[Definition of the stress concept and its use in various areas of medicine].

  • Lothar Pickenhain
  • Published 1983 in
    Zeitschrift für die gesamte innere Medizin und…


The triphasic adaptation reaction of the organism to every kind of demand, originally described by Selye, is a normal adaptation phenomenon which does not evoke any pathologic appearances in the healthy man, but on the contrary fulfills functions furthering the functional capacity. In man not biological, but frequently repeated, long-lasting psychosocial loads stand in the foreground, which may lead to gradually increasing phenomena, when a stress sensitivity and unfavourable social conditions are present. Hereby the changes in the biological field have secondary character. Far more decisive are disturbances of the behaviour which appear in psychosocial permanent loads which may lead to an increase of the risk factors for numerous diseases. When demands are insufficiently managed and a stress sensitivity is present a pathogenic stress may develop and evoke a chronic pathological process.

Cite this paper

@article{Pickenhain1983DefinitionOT, title={[Definition of the stress concept and its use in various areas of medicine].}, author={Lothar Pickenhain}, journal={Zeitschrift für die gesamte innere Medizin und ihre Grenzgebiete}, year={1983}, volume={38 16}, pages={433-6} }