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Health Psychol. 1990;9(6):653-75.

Stress, intrusive imagery, and chronic distress.

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1
Department of Medical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814-4799.

Abstract

Discusses the nature of stress in the context of problems with its definition and sources of confusion regarding its usefulness and specificity. Stress can be defined as a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, and behavioral changes that are directed toward adaptation either by manipulating the situation to alter the stressor or by accommodating its effects. Chronic stress is more complex than most definitions suggest and is clearly not limited to situations in which stressors persist for long periods of time. Responses may habituate before a stressor disappears or may persist long beyond the physical presence of the stressor. This latter case, in which chronic stress and associated biobehavioral changes outlast their original cause, is considered in light of research at Three Mile Island and among Vietnam veterans. The role of intrusive images of the stressor or uncontrollable thoughts about it in maintaining stress is explored.

PMID:
2286178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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