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Stress and Immunity: The Continuous Struggle against Stressful Life Events Introduction The evident connection between stress, immunity, and several kinds of disease perhaps reveal the fact that stress can weaken the immune system of our body. The immune system is the protective reaction of the body to foreign elements, such as viruses and bacteria.
Numerous empirical findings in animals and humans substantiate linkage between physical and psychological types of stress and immunological adjustments. Adjustments in the immune response have been reported to go with bereavement, unemployment, coping with phobia, divorce, work-related stress, examinations, exercise, etc (Rice 2000). This essay discusses comprehensively the relationship between stress and immunity. The first section gives an overview of such relationship; the second presents a brief discussion of the cultural and social influences on stress and immunity; the third focuses on the relationship between stress and schizophrenia, with a discussion of policy and practice implications; and last sums up the entire discourse. Stress and Immunity The assumption that stress can increase the likelihood of acquiring physical illnesses is not completely unknown. Proofs that stress can bring about physical ailment started to build up in the 1930s (Edworthy 2000). The term ‘psychosomatic disease’— actual physical illnesses that were believed to be brought about, to a certain extent, by psychological aspects like stress-- was known far and wide. The common psychosomatic ailments were asthma, tension headaches, peptic ulcers, eczema, and high blood pressure (Rice 2000, 64). ...
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