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Stress and Health

Stress and Health

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Stress and Health

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  1. 13 Stress and Health

  2. Stress and Health Stress: Challenges to Coping • Sources of stress • Life events • Crime, sexual assault, and violence • Loss of a family member • Natural disasters • Terrorism • Daily hassles • Strong link between stressful life events and physical illness

  3. Social Readjustment Rating Scale

  4. 30 Percent of seriously depressed widows and widowers 20 Widowed 10 Not widowed 0 2 months 7 months 13 months Number of months since death of a spouse The death of a spouse is a severe stressor leading to serious depression

  5. Stress and Health Stress • Frustration • When serious or prolonged, becomes major source of stress • Conflict • Two or more motives cannot be satisfied because they interfere with one another • Approach-approach conflict • Avoidance-avoidance conflict • Approach-avoidance conflict • Multiple approach-avoidance conflict

  6. Avoidance gradient Approach gradient Strong Strength of motive to approach or avoid Weak Far Near Distance from goal Approach-avoidance conflict

  7. 60 Final altitude 55 50 1,000 feet 45 Airborne 40 35 Takeoff Engine warmup, end 30 Conductance in microohms Engine warmup, begin Taxi, end In aircraft Reaching airport Midpoint altitude Control day Pre-checkout Taxi, begin 25 20 15 10 Landing 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Jump sequence Approach-avoidance conflict of jumping

  8. Stress and Health Stress • Pressure • Arises from threats of negative events • Environmental conditions • Aspects like temperature, air pollution, noise, and humidity can be sources of stress • Visits for psychological problems were higher during days of high air pollution • More emergency visits for depression during cloudy, humid days

  9. Stress and Health General Aspects of Stress Reactions • People feel stress and react to it • React to stress as a whole – both psychological and physiological reactions • Psychological and bodily reactions to stress are highly similar

  10. Hypothalamus Pituitary Sympathetic outflow Heart Liver Adrenal gland Epinophrine Cortisol Norepinophrine Stress and the body’s response: Flight or fight?

  11. Stress and Health General Aspects of Stress Reactions • Psychological reactions • Changes in emotions, motivations, cognitions • Anxiety • Depression • Anger, irritability • Change in appetite and interest for sex Physical reactions • General Adaptation Syndrome • Alarm reaction • Resistance stage • Exhaustion stage • Healthy and unhealthy aspects of GAS

  12. First stress reaction Second stress reaction Normal level Resistance to stress Exhaustion stage Alarm reaction Resistance stage Changes in resistance during the three stages of general adaptation syndrome

  13. Stress and Health Stress • Stress, depression, the GAS, and immune system • Immune system • Stress and depression reduce effectiveness of immune system • As one ages, effects of stress are stronger • Psychological treatments such as stress management can restore immune system • High levels of depression common when undergoing stress

  14. Stress and Health Factors Influencing Reactions to Stress • Prior experience with stress • Developmental factors • Impact of stress and age when occurring linked • Predictability and control • Usually events less stressful when predictable due to perception of having some control • Lack of perceived control has significant health consequences and ill effects

  15. Stress and Health Social Support • Social support acts as buffer against stress • Persons with good social support are less likely to react to negative life events with depression, anxiety, and health problems • Ability to get it off your chest is therapeutic (being ill less often) BUT there are risks associated with this behavior (revealing one’s personal information to others)

  16. Stress and Health Personal Factors in Reactions to Stress • Cognitive factors • Perceptions: people think and interpret things differently • Personality characteristics • Important influence on health consequences • Type A personality • Associated (indirectly linked) with increased risk of coronary heart disease • Psychotherapy can reduce hostility

  17. Stress and Health Type A Personality • Highly competitive, hard-driving; ambitious in work, sports, and games • Works hurriedly, rushing with sense of urgency, multitasks • Workaholic, no time off • Perfectionist and demanding • Speaksloud orexplosively; often hostile, aggressive, angry with others

  18. Stress and Health Personal Factors in Reactions to Stress • Gender differences • Women more likely to have lasting reactions to traumatic events; at more risk for exposure • Marriage and committed relationships have health benefits • Social buffer against stress • Live healthier, longer lives on average • Loss of spouse affects men more • Maybe marriage is choice of healthier people

  19. Stress and Health Personal Factors in Reactions to Stress • Gender differences • Fight-or-flight important to both sexes • Men more likely to use fight-or-flight response • Women more likely to tend-and-befriend • Creates alliances for future if reoccurrence • Average response to workplace stress • Mothers more nurturing to children • Fathers more grouchy or withdrawn

  20. Stress and Health Personal Factors in Reactions to Stress • Ethnic differences • Minority groups experience more stress • Few advantages and opportunities • Stressful interactions with majority culture due to stereotypes, discrimination, prejudice • Rapid acculturation of immigrant children clash with family pressures to maintain old culture (ie: language, customs)

  21. Stress and Health Coping with Stress • Effective coping • Removing stress – make changes • Cognitive coping with reappraisal • Managing stress reactions • Ineffective coping • Withdrawal • Aggression • Self-medication • Defense mechanisms

  22. Stress and Health Defense Mechanisms • Projection • Regression • Rationalization • Repression • Denial • Displacement • Sublimination • Reaction formation • Intellectualization and distortion of reality

  23. Stress and Health Changing Health Patterns • Learning to relax • Progressive relaxation training • Eating right, exercising, and following doctor’s orders • Improve eating habits • Diets and balanced meals • Regular aerobic exercises – keep fit • Medical compliance – prescribed medications

  24. Stress and Health Human Diversity • Psychology and women’s health • Health concerns • Changes in high-risk behavior • Different equation between health behaviors and illnesses • Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol, obesity, STDs, fatty diets • Employment differences for women • Other sociocultural factors • Ethnicity, sexual orientation, reproduction

  25. Stress and Health Safety Management • Prevention • Disease and illness • Accidents; major cause of disability and death • Be alert, cautious • Use seat belts in vehicles • Don’t drink and drive • Workplace safety and training • Use of safety equipment

  26. Stress and Health Benefits of Health Psychology • Positive health practices • Moderate or no use of alcohol • Sleep 7 to 8 hours per night • Never or rarely eating between meals • Being near or at ideal weight for your height • Regular physical exercise • Never smoking cigarettes • Eating breakfast almost every day

  27. 0-3 Positive health behaviors 100 4-5 Positive health behaviors 6-7 Positive health behaviors 75 Percent of deaths during 5½ years 50 25 0 Under 55 55 - 74 75+ Age in years Positive Health Practices in Females

  28. 0-3 Positive health behaviors 100 4-5 Positive health behaviors 6-7 Positive health behaviors 75 Percent of deaths during 5½ years 50 25 0 Under 55 55 - 74 75+ Age in years Positive Health Practices in Males

  29. Stress and Health 13 The End