Psychotherapy and Neuroscience

Chronic Stress-Human

The documents in the prior section, Temperament & Stress, reflected how individuals and animals uniquely react when stressed, whether that stress be frustrated social motivational need (deficits in nurture) or traumatic in nature. The stress state is inferred from physiological components (e.g. increased heart rate, blood pressure, stress related neurohormone release and secretion in the blood stream or other bodily fluids like saliva, urine, etc., stress related defensive behaviors such as aggressive approach or life threatening avoidance, etc.). Because the life cycle of the rodent is relatively accelerated (~3 years), the researcher can study the effects of laboratory chronic stress. Because humans’ life cycles are longer, adult history taking (i.e. charting the self-reported course of prior stress in one’s life) typically documents the incidence and nature of cumulative experiences of acute stress, which will later comprise chronic stress expression.