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Response To Long Term Stress

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Stress is when the body’s organisms fail to respond well to emotional or physical threats. Extreme traumatic events can sometimes create a syndrome called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which can include anxiety, insomnia, nightmares and a lack of interest in social activities. When any stress continues for an extended period of time it can create serious health challenges. According to webmd.com the list of challenges created or worsened by stress includes obesity, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s Disease, rapid aging and early death.[Kalat,2017] Stress is sometimes helpful because it helps us respond to potentially dangerous events. Stress causes the body to activate the nervous system. This…show more content…
[Griffin n.d.] Physiological scientist Hans Seyle studied stress in rats and found that no matter what kind of stress they endured they suffered the same physiological change as if they had suffered prolonged stress. Seyle named the stages that the rats went through the General Adaptation Syndrome. [Kalat,2017] The three phases of the physiological change that occurs in response to long term stress are alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Alarm is the first reaction to stress where your body releases hormones including cortisol. This is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. A person wont immediate recognize the cortisol working because it is a multi-step process involving two minor hormones. The brain has two pathways that process stimuli. The first is the amygdala that has to recognize the threat and send a message to the hypothalamus part of the brain which releases a hormone that then tells the pituitary gland to release cortisol. In event of a life emergency, the high amounts of cortisol will help save your life. It helps to maintain fluid balance and blood pressure, while slowing down some body functions that aren’t crucial in the moment, like reproductive drive, immunity, digestion
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