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Stressful Social Situations May Be Physically Harmful in Some

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by *GG*, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    If immune system reacts with inflammation, repeated stress can lead to chronic disease, study finds

    (HealthDay News) -- Stress caused by social situations, such as giving a speech or going to a job interview, can affect some people's immune system in ways that harm their health, researchers have found.

    The study included 124 volunteers who were purposely put into awkward social situations. Those who exhibited greater neural sensitivity to social rejection also had greater increases in inflammatory activity when exposed to social stress.

    "It turns out there are important differences in how people interpret and respond to social situations," lead author George Slavich, a postdoctoral fellow at the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a UCLA news release.

    "For example," he explained, "we sometimes see giving a speech in front of an audience as a welcomed challenge; other times, it's threatening and distressing. In this study, we sought to examine the neural bases for these differences in response and to understand how these differences relate to biological processes that can affect human health and well-being."

    The findings provide "further evidence of how closely our mind and body are connected. We have known for a long time that social stress can 'get under the skin' to increase risk for disease, but it's been unclear exactly how these effects occur. To our knowledge, this study is the first to identify the neurocognitive pathways that might be involved in inflammatory responses to acute social stress," Slavich said.

    Increases in inflammatory activity are part of the immune system's natural response to potentially harmful situations, but "frequent or chronic activation of the system may increase the risk for a variety of disorders, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and even depression," Slavich added.

    The study was released online Aug. 2 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    More information

    The American Psychological Association outlines the different types of stress.
    -- Robert Preidt

    SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, Aug. 12, 2010
  2. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    Thought some people might find this interesting, I thought of some people on this forum, who have anxiety issues etc...
  3. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

    Near Cognac, France
    Or is our oxidative stress to blame for any anxiety or other 'mood disorders'?

    "There is increasing evidence that oxidative stress in neurons is involved in pathological manifestations of many neurological disorders. Thus, there is a need to evaluate the direct effects of oxidative stress on anxiety-related behavior."

    "Overall, the present study shows that oxidative stress leads to anxiety-like behavior in mice; this is reversed by PDE2 inhibition through increased cGMP-PKG signaling. Therefore, PDE2 may be a novel pharmacological target for treatment of anxiety in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders that involve oxidative stress."
  4. Athene


    I definitely think this happens to me, not from stressful situations like giving presentations (which I did a lot in the past) but from certain people who make themselves very obstructive or obnoxious, either in a work context or, nowadays, with regard to my medical treatment.

    The Lyme clinic I recently stayed at explained this chronic inflammation situation, and also gave us a diet of anti-inflammatory foods (and of course inflammatory foods to avoid) as well as other lifestyle factors which will increase/reduce chronic inflammation, which is a major factor in all chronic infections.
  5. Berthe

    Berthe Senior Member

    near Antwerp
    This also refers to what dr. Glaser was telling on the first day, science day, of the CFSAC meeting. If you are interested in the subject there have been written books about the subject. Sue Gerhardt; Why love matters. This book is based on the work of Allan N. Schore. Absolutely interesting.

  6. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy

    Essex, UK
    Ok - usual caveats about this sort of research.

    How strong is the correlation? Is a weak correlation leading to the correlation equals causation fallacy? The spiel looks like that

    How are psycho-social stressors like 'awkward' situations in a voluntary exercise defined apart from each other, and apart from physical stressors. Illness, injury (including minor), sexual intercourse, heat, cold, frustration at not finding your keys etc. and just general living do not have different effects that can be quantified with precision as yet, and may never.

    Stress is a highly unsafe psychogenic explanation for illness per se. Stress has been claimed for ever-increasing amounts of physiological impairment- but it usually utilises a 'black box' explanation to downplay the lack of knowledge or substantiative evidence for such claims.

    There's so much wrong with these sorts of explanations.
  7. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

    If this research turns out to be true, I would be fascinated to know how forcefully locking someone in a psychiatric ward (as happens to some severely ill ME patients in the UK), ostracising them, refusing to feed them when they are too weak to feed themselves, telling them they don't have an illness they have and forcing them into increased activity they cannot tolerate - is going to reduce the inflammation? Some of these patients have died as a result of the additional stress and most have completely lost their trust in the medical profession's capacity to care at all.
    Not v healing is it?

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