Stress and personality
play an important part in illness and preventing illness.
Some personality factors make people more susceptible to illness.
Individual personality factors interact with the environment and
create what is known as STRESS. Stress
therefore affects people in ways that affect their health.
The present of stresses in the
environment do not create stress alone. How an individual perceives
the stressor is important as well. The way that they perceive
it determines how they will respond to it, and it is this response
that is important in health. When you feel challenged
you need to adapt to this feeling - and often this involves getting
away from the challenge (flight) or facing and dealing with the
challenge (fight). There are three stages involved when someone
recognizes a stressor and attempts to adapt to it. These are:
1) Alarm: This stage consists of the body becoming
aroused, and the nervous system releasing certain hormones such
as adrenaline in order to deal with the stress. Heart rate and
respiration rise, and the digestive tract activity stops in order
to make more blood available to other organs. These function all
occur unconsciously and automatically.
2) Resistance: Because the alarm stage uses
up a lot of the bodies resources. The resistance stage decreases
the intensity of the bodies stress responses; however they will
not go all the way back to normal if the stressor continues.
3) Exhaustion: Eventually, all of the bodies'
reserves of energy are used up. This causes the ability of the
body to restore damaged or worn-out tissues and to resist infections
(due to a weakened immune system) to decrease. Therefore, stress
has been linked to a large number of infectious diseases - such
as chicken pox. Not only stress, but the anticipation of stress
can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
Healing & Pain
& Interpreting Symptoms