Pages: 35 (B/W Figure Illus: 9)
The concept of stress is as elusive as it is important. Stress is
ubiquitous. No person escapes of some sort or the other in daily life.
In this sense people are seen as passive helpless victims of the
stress phenomenon. In a sense it is a new generic term for 'cause-
The aim of every human being is to survive as happily as possible.
In an ever changing world and to achieve the highest possible
consistent with one's potentialities. It is the gap between achievement
and expectation that leads to stress. For the present concept of stress
we owe a great deal to the pioneering work of Prof. Hans Selye, who
was awarded the Nobel Prize for this work.
What is Stress ?
Stress is now formalized to mean - any change within a system
induced by external forces. Stress is a demand on our adaptability to
evoke a response. In a fast changing world the demands on human
adaptability are great and hence, chances of stress being produced
are greatly enhanced.
(b) Selye's Concept:
Prof. Selye noted that animals exposed to a wide variety of noxious
agents, underwent a somewhat 'stereotypic pattern' of physiological
changes. In this sense they were 'non-specific'. He designated this
response pattern as 'General Adaptation Syndrome'(GAS) and the
stimuli that provoke the syndrome were called 'stresses' or 'stressors'.
Derailment of GAS produces 'diseases of adaptation'. In GAS the
bodily physiological responses evolve in three stages:
(a) The 'alarm reaction'
(b) The 'stage of resistance'
(c) The 'stage of exhaustion' - implies a decline of defence <
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