Category: psychologypsychology

Stress And its Medical Value


SUBMITTED BY: Manas Yadav 194A


Stress and its
Medical Value
Guided By:
Prof. Anna Zhukova


1. Introduction
2. Types of Stress.
3. Stressors.
4. Stress cycle.
5. Effects of Stress.
6. Medical values of stress.


Stress is a universal phenomenon. All people experience it. Stress
affects the whole person in all the human dimensions, the perception
of stress and the responses to it are highly individualised, not only
from person to person, but also from one time to another in the same
Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand for
change Stress as that which occurs when
“ an individual
perceives that the demands of an external situation are beyond his
or her perceived ability to cope with them”


According to “selye” there are two types
1.Distress or damaging stress.Example: Death of a
loved one, Chronic illness
2.Eustress or stress that protects health.Eustress is
motivating energy, such as happiness,
hopefulness and purposeful movement.
Example: Learning a new hobby
According to Lazarus, (1999) there are several types of
stress –
Work stress,
Family stress,
Chronic stress,
Acute stress,
Daily hassles,


Stressors are situations, circumstances or any stimulus that is perceived
to be a threat.
1. Life events or daily hassels:
Death of a loved one
Divorce, injury, being fired at work
Trouble with in laws
2. External or Internal:
External Stressors are adverse physical conditions.
Example: Hot or Cold temperatures
Stressful Psychological environments,Poor housing,Traffic Jams.
Internal Stressors can be Physical conditions
Example: Illness,Unrealistic Expectations Tendency to worry


3. Physical, Psychological or Social Stressors:
- Sleep deprivation, Lack of relaxation
- alcohol abuse, Poor diet, Hyperglycemia
- unhappy childhood, Unemployment
- excessive anger, low self esteem
- Poverty, Racial Prejudice, Victim of crime
- Harassement and bureaucracy
Nature and manmade Catastrophies:
- Earth quakes, floods, Fire breaking incidence and accidents.
- Death of the near and dear
- Robbery and cheating
- Terrorist attacks
- Communal Violence


Some persons are characterized to posses a particular type of behaviour more
prone to stress than others.
Depending on the stress bearing or tolerance capacity
Poor health, defective sensory organ, illness and fatal diseases.
Sleeping disorders, Drug addiction
Unhappiness and frustration


- Conflicts between Parents, abuse, neglect
- Unreasonable family expectations,
- Changes in family’s financial situation
- Low academic Performance
- Chronic illness
- Sudden hospitalisation
- Coping with academic pressures
- Lack of acceptance by peers
- Increased arguments with friends
- Accepting their own physical changes
- Relationship with opposite sex
- Leaving home for higher studies


Coping with health problems
Dealing with teenage children
Marriage and career of children
Taking care of aged parents
Job burnout
Mid-career changes
- Failing health and stamina
- Relocating with children
- Living alone
- Living with reduced income
- Adjusting to retirement
- Loneliness










Medical values of stress
According to experts, stress is a burst of energy that basically advises you on
what to do.
In small doses, stress has many advantages. For instance, stress can help
you meet daily challenges and motivates you to reach your goals. In fact,
stress can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently. It can even boost
Stress is also a vital warning system, producing the fight-or-flight response.
When the brain perceives some kind of stress, it starts flooding the body with
chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. This creates a variety
of reactions such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Plus, the
senses suddenly have a laser-like focus so you can avoid physically stressful
situations — such as jumping away from a moving car — and be safe.
In addition, there are various health benefits with a little bit of stress.
Researchers believe that some stress can help to fortify the immune system.
For instance, stress can improve how your heart works and protect your body
from infection. In one study, individuals who experienced moderate levels of
stress before surgery were able to recover faster than individuals who had low
or high levels.


1. It improves cognitive function
Unless you’re at an amusement park and about to experience the ride of your life, you
might not enjoy that panicky feeling in the pit of your stomach. On the other hand, if
this feeling occurs in response to moderate stress levels, the upside is that the
pressure and nervousness you feel can potentially boost your brain’s performance.
This is because moderate stress strengthens the connection between neurons in your
brain, improving memory and attention span, and helping you become more
In one study, researchers at the University of Berkeley found that in lab rats “brief
stressful events caused the stem cells in their brains to proliferate into new nerve
cells” resulting in increased mental performance after two weeks.
Better brain performance likely explains why many people, including myself, work
better when under stress. For example, I’ve had clients throw me last-minute
assignments with tight deadlines. After accepting the work, sometimes I panic
because I bit off more than I can chew. But in every situation, I’ve gotten through the
assignment and have received positive feedback, even though I didn’t have as much
time as I would have liked.
If you doubt the health benefits of stress on your brain, do a self-evaluation of your
performance on days when you’re experiencing a higher amount of stress at work.
You may discover that you’re more focused and productive than on low-stress days.


2. It helps you dodge a cold
The fight-or-flight response you feel when stressed is
designed to protect you, whether it’s from injury or another
perceived threat. What’s interesting about low doses of the
stress hormone is that it also helps protect from infections.
Moderate stress stimulates the production of a chemical
called interleukins and gives the immune system a quick
boost to protect against illnesses — unlike its evil twin,
chronic stress, which lowers immunity and increases
So, the next time you experience a shock to the system and
your stress level elevates, remember this benefit. If a virus or
cold spreads around your school or office, the “good” stress
in your life might be the only drug you need to stay healthy


3. It makes you a tough cookie
I hate everything about stress. I hate the way it makes me feel, and I
hate how stressful situations consume my mind — even if it’s only for a
few hours. On the flip-side, stress has helped me become a stronger
person over the years.
There’s no denying how going through a tough situation builds
resiliency. When you experience something for the first time, you might
think it’s the worst situation and crumble because you don’t know how
to cope. But as you confront different situations and overcome various
problems, you train yourself to deal with similar incidents in the future.


4. It enhances child development
Maybe you’ve heard or read stories of women who dealt with severe
depression and anxiety during their pregnancies and gave birth prematurely
or had babies with low birth weights. It’s true that elevated stress levels can
have a negative impact on both mom and baby. As such, most expecting
mothers do everything humanly possible to stay healthy and minimize stress
and anxiety while pregnant.
Although chronic stress can negatively affect pregnancy, the good news is
that moderate levels of normal stress during pregnancy won’t harm a baby. A
2006 Johns Hopkins study followed 137 women from mid-pregnancy to their
children’s second birthdays. The study found that babies born to women who
experienced mild to moderate stress during pregnancy had more advanced
early developmental skills by the age of 2 than babies born to unstressed
Of course, this study doesn't suggest giving stress the red-carpet treatment
while pregnant. But if you deal with periodic everyday stresses, don’t panic. It
may actually help your baby’s development.
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