An alphabetical collection of specialist terms and their meanings
The tendency of the body to fight to restore homeostasis ( the state of
the body in which there exists a stable equilibrium) in the face of forces
which upset the natural body balance.
An excitatory chemical produced by the adrenal glands, which plays a major
role in the arousal of the human system.
A state of mental and/or physical exhaustion caused by excessive stress.
STRESS: The psychophysiological stress response caused by states of
boredom and/or loneliness.
"bad stress" which taxes us beyond our coping limits and can
contribute to ill health.
"Good stress" resulting from any change in the environment that
causes us to adapt; it makes us forge ahead against obstacles.
The return of some of the output of a system as input.
REACTION: Also known as the emergency response or alarm reaction, this
primitive bodily response provides the system with the extra energy and
preparedness necessary to fight a situation or to flee from it. Some of
the characteristics of the fight-or-flight reaction include muscular
tension, increased blood pressure and heart rate, a sharpening of the
senses, and the production of extra adrenaline.
The thwarting or inhibiting of natural or desired behaviors and goals.
ADAPTATION SYNDROME: A generalized arousal effect on the body produced by
hormones. It is intended to stimulate bodily defense mechanisms against
disease and thereby to increase the chances for survival through
appropriate adaptation. It is characterized by an initial alarm reaction
(the fight-or-flight reaction), a stage of resistance to disease, and, if
unrelieved, a stage of exhaustion.
Minute intracellular particles which act as code letters of a chemical
alphabet. Through them, hereditary information can be transmitted to
CHANGE: is one which affects all or most parts of a system without
selectivity. It is the opposite of a specifically formed change, which
affects one or, at most, a few units within a system. A nonspecifically
caused change is one which can be produced by many or all agents.
A level of stimulation or demand that exceeds the capacity to process or
comply with those demands; over-stimulation.
may be thought of as the summation of the characteristics, attitudes,
values, and behavioral patterns that individuals manifest in interacting
with their environment.
The nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it, i.e., the
generalized arousal of the psychological and physical systems aimed at
adapting to or coping with internal and external change. Hans Selye,
simply defined it as "the rate of wear and tear in the body."
For general orientation, when you talk to a physician, he means the common
results of exposure to any stimulus. For example, the bodily changes
produced when a person is exposed to nervous tension, physical injury,
infection, cold, heat, X-ray, or anything else are what we call
The triggering event that makes demands upon the human system for
psychological and physical adaptation.
DISORDERS: Also known as the "diseases of adaptation or of
"coping" these are the functional disorders that result directly
or indirectly from the chronic excitation of the stress response
A group of symptoms and signs which appear together.
ULCER: Inflammation and erosion on a surface.
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