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Does Stress Make You Sick?

Medical Health Psychology Presentation

Jasmine Chhabra

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Does Stress Make You Sick?

Does stress make you sick? Erna Selimić
Iina Ceau
Jasmine Chhabra
Joelle Fa
Jørgen Aasen Berget
Kristina Lavik
Lori Sein Subjective Health Complaints Sensitisation Conclusion ANSWER: It depends. Coping, helplessness and hopelessness Subjective health complaints CBT and Training Therapy Does stress make you sick? CATS Health Interventions What is stress? Evolutionary perspective; adapative, functional Is it adaptive today? Physical vs. psychological stressors. How does stress affect our health and can it make us sick? WHO defines health as ”a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” No clear definition of stress. 1. Stress stimuli
2. Stress experience
3. The non-specific stress response
4. The experience of the stress response “Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes” Musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal complaints, pseudoneurology “Old wine in new bottles” Not a new phenomenon: previously called hysteria, asthenia… Major impact on the quality of life
Tests and general medical examination show no pathological findings “Unexplained symptoms” Health complaints = common in general population Hopelessness: Habituation vs. sensitisation Lower thresholds for self reports of stress and for reporting and seeking medical assistance for complaints. Increasing perceived stress --> increasing prevalence and incidence of disease --> higher rate of medical assistance seeking (Macleod) Definition of sensitisation Helplessness: Coping: the expectancy that most or all responses lead to a positive result Coover et al. (1973): Coping used to train rats in avoidance learning Ursin et al. (1978): the subjective feeling of being able to perform reduced stress. Ability to cope is relative to the individual CATS: the expectancy of future events is tied to the positive avoidance act Diagram Overmier and Seligman (1967): dogs who previously endured unavoidable shocks did not learn avoidance the acquired expectancy that there are no relationships between responses and reinforcement. Seligman (1975): helplessness as a stress response linked to depression and PTSD
Can be positive if receiving social support Diagrams The individual has the control.
Negative impacts are seen as their fault. the acquired expectancy that most or all responses lead to a negative result. Guilt
Depression Diagram Also known as CATS
External stressors are filtered by the brain
Expectancies; learnt in a 2 stage process. Cognitive Activation Theory of Stress 3 categories of response outcome expectancies. Response Outcome Expectancies Influenced by 3 factors: Acquisition strength, perceived probability (PP) and affective value. References Short-period of time = "phasic stress" (Eriksen, Olff, Murison & Ursin, 1999) --> not dangerous, no health risks.
Sympathetic stress --> adrenalin and noradrenalin --> stress reaction --> "fight or flight" response (Wickens, 2009)
High level of arousal not maintained = new system (Wickens, 2009) Long period of time = "tonic stress" (Eriksen, et al, 1999)
Known as the HPA-axis
Hypothalamus --> pituitary gland --> ACTH --> adrenal cortex --> cortisol (Wickens, 2009)
Long-term response associated with health problems (Eriksen, et al, 1999) Cortisol suppresses the immune system, alters metabolism and also decreases bone formation (Eriksen, et al, 1999)
Over time, destructive effect on the hippocampus leading to HPA hyperactivity (Eriksen, et al, 1999) Tonic stress --> psychological consequences (Eriksen, et al, 1999)

Examples : HPA axis hyperactivity + systemic stimulation = depression

Up regulation of brain cortisol receptor = PTSD

Tonic stress --> "disease" or "illness" (Eriksen, et al, 1999)

Sensitization = particular health risk of this tonic stress (Eriksen, et al, 1999) So, Does
You SICK? Differentiate between four aspects of stress: THANK YOU! First, a short video: (Eriksen & Ursin, 2004) (Eriksen & Ursin, 2004) Group members' responsibilities (in presenting order)
Erna Selimić - introduction to stress.
Jasmine Chhabra - introduction to CATS and compilation of the Prezi.
Joelle Fa - coping, helplessness and hopelessness.
Kristina Lavik - the role of stress in sickness (shared with Lori)
Lori Sein - the role of stress in sickness (shared with Kristina)
Iina Ceau - subjective health complaints and sensitisation.
Jørgen Aasen Berget - conclusion. All group members read the three starter references and discussed each area of the presentation topic.
Individuals then branched off to do further research for their respective sections and formulated the points for their part of the presentation.
The Prezi itself was compiled by Jasmine Chhabra. (Ursin & Eriksen, 2004; 2010) (Ursin & Eriksen, 2004) (Ursin & Eriksen, 2004)
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