Presentation on theme: "Ch. 11: Stress and Coping Stress is a person’s response to events that are threatening. Stressful events can include positive events such as getting married."— Presentation transcript:
Ch. 11: Stress and Coping Stress is a person’s response to events that are threatening. Stressful events can include positive events such as getting married or being terminated from a job. All of us encounter stress in our lives and we need to learn to adapt. Our attempts to overcome stress may produce biological and psychological responses that result in health problems. For someone to consider an event as stressful-- they must perceive it as threatening and lack the resources to cope effectively. You must clearly understand the reason you feel stressed. It’s what you attribute it to: Hank is turned down for a date by Eleanor-- and he thinks its because he’s unattractive. But if he attributes it to another factor unrelated to his self-esteem or unattractiveness, such as Eleanor having a previous commitment-- Hank doesn’t experience stress/worry. Categories of Stress: Cataclysmic Events: strong stressors, occur suddenly and typically affect many people; tornadoes, plane crashes, terrorist attacks. We recover after tornadoes-- but not after terrorist attacks which are deliberate and we are vigilant and fearful of impending attacks.
Personal Stressor: major life events like death of family member; immediate negative impact, a major life failure/issue or even getting married; the stress tapers after some time and one return to homeostasis. Some people develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) where one experiences a significant stressful event thathas long lasting effects; including reexperiencing the event in flashbacks or intrusive dreams. Symptoms can include emotional numbing; sleep disturbances, alcohol/drug abuse, depression and suicide. About 16% of soldiers returning from Iraq have PTSD; in addition to people who are victims of rape or child abuse or sudden natural disasters. Background Stressors: these are the daily hassles we experience; congestion on the freeways, dysfunctional abusive relationships we feel stuck in, dissatisfying jobs. The high cost of stress: it produces biological and psychological consequences. The biological response is an increase in hormone secretions by the adrenal glands, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, changes in skin conductance. Continued exposure to stress results in decline of the body’s overall level of biological functioning because of the constant secretion of stress related hormones. Over time-- stressful reactions can promote deterioration of body tissues such as blood vessels and the heart. We then become more susceptible to disease as our ability to fight off infection is lowered. A class of physical problems known as Psychophysiological Disorders includes stress related problems. These are actual medical problems that are influenced by an interaction of psychological, emotional and physical difficulties. These disorders include: high blood pressure, backaches, skin rashes, indigestion, fatigue, constipation, headaches. The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) Selye, a pioneering stress researcher created the GAS to describe the physiological response to stress-- which follows the same pattern regardless of the causes of stress. The first stage: Alarm and Mobilization: when you’re aware of the presence of a stressor, the sympathetic nervous system gets energized and helps the person cope with the stressor. The second stage is Resistance: we go into the second stage if the stressor persists; the body now prepares to fight the stressor; you use a variety of means to cope with the stressor and it takes a toll on you-- physically and psychologically. If resistance is inadequate-- you enter the third stage.
The Third Stage is Exhaustion: here your ability to adapt to the stressor declines and you begin to experience serious consequences such as a physical illness or serious psychological problems; you simply wear out from exhaustion. Psychoneuroimmunology: a specialty for health psychologists studying stress and its direct physiological results like increase in blood pressure; increase in hormonal activity and overall decline in functioning of the immune system. Stress also leads people to engage in harmful behaviors like drug and alcohol use, poor eating habits, decreased sleep. Stress can decrease the overall immune system response- permitting germs that produce colds to reproduce more easily. In normal situations, our bodies produce lymphocytes, specialized white blood cells that fight disease and when we’re under stress-- less white blood cells are produced. Coping with Stress Coping is efforts to control or reduce; or learn to tolerate the threats that lead to stress. Styles of Coping: 1) Emotion focused coping: you manage your emotions in the face of stress-- trying to change the way you feel about the stressor or how you perceive it. 2) Problem focused coping: you modify the stressful problem or source of stress; create a plan to deal with the stressor (start a study group to increase study skills and pass your class) Learned Helplessness: when you feel loss of control over a situation; when you conclude that unpleasant or aversive stimuli cannot be controlled and you stop trying to remedy the situation. The Hardy Personality: hardiness is a personality characteristic associated with lower rates of stress related illness. It consists of 3 components: 1) commitment: a tendency to throw ourselves into whatever we are doing with a sense that our activities are important and meaningful 2) challenge: hardy people believe that change rather than stability is the standard condition in life 3) control: hardiness is marked by a sense of control; the perception that people can influence the events in their lives. Hardy people approach stress in an optimistic way.
Psychological Aspects of Illness and Well-Being Type A and Type B Behavior Patterns Type A: a cluster of behaviors involving hostility, competitiveness, time urgency, and feeling driven. Type B: being patient, cooperative, noncompetitive and non-aggressive. Type A is associated with coronary heart disease; men who are Type A develop coronary heart disease twice as often and suffer significantly more fatal heart attacks than Type B individuals. Well-Being and Happiness Characteristics of Happy People: 1) Happy people have high self-esteem; they like themselves; are intelligent like Anthony, Danielle, Laura and of course Cortez; get along with others. 2) Happy people have a firm sense of control: arein control of events in their lives; have internal locus of control 3) Happy individuals are optimistic: their optimism enables them to persevere and achieve; like in Angelo, Grace, Marivel and fir sure Jene. Happy people like to be around other people: they tend to be extroverted and have a supportive network of close relationships like with Raymond Amador, Helene, Catlin, Tasha for sure and Karl. Does Money Buy Happiness? Although you’re initially happy after winning the lottery-- a year later you return to your set poit for happiness. The level of subjective well-being is stable. It’s because people have a general set point for happiness-- a marker that establishes the tone for one’s life. A psotive event spikes happiness-- but then ne returns to their previous level of happiness. Genetic factors may establish one’s set point for happiness.