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Anatomy process in stress buildup

From the occurrence of an event to the adaptive respond by people, the body undergoes several changes to bring about the emotional and physiological arousal. The journey usually kicks off with the activation of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. Once this division is activated it has the authority of directing the adrenal glands to secrete its hormones, adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) I preparation for an adaptive action. Meanwhile moving to the upper part of the body, the vein and capillaries begin to increase their tensions, resulting in an increase blood pressure and consequently the heart begins to beat faster and blood flow is diverted to the muscle and the brain.

The result of this preparatory process is sometimes referred to as the fight-or-flight response, due to the fact that after such process, the person either confronts or flees from the scenario (situation). Usually to complete the cycle the body requires energy in form of nutrients such as fat or carbohydrates to burn, in order to achieve a desired the respond. The production of energy starts with the secretion of the adrenocorticotropic hormone by the pituitary glands under the influence and directions of the hypothalamus. This hormone, in turn, stimulates the outer layer, or cortex, of the adrenal glands to release glucocorticoids which primarily help the body to access fats and carbohydrates.

However, In the 1920s Canadian scientist Hans De Solye proposed a three staged model of stress response called the general adaptation syndrome.

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

GAS is a three stage model proposed in the 1920s by the Canadian scientist Soyle. It represents long term and short term reaction of the body to stress. These stress situations may include bad weather, bad relations, lose of someone or something valuable or even poverty.

  • 1: Alarm stage
    • This is the first phase of the general adaptation syndrome model and is the immediate reaction to the stressor. In this stage the anatomy building process (described above) takes place, preparing the body for the fight or flight response This stage of the model triggers quite a number of actions, which can lead to a less effective immune system. Primarily is the fact that glucocorticoid hormone secreted by the adrenalin in the anatomy building process of the stress reaction can decrease and actively suppress the effectiveness of the immune system, leaving the body prone to other physical diseases.
  • 2: Resistance stage
    • This is the continuing stage of the alarm stage. It could also be called the stage of adaptation. During the phase the body tends to adapt and acclimatize to its stressor in other to reduce the effect of the stress. The stage usually showcases some behavioral attitude which might include crying, excessive watching of movies or even greed (if the person has lost a valuable amount of money). A physical example can be poverty. Poor people might tend to reduce their spending habits in order to save more money.
  • 3: Exhaustion stage
    • As the name implies this stage occurs if the stressor effect is elongated for some time. At this stage the resistance or adaptation gradually diminishes and so the immune system as well, creating high susceptibility to a variety of both mental and physical diseases.

Content outline

  • Introduction
    • This section provides general knowledge into the basics of mental health. It highlights importance of mental health in the society and basic introduction to the catastrophe of mental illness.
  • About stress
    • Having being identified as the major cause of various mental illness, this section is dedicated to teaching more on stress and various stressors.
  • Anatomy and GAS
    • Before every significant physical event there are enormous level of reaction in the internal anatomy system which produces responses. This section describes various processes that takes place before response to different situations.
  • Impact
    • With millions of victim worldwide, mental illness has caused breakdown in various systems in several communities. Mental illness will also be the second cause of death in the world by the year 2020.
  • Coping
    • With the much danger associated with mental illness and its major cause, it is most important to discuss strategize medium of combating the menace. This section defines various means to combat mental illness at various levels.illness at various levels.



  • Mental Health
    • Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2005. 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  • General Adaptation Syndrome