G.A.S means the total mobilisation of an organisms resources &defence systems to meet situations of severe stress.
Stage 1a: Alarm – Shock - key points• When we first become aware of stressor – we go into shock• E.g. we start walking across the road and without warning a car is tooting us as it comes towards us – or – you get a text message that Dad has had a car accident and is in hospital• The body reacts as if it is injured e.g. Body temp lowered, blood pressure decreases, muscles are relaxed (loss of tone) etc• Level of resistance is briefly lowered (we are not yet dealing with the stressor)
Stage 1b: Alarm – Countershock - key points• Now we start dealing with the stressor• We become aroused – thus more alert & the sympathetic nervous system is activated (during c/shock)• Stress hormones are released into the blood stream - thus heart rate increases, the respiratory system accelerates – providing the muscles with more energy/ oxygen – similar to the fight-flight response• Level of resistance is raised (meaning we are ready to deal with the stressor)
Stage 2: Resistance- key points• If the stressor hasn’t been successfully dealt with (during countershock), we move into the resistance stage• Physiological arousal remains high, thus the hormones: Adrenalin & cortisol are released into the bloodstream to energise the body & repair damaged – but this comes at a cost (see next slide)• Other physiological functions that are not essential for survival are shut down e.g. digestion, bowel movements – thus energy is diverted to the parts of the body that really need it to deal with stressor
Stage 2: Resistance- continued• The cost of this sustained resistance is that body’s immune (defence) system is weakened• Thus we become vulnerable to disease/ illness• So we might develop symptoms – sore throat, headache, etc• Key point the body’s resistance remains at a high level
Stage 3: Exhaustion• If the stressor is not successfully dealt with during resistance – we enter the exhaustion stage• The body becomes vulnerable to mental disorders, psychosomatic diseases, as well as physical disorders such as hypertension, ulcers, sleep disorders• Resistance is lowered (due to depletion of immune system)
GAS – key points• Resistance is high: During countershock/ resistance• Resistance is low: During shock/ exhaustion• Fight flight response 1st activated: During countershock• Cortisol released: During resistance• Symptoms developed (sore throat): During resistance• Illness: During exhaustion• Strength: the model examined the relationship between psychological stressors and our defense systems and our consequential physiological health• Weaknesses: Didn’t factor cognitive appraisal (as opposed to transactional model)