Stress Disorder

  • - Stress affects most people at some time.
  • - Acute (sudden, short-term) stress leads to rapid changes throughout the body. Almost all body systems gear up to meet perceived danger.
  • - Chronic (long-term) stress can have real health consequences and should be addressed like any other health concern.
  • - People can experience stress from external or internal factors.
  • - External stressors include adverse physical conditions or stressful psychological environments (such as poor working conditions or abusive relationships).
  • - Internal stressors can also be physical or psychological. As far as anyone can tell, internal psychological stressors are rare or absent in most animals except humans.
  • - Sudden stress increases the pumping action and rate of the heart, while at the same time causing the arteries to constrict (narrow).
  • - Chronic stress may blunt the immune system's response to certain infections.
  • - Some evidence suggests that chronic stress triggers an over-production of certain immune factors called cytokines.
  • - Studies suggest that the inability to adapt to stress is associated with the onset of depression or anxiety.
  • - Our physical response to stress is increasingly well understood. Knowing what occurs at the cellular level may help researchers find more ways to counteract the detrimental physical and emotional effects of stress.
  • - Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress.