Monday, January 29, 2007

General Adaptation Syndrome Examples

When discussing the body's response to stress, Canadian scientist Hans Selye developed the G.A.S. Selye's basic point is not groundbreaking; that prolonged stress can produce physical deterioration. Use this as a basic understanding of your examples.



Matt Russak said...

1. A stressor that I dealt with recently was my audition for Carnegie Mellon University on January 28th. I felt the most stressed when I began the singing portion of the audition. At first, in the alarm phase, my heart began to beat faster, and I began to breathe faster. I could feel the blood pumping, meaning my blood pressure was elevated. My arms and legs felt warm, since more blood was sent to those areas in case I decided to choose the “flight” option of the “fight-or-flight” response. I felt a sudden rush of energy – production of adrenaline increased as well. Since the alarm phase is so short – a few seconds, if that – I did not make any decisions, or even think about making a decision. Emotionally, I began to feel much more nervous.

Next is the adaptation phase. Production of adrenalin returned to normal, although the effects linger, and emotionally I still feel highly nervous and frightened. I had to decide if I would stay and sing, or if I would flee, which was not really that much of a choice for me, but I technically could have fled had I felt it was necessary.

Finally, exhaustion sets in as I finish the songs. My legs become weak and rubbery. Emotionally, I felt extremely exuberant – I successfully overcame the stressful task at hand. Over the next minute, my breathing and heart rate returned to normal, and I felt drained.

2. For my next audition, I will have taken better care of myself ahead of time so that I am in full health, instead of being sick. I will practice more and make sure I am more confident. In general situations, I will try and stay calm, and be prepared for situations ahead of time as much as I can.


1. I definitely have an example of a humorous stressor. My cousin and i both have the same last name, so it gets frustrating at times because we are always confused for different school related subjects. Needless to say, my cousin is not the most well behaved individual, so sometimes i will get called down to the office for an unknown reason. THIS IS A STRESSOR FOR A GEEKY INDIVIDUAL! i always think i am in deep trouble for something i am unaware of. My alarm phase would probably be that moment when my homeroom teacher tells me to go down to the office in an enraged voice (thinking that i committed mortal sin or something). My heart starts to beat very fast, and i feel faint as my legs give way underneath me. i most certainly turn about 8 shades of red because i am flushed from anxiety and increased blood flow to the brain. in this phase, i am basically just comprehending the situation, and my body is getting ready to "fight" by triggering my Sympathetic Nervous System.

Next comes the Resistance. As I walk down the hall way, I feel my body shaking. I don’t know how accurate this is, but I do know that acetylcholine release is increased and that ACTH controls muscle movements. This release from the pituitary gland may serve as explanations as to why I can barely stand as I relentlessly continue my journey to the main office. Also, as I am walking, I notice that my appetite is suppressed and even the thought of a bagel or a toaster strudel makes me want to vomit. I don’t know but I am guessing that frequently feeling this way may be what causes stomach ulcers from undue stress. As I violently swing the door open to the main office, I am told to sit and wait for Mr. Koch to call for me. The hormones keep coming from the pituitary gland however, creating an extreme increase in energy and anxiety. I researched and found that this indeed upsets my body’s homeostasis, and I can REALLY AGREE. I feel off key and extremely uncomfortable as I await my fate in the office.

Finally comes the exhaustion stage. My stress reaches its climax as I enter Mr. Koch’s office, but it soon subsides immediately after I find out it was my cousin who he truly wanted to freak out on. Regardless of my sudden relaxation, the hormones my body has just released remain in my system, causing me harm throughout the day. I know for a fact that when something like this happens to me in the morning, I actually get what my mother so correctly calls a “stress headache.” Doing research I found out that this is indeed a side effect of the previous two stages of the General Adaptation Syndrome.

2. The General Adaptation Syndrome reminds me of the typical jitters one gets before giving a speech, only, it can occur at other times. I believe that certain calming techniques for giving speeches could come in to play to reduce the harmful effects of the General Adaptation Syndrome. Taking deep breaths to calm myself may be a way to lower blood pressure and trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. Also, simply releasing the stress in another way may work in this “ancy” scenario. I know that when I get excited, jumping up and down or fidgeting really helps me shake back to calmness. Maybe this could work out for my office jitters. For a quick fix, I could just ask my homeroom teacher to call the office and make sure it is me who is in trouble, but that really doesn’t offer remedies for the General Adaptation Syndrome. I believe the ideas above would serve as the best explanation.