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Research Paper on Stress

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Although there is only preliminary empirical support for this model, it could have implications for diseases of inflammation. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, excessive inflammation is responsible for joint damage, swelling, pain, and reduced mobility. Stress is associated with more swelling and reduced mobility in rheumatoid arthritis patients Affleck et al. Similarly, in multiple sclerosis MS , an overactive immune system targets and destroys the myelin surrounding nerves, contributing to a host of symptoms that include paralysis and blindness.

Again, stress is associated with an exacerbation of disease Mohr et al. Even in CHD, inflammation plays a role. The immune system responds to vascular injury just as it would any other wound: Immune cells migrate to and infiltrate the arterial wall, setting off a cascade of biochemical processes that can ultimately lead to a thrombosis i.

Elevated levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein CRP , are predictive of heart attacks, even when controlling for other traditional risk factors e. Interestingly, a history of major depressive episodes has been associated with elevated levels of CRP in men Danner et al. In addition to its effects on physical health, prolonged proinflammatory cytokine production may also adversely affect mental health in vulnerable individuals. During times of illness e.

It was once thought that these symptoms were directly caused by infectious pathogens, but more recently, it has become clear that proinflammatory cytokines are both sufficient and necessary i.

Sickness behavior has been suggested to be a highly organized strategy that mammals use to combat infection Dantzer Symptoms of illness, as previously thought, are not inconsequential or even maladaptive. On the contrary, sickness behavior is thought to promote resistance and facilitate recovery. For example, an overall decrease in activity allows the sick individual to preserve energy resources that can be redirected toward enhancing immune activity. Similarly, limiting exploration, mating, and foraging further preserves energy resources and reduces the likelihood of risky encounters e.

Furthermore, decreasing food intake also decreases the level of iron in the blood, thereby decreasing bacterial replication. Thus, for a limited period, sickness behavior may be looked upon as an adaptive response to the stress of illness. Much like other aspects of the acute stress response, however, sickness behavior can become maladaptive when repeatedly or continuously activated. Many features of the sickness behavior response overlap with major depression.

Indeed, compared with healthy controls, elevated rates of depression are reported in patients with inflammatory diseases such as MS Mohr et al. Granted, MS patients face a number of stressors and reports of depression are not surprising.

However, when compared with individuals facing similar disability who do not have MS e. In both MS Fassbender et al. Thus, there is evidence to suggest that stress contributes to both physical and mental disease through the mediating effects of proinflammatory cytokines. The changes in biological set points that occur across the life span as a function of chronic stressors are referred to as allostasis, and the biological cost of these adjustments is known as allostatic load McEwen McEwen has also suggested that cumulative increases in allostatic load are related to chronic illness.

These are intriguing hypotheses that emphasize the role that stressors may play in disease. The challenge, however, is to show the exact interactions that occur among stressors, pathogens, host vulnerability both constitutional and genetic , and such poor health behaviors as smoking, alcohol abuse, and excessive caloric consumption. Evidence of a lifetime trajectory of comorbidities does not necessarily imply that allostatic load is involved since immunosenescence, genetic predisposition, pathogen exposure, and poor health behaviors may act as culprits.

It is not clear, for example, that changes in set point for variables such as blood pressure are related to cumulative stressors per se, at least in healthy young individuals. Thus, for example, British soldiers subjected to battlefield conditions for more than a year in World War II showed chronic elevations in blood pressure, which returned to normal after a couple of months away from the front Graham In contrast, individuals with chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome may show a high rate of relapse after a relatively acute stressor such as a hurricane Lutgendorf et al.

Nevertheless, by emphasizing the role that chronic stressors may play in multiple disease outcomes, McEwen has helped to emphasize an important area of study. Psychopharmacological approaches have also been suggested Berlant In addition, writing about trauma has been helpful both for affective recovery and for potential health benefit Pennebaker However, the presence of sleep problems or hypercortisolemia is associated with poorer response to psychotherapy Thase The combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy seems to offer a substantial advantage over psychotherapy alone for the subset of patients who are more severely depressed or have recurrent depression Thase et al.

For the treatment of anxiety, it depends partly on the specific disorder [e. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors also show efficacy in anxiety Ballenger et al. Patients dealing with chronic, life-threatening diseases must often confront daily stressors that can threaten to undermine even the most resilient coping strategies and overwhelm the most abundant interpersonal resources.

Psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral stress management CBSM , have a positive effect on the quality of life of patients with chronic disease Schneiderman et al.

Such interventions decrease perceived stress and negative mood e. Psychosocial interventions also appear to help chronic pain patients reduce their distress and perceived pain as well as increase their physical activity and ability to return to work Morley et al.

There is also some evidence that psychosocial interventions may have a favorable influence on disease progression Schneiderman et al. Psychosocial intervention trials conducted upon patients following acute myocardial infarction MI have reported both positive and null results. Most of these studies were carried out in men. Thus, because primarily white men, but not other subgroups, may have benefited from the ENRICHD intervention, future studies need to attend to variables that may have prevented morbidity and mortality benefits among gender and ethnic subgroups other than white men.

Psychosocial intervention trials conducted upon patients with cancer have reported both positive and null results with regard to survival Classen A number of factors that generally characterized intervention trials that observed significant positive effects on survival were relatively absent in trials that failed to show improved survival.

In one study that reported positive results, Fawzy et al. The intervention also significantly reduced distress, enhanced active coping, and increased NK cell cytotoxicity compared with controls. These variables associated with disease progression include distress, depressed affect, denial coping, low perceived social support, and elevated serum cortisol Ickovics et al. Those in the intervention condition showed lower distress, anxiety, and depressed mood than did those in the control condition as well as lower antibody titers of herpesviruses and higher levels of T-helper CD4 cells, NK cells, and lymphocyte proliferation Antoni et al.

Improvement in perceived social support and adaptive coping skills mediated the decreases in distress Lutgendorf et al. Stress is a central concept for understanding both life and evolution. All creatures face threats to homeostasis, which must be met with adaptive responses. Our future as individuals and as a species depends on our ability to adapt to potent stressors. At a societal level, we face a lack of institutional resources e. At an individual level, we live with the insecurities of our daily existence including job stress, marital stress, and unsafe schools and neighborhoods.

These are not an entirely new condition as, in the last century alone, the world suffered from instances of mass starvation, genocide, revolutions, civil wars, major infectious disease epidemics, two world wars, and a pernicious cold war that threatened the world order. Although we have chosen not to focus on these global threats in this paper, they do provide the backdrop for our consideration of the relationship between stress and health.

It is clear that all of us are exposed to stressful situations at the societal, community, and interpersonal level. How we meet these challenges will tell us about the health of our society and ourselves. In contrast, if stressors are too strong and too persistent in individuals who are biologically vulnerable because of age, genetic, or constitutional factors, stressors may lead to disease.

This is particularly the case if the person has few psychosocial resources and poor coping skills. In this chapter, we have documented associations between stressors and disease and have described how endocrine-immune interactions appear to mediate the relationship.

We have also described how psychosocial stressors influence mental health and how psychosocial treatments may ameliorate both mental and physical disorders.

There is much we do not yet know about the relationship between stress and health, but scientific findings being made in the areas of cognitive-emotional psychology, molecular biology, neuroscience, clinical psychology, and medicine will undoubtedly lead to improved health outcomes.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. Author manuscript; available in PMC Oct The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Annu Rev Clin Psychol. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Stressors have a major influence upon mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health.

Variations in Stress Responses Certain characteristics of a situation are associated with greater stress responses. Chronic Stress Responses The acute stress response can become maladaptive if it is repeatedly or continuously activated Selye Upper Respiratory Diseases The hypothesis that stress predicts susceptibility to the common cold received support from observational studies Graham et al.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus The impact of life stressors has also been studied within the context of human immunodeficiency virus HIV spectrum disease. Inflammation, the Immune System, and Physical Health Despite the stress-mediated immunosuppressive effects reviewed above, stress has also been associated with exacerbations of autoimmune disease Harbuz et al.

Inflammation, Cytokine Production, and Mental Health In addition to its effects on physical health, prolonged proinflammatory cytokine production may also adversely affect mental health in vulnerable individuals. Morbidity, Mortality, and Markers of Disease Progression Psychosocial intervention trials conducted upon patients following acute myocardial infarction MI have reported both positive and null results.

Cardiovascular changes during naturally elicited fighting behavior in the cat. Psychosocial influences on ovarian, endocrine and ovulatory function in Macaca fascicularis. A dual pathway model of daily stressor effects on rheumatoid arthritis.

Angst J, Vollrath M. The natural history of anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral stress management intervention buffers distress responses and elevates immunologic markers following notification of HIV-1 seropositivity.

Cognitive-behavioral stress management reduces distress and hour urinary free cortisol output among symptomatic HIV-infected gay men. Inflammation, depressive symptomatology, and coronary artery disease. Consensus statement on generalized anxiety disorder from the international consensus group on depression and anxiety.

Psychological effects of torture: Stress, intrusive imagery, and chronic distress. Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders. Topiramate in posttraumatic stress disorder: An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine. Exposure to terrorism, stress-related mental health symptoms, and coping behaviors among a nationally representative sample in Israel. Psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder.

Sex differences in depression: Possible connections between stress, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and altered lipoprotein metabolism that may result in atherosclerosis. Life stress, chronic subclinical symptoms and vulnerability to clinical depression. Major depressive disorder in coronary artery disease.

Depressive disorders in the medically ill: Studies of life-extending psychosocial interventions. Depression in Primary Care. Treatment of Major Depression. Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold. Social stress and state-to-state differences in smoking-related mortality in the United States. Occupational stress and variation in cigarette, coffee and alcohol consumption. Association between depression and elevated C-reactive protein.

Where do we stand? Psychiatric morbidity following Hurricane Andrew. Acute stress enhances while chronic stress suppresses cell-mediated immunity in vivo: A meta-analysis of psychoeducational programs for coronary heart disease patients. Psychosocial risk factors for coronary heart disease in women. Psychosocial modulation of antibody to Epstein-Barr viral capsid antigen and herpes virus type-6 HIV-1 infected and at-risk gay men.

Recent life events and panic disorder. Mood disorders and dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in multiple sclerosis: Effects of an early structured psychiatric intervention, coping and affective state on recurrence and survival 6 years later. Immune parameters in a longitudinal study of a very old population of Swedish people: Types of stressful life events and the onset of anxiety and depressive disorders. They are the experience of being stressed.

Stress responses can be divided into three categories: Psychological Responses When people react to stressors, a wide variety of cognitive and emotional responses can occur. Examples of cognitiveresponses are as follows: Physiological Responses Physiological responses follow what is called the general adaptation syndrome.

The GAS has three stages: The first stage, aarm, is basically the fight-or-flight response, the various physiological changes that prepare the body to attack r to flee a threatening situation. The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is activated and prompts the release of two catecholamines, epinephrine and norepinephrine, from the adrenal medulla.

Additionally, glucocorticoids like cortisol are releasedfrom the adrenal cortex. The following examples of physiological changes characterizes the alarm stage: Increased heart rate Increased blood pressure Rapid or irregular breathing Muscle tension Dilated pupils Sweating Dry mouth Increased blood sugar levels In the second stage, resistance, the body tries to calm itself and restrain the fight-or-flight response from the alarm stage.

These changes allow people to deal with stressors more effectively over a longer period of time. When the body eventually runs out of energy from trying to resist stressors, the exhaustion stage takes over.

In this stage, the body admits defeat and suffers the negative consequences of the stressors, such as a decreased capacity to function correctly, less sleep, or even death. Behavioral Responses People act differently when they are reacting to stressors. Sometimes, the behaviors are somewhat subtle, such as the following responses: Strained facial expressions A shaky voice Tremors or spasms Jumpiness Accident proneness Difficulty sleeping Overeating or loss of appetite Behavioral responses are more obvious when people take advantage of the preparatory physiological responses of the fight-or-flight response.

One side of the fight-or-flight response is that it prepares people to "fight", and people sometimes take advantage of that feature and behave aggressively toward other people. Unfortunately, this aggression is often direct toward family members. After Hurricane Andrew devastated south Florida in , for example, reports of domestic violence doubled. The other side of the fight-or-flight response is that it prepares people for "flight".

The following behavioral responses are examples of how people try to escape threatening situations: Quitting jobs Dropping out of school Abusing alcohol or other drugs Attempting suicide Committing crimes 23; ; IV. A number of conscious and unconscious things occur in our inner world that determine whether a stressor in the external world will trigger our stress response.

These inner world happenings are referred to as mediating processes and moderating factors. Consider, for example, a person who discovers that his or her cat neglected to use the litter box. Whether or not this person appraises the problem as something he or she can establish control over may help determine whether he or she becomes angry. Mediating processes include appraisal and coping. Appraisal Once people become aware of a stressor, the next step is appraisal.

How a stressor is appraised influences the extent to which stress responses follow it. In fact, many stressors are not inherently stressful. Stressors can be interpreted as harm or loss, as threats, or as challenges. When stressors have not already led to harm or loss but have the potential to do so, it is usually less stressful for people if the stressors are seen positively as challenges rather than negatively as threats.

The influence of appraisal does have its limits, though. For example, although people who suffer from chronic pain tend to be able to enjoy more physical activity if they view their pain as a challenge they can overcome, appraisal does not matter if the pain is severe. Moreover, thinking negatively about the influence of past stressors is associated with a greater vulnerability to future stressors. Consider, for example, people with PTSD.

Among victims of sexual or physical assault with PTSD, those who have trouble recovering tend to have more negative appraisals of their actions during the assault, of others' reactions after the assault, and of their initial PTSD symptoms. An important aspect of appraisal is how predictable and controllable a stressor is judged to be. Regarding predictability, not knowing if or when a stressor will come usually makes it more stressful, especially if it is intense and of a short duration.

After a spouse passes away, for example, the other spouse tends to feel more disbelief, anxiety, and depression if the death was sudden than if it was anticipated weeks or months in advance. Similarly, during the Vietnam War, for example, wives of soldiers who were missing in action felt worse than did wives of soldiers who were prisoners of war or had been killed. Regarding control, believing that a stressor is uncontrollable usually makes it more stressful.

Alternatively, believing that a stressor is controllable, even if it really is not, tends to make it less stressful. When people are exposed to loud noises, for example, they tend to see it as less stressful when they are able to stop it, even if they do not bother to stop it. How much more stressful a stressor becomes from feeling a lack of control over it depends, however, on the extent to which the cause of the stressor is seen as stable or unstable, global or specific, and internal or external.

Stable and unstable causes represent causes that are enduring and temporary, respectively. Global and specific causes represent causes that are relevant to many events and relevant to a single occasion, respectively. Internal or external causes represent causes that are the result of personal characteristics and behaviors or the result of environmental forces, respectively. The more stable and global the cause of a stressor seems, the more people feel and behave as though they are helpless.

Likewise, the more internal the cause of a stressor seems, the worse people feel about themselves. Together, these feelings and behaviors contribute to a depressive reaction to the stressor. Consider, for example, a case in which a guy's girlfriend breaks up with him and he thinks that his love life is always in the dumps, that nobody really cares about him, and that he must not be a dateable guy.

Such an interpretation could contribute to a depressive reaction, such as him coming to the conclusion that he might as well not try because there is nothing he can do about it and that he is pretty much a lost cause. Coping After a stressor has been appraised, the next step, if necessary, is coping. How well people are able to cope with stressors influences the extent to which stress responses follow them. Coping strategies can be divided into two broad categories: Problem-focused coping involves trying to manage or to alter stressors, and emotion-focused coping involves trying to regulate the emotional responses to stressors.

Although people tend to use both forms of coping in most cases, the relative use of each of these forms of coping largely depends on the context.

Problem-focused coping is more appropriate for problems in which a constructive solution can be found, such as family-related or work-related problems. Alternatively, emotion-focused coping is more appropriate for problems that just have to be accepted, such as physical health problems. Moderating Factors Moderating factors influence the strength of the stress responses induced by stressors or the direction of the relation between stressors and stress responses.

Regarding the previous example about the cat and the litter box, how angry the person becomes after finding out that his or her cat neglected to use the litter box may depend on, for instance, how anxious or tense he or she is in general. Moderating factors include personality traits, health habits, coping skills, social support, material resources, genetics and early family experiences, demographic variables, and preexisting stressors.

Personality Traits Two general personality traits, positive affectivity and negative affectivity, are particularly relevant to stress. People who are high in positive affectivity tend to have positive feelings like enthusiasm and energy, feelings that characterize eustress.

People who are high in negative affectivity tend to have negative feelings like anxiety and depression, feelings that characterize distress. In particular, negative affectivity is associated with the ineffective use of coping strategies and susceptibility to daily stressors. Another personality trait relevant to stress is optimism, a general tendency to expect that things will work out for the best. Optimism is associated with stress resistance.

Students who are optimistic, for example, tend to have fewer physical responses to stressors at the end of an academic term than do students who are pessimistic.

Even when taking into account other personality traits like negative affectivity, perceived control, and self-esteem, optimism is still associated with a lack of stress responses like depression. As stated previously, appraising the causes of a stressor as stable, global, and internal contributes to a depressive reaction to the stressor.

Such appraisals are usually made by people who have a general tendency for this kind of appraisal, referred to as a pessimistic explanatory style or a depressive explanatory style. Such people tend to have more depressive reactions to stressors in general. In this paper, we apply to stress testing a simple heuristic method proposed by Taleb The review paper examined recent evidence from studies of stress.

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Research Paper on Stress January 5, writer Research Papers 0 Stress is the normal reaction of human psychics on the negative environment and constant pressure of work and household chores.

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Research Paper on Stress. Stress (psychology) I INTRODUCTION Stress (psychology), an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being.

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Essay/Term paper: Stress Essay, term paper, research paper: Psychology. See all college papers and term papers on Psychology. Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Psychology. Paper on stress 1. HUMAN RESOURCE TOPIC PAPER PRESENTATION “STRESS MANAGEMENT-AN OVERVIEW” BY- Swetha Shenoy (E) Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, DundigalABSTRACTStress is seen in every corner of the world and which occurs to everyone.

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How to Choose the Best Stress Research Paper Topics. There are a lot that you should consider when you are writing your stress research paper and the most important would be selecting the right topic for you. This is a great chance for you to highlight your level of expertise hence the necessity for good stress research paper topics. Stress a term used to describe the human response to pressure when faced with challenges or even dangerous situations, resulting in an increase in our energy and alertness, a prolonged exposure to stressful stimuli can lead to harmful effect on health, a functional definition of stress may be hard to establish, the research of stress probably.