels effortless
What are the signs exhibited by someone in the distress region?
Fatigue, exhaustion, health problems, break down and burnout
What does Cary Cooper's graph suggest about the level of stress and health?
Stress of boredom is associated with increasing ill-health
Moderate levels of pressure lead to increasing health
Stress of excess pressure leads to increasing ill-health
How may stress be described as a response?
These are the responses that arise as a result of stress
1. fight or flight response
2. general adaptation syndrome (Selye)
How does Selye describe stress as a physiological response?
It is a general adaptation syndrome (biologically programmed)
If it is severe and sustained, this leads to disease
What is meant by a "disease of adaptation"?
A normal response to an abnormal situation
This is seen in psychosomatic disorders
How is Selye's general adaptation syndrome divided into 3 stages?
1. relatively short alarm reaction
(this is divided into shock and countershock)
2. stage of resistance
3. stage of exhaustion
(these are both countershock)
What is shown by Selye's adaptation syndrome when a second stress is added?
Humans are able to cope well with one stress due to biological mechanisms
However, they are vulnerable and cannot cope with multiple stresses at the same time
What is meant by psychoimmunology?
Increased stress levels leads to depression of immune system function and increased susceptibility to infection
What are the series of psychological reactions in response to stress?
1. cognitive impairment
e.g. concentration, disorganised thoughts
e.g. frustration and aggression
e.g. apathy, learned helplessness
e.g. acute stress disorder
What is meant by an acute stress disorder?
How long does it last?
The anxiety symptoms associated with the stress gradually disappear
It tends to last a few days, up to a week
What does the anxiety related to stress lead to in a small proportion of people?
Post-traumatic stress disorder
What is post-traumatic stress disorder?
A natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience
(a normal reaction to an abnormal situation)
What are the 3 key features to look for when diagnosing PTSD?
1. repeated re-living of a traumatic event
2. persistent efforts at avoidance of memories and emotional blunting
3. persistent symptoms of hyperarousal
What is a very common feature of PTSD, but not a diagnostic feature?
(can lead to risk of suicide)
What was seen in Hull et al's study about survivors of Piper Alpha 10 years later?
1. 21% still had PTSD
2. PTSD was worse if they were injured in the accident or witnessed people die
3. there was an improvement in PTSD over time
Why does immediate psychological therapy not benefit a trauma survivor?
Therapy makes them relive their experiences
This is one of the worst things that can be done
People tend to recover from PTSD naturally
How may stress act as a stimulus?
This focuses on life events which cause stress
Rather than stress causing other problems (responses)
Who developed the social readjustment scale?
Holmes and Rahe
What was involved in developing the social readjustment scale?
It involved cataloguing as many life events as possible which caused stress
These lists are given to other people to order as to what they thought caused the most and least stress
What was the purpose of the social readjustment scale?
Using a scale of 0 - 100 to rank events in order of stressfulness
Using numerical values allowed health outcomes to be predicted
What does quantifying stressful events allow for?
It is used in studies to show a positive relationship between illness in the past year and life events
What is the drawback of the social readjustment scale?
It does not show more minor daily events
What is meant by the balance between hassles and uplifts when looking at daily events that cause stress?
Uplifts are positive events
Hassles are relatively minor daily experiences that are potentially threatening or harmful