Chronic stress is defined as a condition of continuing physiological stimulation. It happens when the body is exposed to so many stress stimuli that it does not have the chance toactivate its coping mechanism. The body perceives that stimuli as a threat and tries to cope up with it. But due to the enormous amount of stress stimuli, the body burns out its coping capability. Theresult is chronic stress which can cause people to become ill, whether physically or emotionally.
But chronic stress does not just stop there. According to a research by the American PsychologicalAssociation, chronic stress can also hinder a person’s immune system by impairing its ability to respond to its own anti-inflammatory signals that are initiated by glucocorticoid hormones. These hormonesare responsible for ending an inflammatory response, such as an allergy, after an infection or injury.
The research was done by comparing 50 healthy parents. 25 of the parents live a stressful,pressured life. They also have children who are being treated for pediatric cancer. The other half had healthy children on measures of mental health, effects of social support and a variety of immunesystem responses. A sample of blood was drawn from each parent at the first session. After the initial session, samples of salivary cortisol were taken several times within two days.
When the samples wereanalyzed, it was found out that the parents of the children with cancer were suffering a higher level of psychological grief and distress than the parents with healthy children. These same parentswere also reported to have reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity compared to the parents of the healthier children.
The stressed out parents were given social support to help them relieve of their stress.Researchers believed that satisfactory social support can lessen the harmful consequences of caring a child with cancer. Social support can be done by helping parents deal with the economic, work...