Chronic Disease and Stress

I’m stuck on a Health & Medical question and need an explanation.

Imagine the added stress caused by a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or another chronic disease. Chronic disease, by nature, is long-lasting and has a slow progression that can lead to prolonged stress. From a psychoneuroimmunological perspective, there are complex relationships between stress, immunological functioning, and disease. In what ways might stress resulting from chronic disease affect the immune system and the progression of the disease? Theoretically, stressful events trigger the initial and subsequent exacerbation of chronic disease. For example, moderate stressors are known to exacerbate multiple sclerosis resulting in an increased frequency of lesions. Consider how a holistic framework for understanding these relationships might lead to better treatment and interventions for chronic diseases.

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Select a chronic disease other than multiple sclerosis that is influenced by chronic stress. Next, reflect on how the disease you selected might influence chronic stress. Then search the Walden Library for at least two articles on behavioral interventions and select one intervention that might qualify as a treatment for the disease you selected.

Note: You may select a chronic disease from any of those mentioned in this week’s Learning Resources, including the Chronic Diseases: A Partial List handout.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the chronic disease you selected, and explain how that chronic disease might influence chronic stress. Then, describe the specific behavioral intervention you selected, and explain why it might be effective as a treatment of that chronic disease. Be specific.

Be sure to support your posts and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


  • Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2018). Behavioral neuroscience (8th ed.) New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    • Chapter 15, “Emotions, Aggression, and Stress” (pp. 467-496)
  • Contrada, R. J., & Baum, A. (Eds.). (2011). The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
    • Chapter 1, “Stress, Adaptation, and Health” (pp. 1–9)
    • Chapter 2, “Regulation of the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, Chronic Stress, and Energy: The Role of Brain Networks” (pp. 11–36)
    • Chapter 4, “Effects of Stress on Immune Function: Implications for Immunoprotection and Immunopathology” (pp. 47–63)
    • Chapter 7, “The Molecular Biology of Stress: Cellular Defense, Immune Response, and Aging” (pp. 87–100)
  • Kendall-Tackett, K. (2010). The psychoneuroimmunology of chronic disease: Exploring the links between inflammation, stress, and illness. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    • Chapter 1, “An Overview of Stress and Immunity” (pp. 9–22)
  • Frick, L. R., Arcos, M. L. B., Rapanelli, M. P., Zappia, M., Brocco, M., Mongini, M., Cremaschi, G. A. (2009). Chronic restraint stress impairs T-cell immunity and promotes tumor progression in mice. Stress: International Journal on the Biology of Stress, 12(2), 134–143.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Lewitus, G. M., & Schwartz, M. (2009). Behavioral immunization: Immunity to self-antigens contributes to psychological stress resilience. Molecular Psychiatry, 14(5), 532–536.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Resources, stress, and immunity: An ecological perspective on human psychoneuroimmunology. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 114–125.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Ziemssen, T., & Kern, S. (2007). Psychoneuroimmunology—Cross-talk between the immune and nervous systems. Journal of Neurology, 254(2), II/8–II/11.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Chronic diseases and health promotion. Retrieved from
  • National Cancer Institute. (n. d.). Psychological stress and cancer: Questions and answers. Retrieved from
  • Document: Chronic Diseases: A Partial List Handout (Word document)
    Note: You can use this document to complete this week’s Discussion 2.
  • Document: Final Project (Word document)
    Note: You will use this document to complete your Final Project.

Optional Resources

  • American Psychological Association. (2006). Stress weakens the immune system. Retrieved from
  • Collins L. G., & Swartz, K. (2011). Caregiver care. American Family Physician, 83(11), 1309–1317.

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