To discuss the relationship between stress and health status, it is first necessary to define the term "stress." This is not a mundane issue, because the term "stress" is popularly used to refer to a wide range of physiological changes, psychological states, and environmental pressures in the health/illness literature. Stress was first described as a biological syndrome by Selye (1936, p. 32): Experiments on rats show that if the organism is severely damaged by acute non-specific nocuous agents such as exposure to cold, surgical injury, production of spinal shock ... a typical syndrome appears, the symptoms of which are independent of the nature of the damaging agent ... and represent rather a response to damage as such.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures -- 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE CONCEPT OF STRESS -- 2 HORMONAL RESPONSES TO STRESS -- 3 COGNITIVE FACTORS IN STRESS -- 4 SOCIAL MEDIATORS OF THE STRESS RESPONSE -- 5 LIFE EVENTS AND ILLNESS -- 6 PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO STRESS -- 7 STRESS-RELATED ILLNESS -- 8 STRESS, HEALTH, AND ILLNESS: A SUMMARY -- BIBLIOGRAPHY -- INDEX.
Dr. Linas A. Bieliauskas is director of clinical training and assistant professor of psychology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.