The Response to Stress and the Effect of stress on the Immune System

Essay by crazylankanUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2007

download word file, 8 pages 3.7

IntroductionWhat are the characteristics of contemporary society? Various answers should be mentioned, but stressful life style is one essential characteristic that most people are concerned about in modern society. Every individual suffers from stressful situations, such as an unpredictable change, deluges of information as a result of the mass communication development, rapid scientific and technological progress, a contaminated natural environment, various interpersonal relations of a complicated social structure, a menace to diseases and disaster and so on. Indeed, stress is a normal component of life.

Stress has been defined in many different ways by a divergence of each scholar's approach. However, one useful definition of stress is that it is a real or perceived imbalance between environmental demands required for survival and an individual's capacity to adapt to these requirements (Rice, 1987). Stress can produce both positive and negative effects. A mild degree of stress and tension sometimes be beneficial.

Feeling mildly stressed when carrying out a project or assignment often compels individuals to do a good job and to work generically (Rice, 1987). Likewise, exercising can produce a temporary stress on some body functions, but its health benefits are indisputable. However, beyond a level where individuals feel in control, stress can have negative effects on individuals' physical and emotional health. Scientific research studies have documented the crucial role stress can play in causing and aggravating different disorders such as greater susceptibility to infectious diseases, increased risk of heart attack or stoke, and damage to areas of the brain that affect memory (Butcher & Lord, 2004). One way to understand stress as a contemporary health problem is to look at the human stress response as a biologically conditioned set of reactions. This paper will examine how human responds to stress and how the stress response affects the immune system from...