Stress And Illness

.. s to which the subjects were to respond with a yes/no answer. A total score of 11 points were possible. A high score indicated an extroverted personality, and a low score indicated an introverted personality. Subjects were to also indicate how stressed they perceived themselves as being in the past six months by choosing a number from a one to ten scale.

An answer of ten would indicate extreme stress and therefore a high level of perceived stress. An answer of zero would indicate that the subject has experienced no stress over the past six months. Subjects answering the questionnaire were also asked how often they experience physical illness and how often they have had to miss work or school because of it. After collecting, it was sorted, categorized, and analyzed to determine whether it supported the theory that stress causes illness. The remainder of the information gathered for this project was in the form of both secondary and primary research – using the internet and the library. Findings/Results Twelve females and nine males responded to the 30 questionnaires that were distributed.

The level of extroversion was the dividing point for the comparative analysis. Of the students surveyed, 80 percent were characterized as having an extroverted personality. Table 1 shows the results of the report including introversion-extroversion scale, a scale for all subjects responding to the survey, perceived stress, and total number of physical symptoms. The respondents were categorized into these groups according to the characteristics and answers given. More than half of all respondents experience high levels of perceived stress, actual stress, and physical illness.

People who were categorized as introverts had a comparatively higher rate of stress and illness than those that are characterized as extroverts. Table 1. Compares the % of individuals who have either a characteristically introverted or extroverted personality; with their levels of perceived and actual stress, and number pf physical symptoms of illness. Also shows % for all subjects surveyed. Introversion Extroversion All Subjects Perceived Stress 70% 35% 53% Actual Stress 53% 49% 51% Total Number of Physical Symptoms 69% 42% 56% Conclusion Statistical analysis supported the theory that stress causes illness. In addition, stress levels were higher in those people that indicated an introverted personality type.

The study indicates a relationship between stress and illness, and that this relationship was strongest between how stressed one feels and illness. This held true for all subjects as a group. The overall results of the questionnaire should be perceived with several uncertainties. One of the reasons for the uncertainties is the possibility that each subject did not answer each question as honestly as possible. For example, on each question of one of the surveys, a respondent circled the first answer of each question.

Due to the formality of the questionnaire, the evidence provided by the subject would not be conclusive in any way. Another reason to view the results as doubtful is due to incomplete information. Two of the twenty-one individuals surveyed failed to complete crucial information on the questionnaire. These are just two vital scenarios that can cause misconceptions when reviewing the overall results and conclusions of this study. Taking in account the stress levels of the individuals who responded to the survey, more than half do not find ways to relieve their stress. There does not appear to be in any one survey, a particular event that is causing stress related illnesses.

As for all subjects, actual life stressors played a larger role in physical illness than how stressed one felt. Although the group as a whole had factors that produced a relationship between stress and illness, people who displayed characteristics of an extroverted personality type had a weakened relationship between actual stress and illness. This group also had fewer physical symptoms of illness. The group that was characterized as an introverted personality type scored the highest in all categories relating to stress and illness. They represented statistics that proved that they had cases of higher physical symptoms of illness, higher perceived stress levels and higher actual stress levels. This was not surprising considering all the literature that supports this conclusion. In this study, the theory that stress causes illness proved to be correct. Of the 21 subjects surveyed, there proved to be an overall correlation between stress and physical illness. The relationship held stronger for those who are of an introverted personality type.

Although the percentages were overall low for all categories, this was because not enough people responded to the study. The sample size was insufficient since 30 copies of the questionnaire were given out and only 21 responded. Even though these limitations are evident, the results still concluded that stress causes illness and is more evident in those people who are characterized as having an introverted personality type. There are many ways to reduce stress, although it cannot be eliminated. Many individuals surveyed for this project did not take measures to reduce stress, such as an hour of relaxation, meditation, or exercise.

Decreasing stress can help moderate the frequency and degree of illnesses that are generating from being highly stressed. All that is really needed to begin reducing stress is some quiet time for yourself – time to collect your thoughts and think about your well-being. Once you can find the time for stress-relief, the frequencies of illnesses can be decreased. References Can Stress Make You Sick? (1998, April). Harvard Health Letter, 23. DeVito, P. (1994, July).

The Immune System vs. Stress. USA Today Magazine, 123. Hoffman, M. A., Levy-Shiff, R., & Malinski, D.

(1996). Stress and Adjustment in the Transition to adolescence: Moderating Effects of Neuroticism and Extroversion. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 25, 161-175 Keicolt-Glaser, J. K., Marucha, P. T., Malarkey, W.

B., Mercado, A. M., Glaser, R. (1995). Slowing of Wound Healing by Psychological Stress. The Lancet, 346.

http://www.goodhealth.com/gh mag/febmar98/reduction.html http://well-net.com/stress/SRDPromo2.html http://www.reflexology.org/aor/refinfo/refwork.htm http://www.cybervitamins.com/stress.htm Bibliography References Can Stress Make You Sick? (1998, April). Harvard Health Letter, 23. DeVito, P. (1994, July). The Immune System vs.

Stress. USA Today Magazine, 123. Hoffman, M. A., Levy-Shiff, R., & Malinski, D. (1996).

Stress and Adjustment in the Transition to adolescence: Moderating Effects of Neuroticism and Extroversion. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 25, 161-175 Keicolt-Glaser, J. K., Marucha, P. T., Malarkey, W. B., Mercado, A.

M., Glaser, R. (1995). Slowing of Wound Healing by Psychological Stress. The Lancet, 346. http://www.goodhealth.com/gh mag/febmar98/reduction.html http://well-net.com/stress/SRDPromo2.html http://www.reflexology.org/aor/refinfo/refwork.htm http://www.cybervitamins.com/stress.htm Medicine Essays.