Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
In this Article
- What is stress?
- A brief history of stress
- What are the signs and symptoms of poorly managed stress?
- Who is most vulnerable to stress?
- Teen stress
- What is the healthy response to stress?
- How does the response to stress work?
- What is the role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (grouping) in stress?
- What is the role of the locus coeruleus in stress?
- How do the connections in the brain work in stress?
- What do we know about using (activating) and overusing our internal systems that respond to stress?
- What are the effects of stress on medical and psychological conditions?
- Conclusions about the effects of stress
- How can we manage stress?
- What's in the future for stress?
- Stress At A Glance
- Diet for Stress Management Slideshow
- Take the Stress Quiz!
- Tips for Exercise, Diet and Stress Reduction Slideshow
- Stress Rxlist FAQs
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What's in the future for stress?
Stress is part of life and will always be around. The keys to dealing with stress are appropriate control of stressors and management of our physical (physiological) and mental (psychological) responses. In this regard, critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) involves discussing the traumatic event as soon as possible after the event. Although it is thought to help lessen extreme (pathological) reactions to stress and often prevent PTSD in its worst forms for some individuals, other research has called its effectiveness into question. Hopefully, of the circumstances in which CISD can be useful can be clearly delineated and this approach to stress management can be translated into helpful strategies for managing the more common (normal) types of stress.
Stress At A Glance
- Stress is a normal part of life that can either help us learn and grow or can cause us significant problems.
- Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee).
- If we don't take action, the stress response can create or worsen health problems.
- Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.
- Stress can be managed by regular exercise, meditation or other relaxation techniques, structured timeouts, and learning new coping strategies to create predictability in our lives.
- Many behaviors that increase in times of stress and maladaptive ways of coping with
stress -- drugs, pain medicines, alcohol, smoking, and eating -- actuallyworsen the stress and can make us more reactive (sensitive) to further stress.
- While there are promising treatments for stress, the management of stress is mostly dependent on the ability and willingness of a person to make the changes necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
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Last Editorial Review: 2/17/2011
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