Adaption Syndrome – Theory of Stress
Human body adapts
in external stressors that surrounds it. Hans Selye notices that the body uses
hormonal system coined as fight or flight response. It’s how the body wants to
resolve things fast and easy that it releases hormones that enables to combat
stress immediately. However, the body still has its limits. The limited supply of body’s energy to adapt to the
stressful environment is even more compromised when the body is exposed to the
stressor continuously. Hans Selye developed the General Adaptation Syndrome model to
describe the effect of chronic stressors on the body.
first was the Alarm Phase. The initial reaction of the body to stress, it
labels the stressor as threat or danger to balance resulting to trigger the fight
or flight response. It causes the organism’s ability to resist the stressor to
Relaxation Phase takes place when the body has adapt to the existence of a
chronic stressor. It makes the body’s defenses weaker, as it needs to allocate
the energy to repair the damaged muscle tissues and lower the production of the
stress hormones. The body remains on-guard, particularly when the stressors
persist and the body requires to fight continuously, although not as strong in
the initial response.
Exhaustion Phase, the body’s resources becomes depleted and the body system
starts to deteriorate as of the stress has been persistent for a prolonged
period. The body starts to lose its
ability to combat the stressors and reduce their harmful impact as the adaptive
energy is drained out. This phase is referred to as the gate towards burnout or
stress overload, which can lead to health problems if not resolved immediately.
Theory of Emotion
Emotions do not
immediately succeed the perception of the stressor or the stressful event; they
become present after the body’s response to the stress. The feeling of
fear or any other emotion only begins after the experience of bodily changes. Emotional
behavior is not possible to occur unless it is connected to one’s brain.
It shows that when a person experiences stimulation, the autonomic nervous
system reacts by creating psychological manifestations that the brain will
interpret to. The brain’s interpretation is now called the ’emotion’. In this
theory, the bodily sensations prepare a person to react based on the brain’s
interpretation of the event and the physiological events.
The Emergency Theory
Emotion can occur even
when the bodily changes are not present. Visceral or internal
physiologic response of the body can slowly be recognized by the brain as
compared with its function to release emotional response. It works as the sensory signals transmits to the brain’s
relay center, it relays the information to two structures: the amygdala and the
brain cortex. The amygdala is responsible for the instantaneous response in the
form of emotions, whereas the brain cortex is for the slower response. The
autonomic nervous system sends signals to muscles and other parts of the body,
causing them to tense, increase in rate, change in rhythm, and more. This theory
views stimulation/arousal and emotion as a combined response to a
The Schachter-Singer Theory
The appropriate identification of the emotion
requires both cognitive activity and emotional arousal in order to experience
an emotion. The body is aware of the reason behind the emotional
response, and when the reason is not obvious, it starts to look for
environmental clues for the proper interpretation of the emotion to occur.
Acute stress is caused by the daily demands and pressures encountered by each one of
us. It usually brings about the excitement, thrill and joy in our lives.
Emotional distress and physical problems are usually the result of this stress.
It is an acute
stress that occurs frequently. This is usually seen in people who make self-inflicted, unrealistic or
unreasonable demands which get all clamored up and bring too much stress in
their attempt to accomplish these goals. Episodic stress is not like chronic
stress this type of stress ceases from time to time yet not as frequently as
acute stress does.
It is the exact
opposite of acute stress; dangerous and unhealthy. It tears the life of a
person, mind and body. This type of stress is brought by long-term exposure to
stressors, such as unhappy marriage, traumatic experiences, unwanted career or
job, stress of poverty, chronic illnesses, relationship conflicts, political
problems, and dysfunctional families. These stressful situations seem to be
unending, and the accumulated stress that results from exposure to them can be
life-threatening, and can even lead a person to resort to violence, suicide and
self-harm. Serious illnesses like stroke, heart attack, cancer, and
psychological problems such as clinical depression and post-traumatic disorder
can originate from chronic stress.