Experience of events that we perceive as endangering our physical or psychological well-being.
Physiological changes in the human body that occur in response to a perceived threat, including the secretion of glucose, endorphins, and hormones as well as the elevation of heart rate, metabolism, blood pressure, breathing, and muscle tension.
Hormone that helps the body respond to stressors, including the fight-or-flight response.
General adaptation syndrome
Physiological changes that occur when an organism reacts to stress; includes the stages of alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
Study of the effects of psychological factors on health.
Coronary heart disease (CHD)
Chronic illness that is a leading cause of death in Canada, occurring when the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients are narrowed or closed by plaque, resulting in a myocardial infarction (heart attack) when closed completely.
Condition in which the blood supply through the blood vessels is excessive and can lead to deterioration of the cell tissue and hardening of the arterial walls.
System that protects the body from disease-causing micro-organisms and affects our susceptibility to disease.
Immune system cells that attack viruses.
Primary sleep disorders that involve abnormalities in the amount, quality, or timing of sleep.
Primary sleep disorders that involve abnormal behavioural and psychological events occurring during sleep.
Type of dyssomnia that involves difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep; chronically non-restorative sleep.
Behavioural intervention for insomnia that involves a set of instructions designed to reduce behaviours that might interfere with sleep and to regulate sleep-wake schedules.
Sleep restriction therapy
Treatment for insomnia that involves initially restricting the amount of time that people with insomnia can try to sleep at night.
Type of dyssomnia that involves being chronically sleepy and sleeping for long periods at a time.
Type of dyssomnia that involves irresistible attacks of sleep.
Episodes of sudden loss of muscle tone lasting from a few seconds to minutes.
Repeated episodes of upper-airway obstruction during sleep; people with sleep apnea typically snore loudly, go silent and do not breathe for several seconds at a time, then gasp for air.
Type A behaviour pattern
Personality pattern characterized by time urgency, hostility, and competitiveness.
Guided mastery techniques
Interventions designed to increase health-promoting behaviours by providing explicit information about how to engage in these accomplish self-actualization through self-exploration; based on the assumption that the natural tendency for humans is toward growth.
Group of techniques designed to help people change bodily processes by learning to identify signs that the processes are going awry and the learning ways of controlling the processes.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety disorder characterized by (1) repeated mental images of experiencing a traumatic event, (2) emotional numbing and detachment, and, (3) hyper vigilance and chronic arousal.
Acute stress disorder
Disorder similar to post-traumatic stress disorder but occurs within one month of exposure to the stressor and does not last more than four weeks; often involves dissociative symptoms.
Stress-related disorder that involves emotional and behavioural symptoms (depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and/or antisocial behaviours) that arise within three months of the onset of a stressor.
Systematic desensitization therapy
Type of behaviour therapy that attempts to reduce client anxiety through relaxation techniques and progressive exposure to feared stimuli.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Highly controversial therapy for trauma survivors in which a client attends to the image of the trauma, thoughts about the trauma, and the physical sensations of anxiety aroused by the trauma while the therapist quickly moves a finger back and forth in front of the client's eyes to elicit a series of repeated, rapid, jerky, side-to-side eye movements. ("saccades").