The Nature of Stress Essay

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The Nature of Stress Much of our understanding of the nature of stress can be traced back to the work of Hans Seyle in the 1930s. Seyle's research on rats and other animals in the years 1936 and 1950 led him to conclude that when animals are exposed to unpleasant stimuli (for example, injections or extreme temperatures), they all react in the same sort of way. He described this universal response to …show more content…
The final stage is exhaustion; eventually the body's systems can no longer maintain normal functioning. It is at this point that the initial autonomic nervous system (ANS) symptoms may reappear (sweating, raised heart rate etc). The adrenal gland may be damaged from previous over activity, and the immune system may not be able to cope because production of necessary proteins had been slowed in favour of other needs. The result may be seen in stress-related illnesses, such as ulcers, depression, cardiovascular problems and other mental and physical illnesses.

b) Stress may cause physical illness directly (as described by the GAS model) or indirectly, because stressed individuals are more likely to smoke and drink and these habits lead to physical illness - cardiovascular disorders are one of these illnesses. Cardiovascular disorder is defined as any disorder of the heart and circulatory system. A study was conducted investigating the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disorders in 1991 - Krantz et al.

The following procedure was used to investigate this. The participants were thirty-nine patients and twelve controls; they were studied whilst performing three different tasks: an arithmetic task, a Stroop task and a task where they simulated public speaking. Each of these tasks was designed to create mild stress. The Stroop task
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