Chronic stress is very common nowadays because of our modern lifestyles. Many people suffer from chronic stress and causes can range from high pressure jobs, loneliness, trying to keep up with the neighbors, traffic jams are just some of the causes of stress.So exactly what is common stress? Chronic stress is defined as a condition of continuing physiological stimulation. It happens when we are exposed to so many stress stimuli that our body does not have the chance to activate 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. The result is chronic stress which can cause people to become ill, whether physically or emotionally.But chronic stress does not just stop there. Research by the American Psychological Association shows that 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 hormones are responsible for ending an inflammatory response, such as an allergy, after an infection or injury.
Negative Effects of Chronic Stress
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 immune system 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 daysWhen the samples were analyzed, 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 parents were 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 Social support can be done by helping parents deal with the economic, work and family disruptions. Researchers believed that satisfactory social support can lessen the harmful consequences of caring a child with cancer.
The findings inferred that chronic stress could influence the start and the progress of immunological conditions that involve extreme inflammation such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular, infectious and rheumatologic diseases.For people who are involved in stressful jobs or situations, it is important to adopt stress management techniques and assume a healthy lifestyle to reduce the negative effect of chronic stress.