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STRESS

&
ADAPTATION

Stress: is a condition in which the human


system responds to changes in its normal
balanced state.
Stressor: is any thing that is perceived as
challenging, threatening or demanding.
Adaptation: is the change that takes place
as a result of the response to a stressor.
Homeostasis: various physiologic
mechanisms within the body respond to
internal changes to maintain a relative
constancy in the internal environment.

Sources of stressors
Internal e.g. illness, abnormal change, or
fear
External e.g. noise, cold environment,
death, move

Physiologic Homeostasis
Local Adaptation System (LAS) involves only
one specific body part
Reflex pain response
Inflammatory response

General Adaptation Syndrome biochemical


model of stress (Hans Selye)
Alarm reaction
Resistance
Exhaustion

Alarm Reaction
Person perceives stressor, defense
mechanisms activated
Fight-or-flight response
Hormone levels rise, body prepares to react
Shock and counter-shock phases (1 min 24 hrs)

Resistance
Body attempts to adapt to stressor.
Vital signs, hormone levels, and energy
production return to normal.
Body regains homeostasis or adaptive
mechanisms fail.

Exhaustion
Results when adaptive mechanisms are
exhausted
Body either rests and mobilizes its
defenses to return to normal or dies

Physiological responses to stress

Increases heart rate


Increases respiration
Increased blood pressure
Dilated pupils
Muscle tension
Headache

Emotional Responses to Stress

Depression
Anger
Anxiety (most common)
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Panic

Coping Mechanisms

Crying, laughing, sleeping, cursing


Physical activity, exercise
Smoking, drinking
Lack of eye contact, withdrawal
Limiting relationships to those with similar
values and interests

Factors Affecting Stress and


Adaptation

Sources of stress
Types of stressors experienced
Personal factors

Categories of Stress
Developmental stress
Occurs when person progresses through stages
of growth and development
E.g.

Situational stress
Does not occur in predictable patterns
E.g.

Types of Stressors
Physiological
Chemical agents, physical agents, infectious
agents, nutritional imbalances, hypoxia, genetic
or immune disorders

Psychosocial
Includes real and perceived threats

Stress Management Techniques

Relaxation
Meditation
Anticipatory guidance
Guided imagery
Biofeedback
Crisis intervention

Crisis Intervention
Crisis: is a disturbance caused by a
precipitating event such as a perceived loss,
a threat of loss, or a challenge, that is
perceived as a threat to self.
Crisis Intervention
Identify the problem
List alternatives
Choose from alternatives
Implement the plan
Evaluate the outcome