chapter  3
58 Pages

3Chapter The Stress System

We begin the chapter on stress by returning to the work of Hans Selye, who is rightly known as the “father of stress.” The story begins when, as a medical student in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, Selye observed that patients at the hospital in which he worked appeared to have a fairly common set of symptoms, regardless of their specific diagnosis. This was a significant deviation from the thinking of the time, which postulated that discrete agents caused disease and that symptoms are restricted to that specific disease. Selye, knowing that there would be no support for his theory, did not pursue it, but neither did he forget it.