Table of Contents

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Published in the US by
Science & HumanitiesPress
ISBN: 1-888725-36-2 $24.95
286 pp. includes index,
Table of Contents
ISBN 1-888725-36-2


CONTENTS

PREFACE VIII

INTRODUCTION 1

POPULAR VIEWS 5

The existence of stress 8

Definitions of stress 14

The stress reaction 17

The nature of stress 19

Causes of stress 20

The effects of stress, including diseases 23

Dealing with stress 29

Contradictory views of stress 35

Conclusion and consequences 37

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 41
Early history: magic, the supernatural and astrology 41

The Greeks And The Romans 43

The Dark and Middle ages 45

The Renaissance 46

The 17th century: the Enlightenment 46

The passions, vapors and nerves 49

The nervous century 52

The 20th century 65

Summing up 77

LINGUISTIC CONSIDERATIONS 81
Definitional difficulties 81

Definitions of stress 82

Stress: an abstract concept 86

Abstract concepts: assumptions and implications 87

Vagueness of broad abstract concepts 89

Reification 92

Personification 93

The use of metaphors 94

Synonyms and interchange of words 95

The real meaning of 'distress' 96

The confusion resulting from the use of 'distress' 97

Language in the social context 98

Summing up 100

THEORIES AND THEORETICAL ASPECTS 101
Hans Selye's theory 103

Other aspects 107

Summing up 121

OTHER THEORIES AND CONCEPTS 123
Life events 123

The transactional model: appraisal and coping 127

The information processing and arousal model 134

The engineering model 136

Goldstein's homeostatic theory 142

Work stress 145

Summing up 148

OTHER THEORETICAL PROBLEMS 151
The teleology of homeostasis and stress 151

Summing up 157

Physical and psychological 'stressors' 158

Specific effects of physical 'stressors' 159

The search for the common non-specific effects 160

Common and predictable features of physical 'stressors' 160

Physical 'stressors': concrete and measurable 161

Usefulness of a classification of physical 'stressors' 162

Confusion between physical and psychological 'stressors' 163

Types of psychological stress and their characteristics 164

The use of animals in studies of stress 169

Summing up 172

PHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF STRESS 175
Rationale and problems with the choice of 'stressors' 176

Alternative explanations for 'stressors' 182

Self-reports 184

The choice of 'stressors': summary 186

Rationale and problems associated with the choice of 'stress responses' 187

Physiological measurement of stress 189

Fluctuation of secretion 197

Attempts to explain decrease or lack of increase 198

Summing up 198

STRESS AND DISEASE 203
Introduction 203

The immune system 204

Disease in general 212

Summing up 226

AN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION 227
The impact of life on health 227

The various use of the term 'feel' 230

Consequences of our reactions 232

The importance of feelings and emotions 232

The role of reactions in our life 234

Factors that affect appreciation 235

Fulfilment of expectations 237

Reactions to events 237

The role of imagination in "mental conditions" 239

Putting it together 242

The danger of prescription 243

How to deal with discomfort 244

Lowering the level of expectations 244

Intensity of the reaction 246

The duration of the reaction 246

Summing up 248

CONCLUSION 251

BIBLIOGRAPHY 259

INDEX 283

Biography of Serge Doublet
Definitions of Stress
Causes of Stress
Bibliography on Stress
Highlights of The Stress Myth
Table of Contents The Stress Myth
The Stress Myth- Home page
website - stressmyth.com
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