• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss How Stress Affects Health.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

DISCUSS HOW STRESS AFFECTS HEALTH The relationship between 'stress' and the consequences it has on health, as encouraged much research and debate. Of course, perhaps before we can provide a considered assessment, it is initially important that one would need a definition as a basic premise for discussion. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) describes stress as 'the negative emotional and physiological process that occurs as individuals try to deal with emotional and physiological process that occurs as individuals try to deal with emotional circumstances that disrupt or threaten to disrupt their daily functioning. There are several prevalent examples of the possibility that stress can influence an individuals' health status- however, it is essential that evidence is critically assessed in order to formulate a worthwhile debate on whether stress, and to what degree, can affect health and wellbeing. Early research into stress, researchers often used animals such as monkeys and rats. For instance, Brady etal. (1958) in their famous 'executive monkey' provides a competent example of this. Monkeys received electric footshocks for 20-second intervals every six hours at a time, with six hours rest in-between. ...read more.

Middle

They noticed that significant life events often seemed to cluster in the months preceding the illness or injury. A panel of judges were used to produce ratings of how much change would lead to, and a rank order emerged with 'death of spouse' at the top ( value 100 points) and ' Christmas' and 'minor violations of the law' at the bottom. Holmes and rache equated life change with stress, and predicted that high levels of life change (calculated by adding by simply adding up the values) over a 12 month period would lead to an increased chance of health breakdown over the following two years; a score of over 300 was seen as critical. Studies shown some small but significant correlation's between high scores and ill health, although some results were negative There are several problems that are obvious in the study. For instance, the categorisation/ severity of life events are subjective and arbitrary. A universal scale is perhaps impossible. An illustration of this would be that an individual may find Christmas a big emotional strain, or, marital separation a relief rather than a 'life changing' stressor. ...read more.

Conclusion

What Selye has managed to identify in his research was a medically based assessment of the relationship between stress and how it can trigger ill health. His research is reliable and is universal to human beings. This is what is fundamentally is problematic with the psychological theories they could be accused of being un-reliable, and at times, subjective. The medical approach to stress identifies the affect that stress has on the immune system. In somewhat simplistic terms, the components of the immune system kill or inactivate foreign or harmful substances in the body such as viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells. If the immune system is impaired- by stressors- individuals are left vulnerable to colds, mononucleosis, and many more infectious diseases.(Cohen and herbert,1996). An interpretation of stress and ill health has been applied by both psychology and physiology. What is generally accepted is that stress can be a catalyst in facilitating ill health. However, it appears the physiology provides medically sound account of the body's adaptation to the affect of stressors. Paradoxically, some of the psychological approaches have methodological problems with affect the value of the results. The debate, despite some limitations in research, can simply identify that stress unequivocally affects health and wellbeing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Healthcare essays

  1. P2 - Physiology of fluid balance

    Stretch, Beryl, 2007, Health and Social Care Book 2, pg 173 Active transport moves in one direction only unlike osmosis and diffusion. The carrier proteins which are responsible for facilitated diffusion and active transport are very similar to enzymes as they have binding sites for specific chemicals.

  2. Managing stress. Internal and External stress factors, Physiological and Psychological effects of stress and ...

    important for carers to seek help themselves to lessen the burden of constant caring. Financial problems - External stress factor Financial stress is a sadly a widespread experience in modern day life. This is pretty significant because financial stress is linked to health problems like depression and sleep problems.

  1. Mental Illness/nature nurture debate

    The third major school is the humanistic school where the phenomenological model is derived from.

  2. Medicine - Additional

    * Sinoatrial disease & serious symptoms. * Pre-op * Drug poisoning * Symptomatic bradycardia * Suppression of drug resistant VT or SVT. * Asystolic cardiac arrest with P wave activity. * During or after cardiac standstill. * Complications of temporary pacing - infection, air embolism. Central venous catheterisation & pressure measurement * Indications of central venous catheterisation: * Measurement of CVP.

  1. Female hormones

    Beginning with this secretion of progesterone, ovulation occurs too. After the egg has been released from the follicle (known as the luteal stage of a woman's cycle), the follicle begins to change, enlarging and becoming a unique organ known as the corpus luteum. Progesterone is secreted from the corpus luteum, this tiny organ with a huge capacity for hormone production.

  2. The impact of migraine.

    Migraine may even lead to unemployment. In a Health Maintenance Organisation in the USA, the unemployment rate was 2- to 4-fold higher in severely affected migraine sufferers than in the general population. School and college work is also affected in young migraine sufferers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work