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Different Types of Stressors – Stress (PSY)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 Now, we're going to look at 3 main types of stressors.

    00:05 The first one is catastrophes.

    00:08 The second one would be a significant life changes.

    00:10 And the third one would be a daily hassle.

    00:12 So we're going to walk through each and we'll explain how they are different.

    00:15 So catastrophe would be at the far end of the scale.

    00:18 So this would be something that is as bad as it can get.

    00:21 So an example would be, this is something that is very unpredictable, large scale events like natural disasters, terrorist attacks.

    00:27 Easily identified as being extremely stressful.

    00:30 I mean you look at today's environment we have things like, the Paris bombings.

    00:34 We have war in Syria.

    00:36 We have 9/11 which happened.

    00:38 These are catastrophes.

    00:39 Okay, these are things that lot of people are affective.

    00:42 And you can have little or no control over this situation.

    00:45 That's kind of an important point is that as there is less and less control, there's more increasing levels of stress.

    00:51 Now another example of another type of stress would be significant life changes.

    00:57 Now this is something that happens to all of us over a lifetime and could include things such as moving.

    01:03 You wrote the MCAT exam.

    01:05 You got off a medical school.

    01:06 You got a pack up shop.

    01:07 Pack up all your stuff.

    01:08 Say bye to your mom, move out of the basement and go away to school.

    01:12 That can be stressful.

    01:13 While you're at school, you find your sweetheart, you get married.

    01:16 Very stressful.

    01:18 She finds out that she hates you, divorce.

    01:20 Very stressful.

    01:21 Your mum finds out you got a divorce and she passes away.

    01:24 Stressful.

    01:25 Okay, so here all examples of things that happen, part of normal life and they can affect you.

    01:32 Now we also know that there's certain period where this type of stress has the most impact.

    01:38 Now when you are a small child, small baby, you really quite get it.

    01:42 And by the time you are an adult or elderly, you've been jaded by life, right.

    01:48 So the period where it's more impactful seems to be young adulthood.

    01:52 So this is when you have your first break up or when you're transitioning to high school.

    01:56 Or you don't get invited to the prom from your boyfriend.

    01:59 These things are all extremely impactful at this particular age subgroup of young adulthood, okay.

    02:08 Now the last, the last type of stress is the lowest on the totem pole in our discussion here.

    02:15 And that's daily hassles.

    02:16 So, today, you sitting at your desk, you realized, you tipped over your coffee and it spilt all over the floor.

    02:21 It's annoying.

    02:22 It's an irritation and it can be stressful, right.

    02:25 It also spilt on your brand new shoes, stressful.

    02:28 These little things that happen.

    02:30 Being stuck in traffic.

    02:32 Forgetting your wallet at home.

    02:34 Things are happening to us every single day.

    02:37 These can accumulate over time.

    02:38 And they stack one another.

    02:41 And we've had these days where you'd like "Could anything else go wrong," right.

    02:44 You forget your computer at home.

    02:46 You get a speeding ticket.

    02:48 You get to work and you're late.

    02:50 Your boss yells at you.

    02:51 All these things start popping up and by the end of the day, you're like, I'd had it.

    02:54 I'm going to snap.

    02:55 That is an incremental build up of all of this daily hassles.

    03:00 Now, there's a fourth type of stressor that we haven't presented to you right now.

    03:06 And this is one that kind of some believe false adolescence, some don't.

    03:10 But we'll just introduce to you right now anyway's.

    03:11 And this would be sort of ambient or background stress.

    03:15 Or sometimes it's called "Environmental Stress." So what am I talking about, Well, if you happen to live in your beautiful house, right, by a major highway.

    03:24 There's lots of traffic, there's lots of noise.

    03:27 But to you that's fine because lived there your whole life.

    03:30 You love it.

    03:31 It's your dream home next to the highway.

    03:33 Now that noise, that traffic that you hear all the time, become something like you have in the background, it's ambient or it's environmental noise.

    03:40 And you don't think it's actually doing anything to you.

    03:43 But it's there.

    03:44 And your body and your mind, actually is dealing with that.

    03:49 And you might have other things like your nagging childhood is constantly whining and screaming with you.

    03:55 Again this is something you are used to, your mother your father, you are used to your kids doing that.

    03:59 But overtime that ambient environmental noise can actually have some impact.

    04:04 And it stacks, and it stacks, and it stacks.

    04:07 Now to put that into perspective, think of times if you've been fortunate enough to may be go away when you normally are in an environment that's very loud.

    04:16 Say you live in the heart of New York city or you work in New York city, you are on the subway all the time, or you live next to the highway.

    04:22 All of a sudden you go away for a week.

    04:24 And go to a beach resort in Mali and you're lying there.

    04:27 All you hear is the ocean or you hear nothing.

    04:29 You are up at the cottage or some place where's there nothing other than the big blue yonder, and all of sudden you removed all that normal ambient environmental noise and you're like, "Oh, my god! this is so relaxful." And you actually feel yourself being destressed, okay.

    04:45 So, and if you look at the other way around.

    04:47 If you are normally in a quiet environment, and you go to Time Square New York City, extremely loud, always loud, always busy, lights, noise, action.

    04:55 But then you go back to your hotel room or you go back home.

    04:57 And you're like, "Oh, wow." And you almost don't even realize that was happening to you until you remove yourself from the situation.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Different Types of Stressors – Stress (PSY) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Responding to the World.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Catastrophe
    2. Significant life change
    3. Ambient
    4. Chronic daily hassles
    5. Adaptation syndrome
    1. 20 year old
    2. 3 year old
    3. 46 year old
    4. 80 year old
    5. 10 year old
    1. First relationship
    2. Earthquake
    3. Daily commute
    4. Vacation to the Bahamas
    5. Work stressors
    1. Having to go back home for your car keys
    2. Living near an airport
    3. Losing a pet
    4. Being fired from a job

    Author of lecture Different Types of Stressors – Stress (PSY)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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