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Selyes Theory of Gas

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Seyles’ theory of GAS
Background-
Seyle observed that all hospital patients shared a common set of symptoms no matter what was actually wrong with them.
Seyle experimentally (and unethically) exposed rats to various stressors such as cold, injury, spinal cord severing, excessive exercise or intoxication and again noticed this “generalised response”. No matter what stressor the rats were exposed to, they always produced a similar response.
Seyle suggested that there was one internal mechanism in animals for dealing with stress, regardless of the stressor. He termed this internal mechanism the “General Adaption Syndrome” or GAS.
Theory-
When a stressor appears the body will enter the “alarm stage” where the body detects the stressor (which could be anything like work deadlines, weather, distractions, etc.) through the HPA axis and it prepares the body for fight or flight. This occurs when the hypothalamus has detected the stressor and activates the pituitary gland. This releases a hormone called ACTH which then stimulates the adrenal glands which produce the hormone adrenaline. This then stimulates the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which stimulates the Sympathetic Nervous System which causes the body to go into “fight or flight”. If the stressor disappears at this point the body will return to normal but if the stressor doesn’t disappear the body goes into the “resistance stage” where the body tries to adapt to the stressor and help the body function as normal. At this point the resources in the body are becoming depleted and so the adrenal glands stop producing adrenaline and start producing cortisol which is used to maintain this prolonged “fight or flight” state. If the stressor disappears now the body returns to normal but if it doesn’t the body enters the “exhaustion stage” where the body can no longer cope with the stressor and starts to break down even if…...

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