Impact of Stress on Health

Topics: Immune system, Asthma, Immunity Pages: 5 (1734 words) Published: September 24, 2013
Impact of Stress on Health

Introduction
It is a known fact to everyone that there is a strong connection between stress and physical and mental health of a person. This fact has also been supported and acknowledge by the results and finding for the survey Stress in America as respondents and participant of the research have showed high levels of stress leading towards their dependence upon unhealthy means and behaviors to combat the effects. Stress has also been suggested to affect the physical health of the individuals. Thus both physical and mental health has been suggested to get affected by stress. The situation has been found to be more serious and adverse in case of adults who are 50 and above or those who are obese or suffering with depression. The main purpose of this reports is to describe the meaning and different types of stress and how it affect the defensive mechanism and overall health of the people. Discussion

Stress has been described as feeling of being over worked or loaded, tense, worried or tight. It is a physiological response of an organism to the stimulus (Goldstein & Mcewen, 2002; Mcewen, 2002). Everybody experiences this state at sometime in their lives. At times it makes people work hard, under pressure in order to meet the deadlines or perform well. But increased frequency of such stressful situations may lead toward the ability of an individual to lead a normal and productive life. Some common types of stress are Acute Stress that are brief and relate to a specific situation, deadline or performance challenges. Trauma can also lead towards this stress. Episodic acute stress on the other hand is repetitive occurring in series such as those face by child in school. Chronic stress relates to continuous demands, pressures with no hope which affects health and relationships in an adverse manner (The Australian Psychological Society Limited; 2012). Stress is directly related to the endocrine system and nervous system as any event of stress has the capacity to affect the nervous system that results in release of specific hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones are basically responsible for bringing physical changes in the body as a reaction to the situation of stress. These physical changes are the means to fight back the stressful situation in an effective manner so that the person facing the situation can get through without much difficulty. This situation has been referred to as fight or flight in terms of response. The main signs of this condition or state of body are increase in the pulse rate, quick breathing, increased blood pressure, metabolic activity and muscle tension (Segerstrom, 2007). In such a situation of stress there is an increased level of perspiration and the pupils also tend to dilate. On one hand these physical changes can help in fighting the stressful situation but on the other hand they can also lead towards different types of psychological and other physical symptoms if the stress continues for a long time or is ongoing. Following are some of the important symptoms that may be the negative impact of the ongoing stress (The Australian Psychological Society Limited, 2012): • Headaches and other types of pains

• Sleeping disorders leading towards insomnia
• Issues with digestion and metabolism leading towards diarrhea and indigestion • Anger or anxiety
• Depression
• Fatigue/ overwhelmed/moody
• Concentration issues and lack of focus
• Lack of self confidence and low self esteem
• Increased chances of heart disease and blood pressure
Caregiver, Obesity and Stress
According to the survey of Stress in America, caregivers have been suggested to be at the highest risk of getting affected by stress. They are generally pressurized by the overwhelming responsibility of taking care of the entire family and have been suggested to be at affected highly by the negative impacts of the stress in the long run. Caregivers often feel that they are unable to...


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Goldstein D.S., McEwen B.S. (2002) “Allostasis, homeostats, and the nature of stress. Stress vol. 5 pp. 8-55
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Segerstrom S.C., Miller G.E. (2004) “Psychological stress and the human immune system: A meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry” Psychological Bulletin vol. 130 pp. 601–630
Segerstrom, S. C. (2007) “Stress, Energy, and Immunity, An Ecological View” vol.16 no.6 pp. 326–330 retrieved on April 26, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2475648/
Stress in America (2012) “Our Health and Risk” pp. 1-73 retrieved on April 26, 2013 from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2011/final-2011.pdf
The Australian Psychological Society Limited (2012) “Understanding and Managing Stress” retrieved on April 26, 2013 from http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/StressTipSheet.pdf
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