Anger and aggression in borderline personality disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – does stress matter?
The aim of the present study was to develop and evaluate an economical stress paradigm, which can be used for the investigation of stress reactions in a laboratory setting. Different stressors were combined to investigate the changes of heart frequency and subjective stress levels as response to stressful stimulation. A combination of mental stress, noise and emotional pictures presented in the background during performing a mental arithmetic task showed significant increases in heart rate and subjective stress levels. Furthermore we tested the stress combination in 32 healthy subjects to evaluate the physiological response. We found significant changes in the cardiovascular parameters such as heart rate variability, baroreflex sensitivity and cardiac output. We conclude that the Mannheim Multicomponent Stress Test (MMST) induces high levels of physiological and psychological stress and can serve as an economical method to investigate stress reactions in a laboratory setting.