Stress and Health

Stress and Health

Behavioral Medicine

An interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease.


a system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state, such as blood pressure or muscle tension.


physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion brought on by persistent job-related stress.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Unproven health care treatments not taught widely in medical schools, not used in hospitals, and not usually reimbursed by insurance companies.

Coronary Heart Disease

The clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle; the leading cause of death in the United States.

General Adaptation Syndrome

Selye’s concept of the body’s adaptive response to stress in three stages – alarm, resistance, exhaustion.

Health Psychology

a subfield of psychology that provides psychology’s contribution to behavioral medicine.


the two types of white blood cells that are part of the body’s immune system: B lymphocytes form in the bone marrow and release antibodies that fight bacterial infections; T lymphocytes form in the thymus and, among other duties, attack cancer cells, viruses, and foreign substances.

Psychophysiological Illness

Literally, “mind-body” illness; any stress-related physical illness, such as hypertension and some headaches. Note: This is distinct from hypochondriasis-misinterpreting normal physical sensations as symptoms of a disease.


the process by which we perceive an respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging.

Type A

Friedman and Rosenman’s term for competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, and anger-prone people.

Type B

Friedman and Rosenman’s term for easygoing, relaxed people.