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Ψ  Health, Stress, & Coping
- Physiological Responses -

Physiological Responses

Fight-flight response - The best way to think of all of the systems of the fight-flight response (anxiety) is to remember that all are aimed at getting the organism prepared for immediate action & that their purpose is to protect the organism.

Sequence for activation of the fight-flight response:

    1. Appraisal
        2. Hypothalamus
            3. Sympathetic division
                4. Fight-flight response

Fight-flight: physiological responses:

    1. Stress appraisal activates the hypothalamus
     2. Respiration increases
      3. Heart rate increases
       4. Liver releases sugar
        5. Pupils dilate
         6. Hair stands
          7. Adrenal glands secretes hormones
           8. Muscle tension increases

     Note Males "fight or flight", females "tend & befriend" when stressed.

Fight-flight repeated over prolonged periods can produce psychosomatic symptoms.

     General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) (Hans Selye) refers to the body’s reaction to stressful situations during which it goes through a series of three stages:

     1. Alarm stage - initial reaction to stress and is marked by activation of the fight-flight response & causes physiological arousal.
     2. Resistance stage - the body’s reaction to continued stress during which most of the physiological responses return to normal levels but the body uses up great stores of energy.
     3. Exhaustion stage - the body’s reaction to long-term, continuous stress, marked by actual breakdown in internal organs or weakening of the infection-fighting immune system.

     Note The mind affects the body.

Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of how a person's psychological state affects his or her immune system.

General Psychology
Robert C. Gates