Stress and Its Impact on Health
|Heart||· Handling stress by smoking, drinking, overeating can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, which then affects the heart.
· Stress on the body can release adrenaline, which causes a rise in heart rate and blood pressure.
|Immune System||· The immune system has billions of cells that travel through the blood to help the body fight off bacteria, cancerous cells and viruses, known as antigens.
· When stressed, the body releases stress hormones that weaken the immune system.
|HIV/AIDS||· When stress affects the immune system, those who are HIV positive or have AIDS are weaker, and the progression of the disease quickens as their bodies are weak.|
|Cancer||· Very little evidence has been found that stress can cause cancer. Although, destructive behaviours in dealing with stress, such as, smoking, drinking and other bad habits can increase the chances of getting cancer.
· People who are affected by cancer, whether they are the patient or friends and family, can experience high levels of stress as it is very hard to deal with it.
· Sometimes when a patients’ stress level becomes too overwhelming when dealing with their cancer, they can feel helpless and hopeless, to the extent where they might not seek treatments.
|Somatoform Disorders||· Somatoform disorder is physical symptoms caused by mental factors, such as, stress, anxiety and depression.
· When stressed, the body becomes tense and physical issues may arise.
· A person may also become stressed and worried because of the physical symptoms they experience.
American Heart Association. (2014). Stress and Heart Health. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/StressManagement/HowDoesStressAffectYou/Stress-and-Heart-Health_UCM_437370_Article.jsp#.V13kQfkrLIU
McLeod, S. (2010). Stress, Illness and the Immune System. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/stress-immune.html
National Aids Treatment Advocacy Project. (2007). Psychological Stress and Disease (HIV/AIDS). Retrieved from http://www.natap.org/2007/HIV/101107_02.htm
National Cancer Institute. (2012). Psychological Stress and Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/stress-fact-sheet
Nevid, J., Green, B., Johnson, P., Taylor, S., MacNab, M., & Carr, T. (2012). Essentials of Abnormal Psychology (3rd Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada