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August 1970

Stress, Distress, and Ego DefensesPsychoendocrine Response to Impending Breast Tumor Biopsy

Author Affiliations

Bronx, NY
From the Division of Psychiatry (Drs. Katz and Weiner), the Institute for Steroid Research (Dr. Gallagher), and the Division of Neoplastic Medicine (Dr. Hellman), Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(2):131-142. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750020035005

Perhaps because of its simplicity and its appeal to "common sense," the concept that "strain" or "distress" is directly proportional to "stress" in the human is often regarded in medical-psychiatric investigation as an established fact. This formulation would appear to be a legacy from several different sources: from the stimulus-response model in experimental animal psychology, from traditional engineering mechanics (eg, the greater the load or "stress" on a spring, the greater the displacement or "strain" of that spring), and, finally, from what is implied by the infectious disease model in medicine itself (ie, the greater the number of infecting organisms innoculated into a host, the more serious is the ensuing infection likely to

The manifestations of this reasoning are varied. Thus, importance is frequently attached to the fact that certain chronic diseases of unknown etiology (eg, diabetes, colitis, hypertension) may have appeared to begin or to become exacerbated during

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