Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping - Now Revised and Updated

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/15/2004
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

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Renowned primatologist Robert Sapolsky offers a completely revised and updated edition of his most popular work, with nearly 90,000 copies in print Now in a third edition, Robert M. Sapolsky's acclaimed and successful Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers features new chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction, as well as new insights into anxiety and personality disorder and the impact of spirituality on managing stress. As Sapolsky explains, most of us do not lie awake at night worrying about whether we have leprosy or malaria. Instead, the diseases we fear-and the ones that plague us now-are illnesses brought on by the slow accumulation of damage, such as heart disease and cancer. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal's does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way-through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick. Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses. This new edition promises to be the most comprehensive and engaging one yet.

Author Biography

Robert M. Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museum of Kenya. He is the author of A Primate's Memoir and The Trouble with Testosterone, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist. A regular contributor to Discover and The Sciences, and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, he lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
1 Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers?
2 Glands, Gooseflesh, and Hormones
3 Stroke, Heart Attacks, and Voodoo Death
4 Stress, Metabolism, and Liquidating Your Assets
5 Ulcers, the Runs, and Hot Fudge Sundaes
6 Dwarfism and the Importance of Mothers
7 Sex and Reproduction
8 Immunity, Stress, and Disease
9 Stress and Pain
10 Stress and Memory 202(24)
11 Stress and a Good Night's Sleep 226(13)
12 Aging and Death 239(13)
13 Why Is Psychological Stress Stressful? 252
14 Stress and Depression 211(98)
15 Personality, Temperament, and Their Stress-Related Consequences 309(26)
16 Junkies, Adrenaline Junkies, and Pleasure 335(18)
17 The View from the Bottom 353(31)
18 Managing Stress 384(35)
Notes 419(92)
Illustration Credits 511(10)
Index 521


From Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers:

Regardless of how poorly we are getting along with a family member or how incensed we are about losing a parking spot, we rarely settle that sort of thing with a fistfight. Likewise, it is a rare event when we have to stalk and personally wrestle down our dinner. Essentially, we humans live well enough and long enough, and are smart enough, to generate all sorts of stressful events purely in our heads. How many hippos worry about whether Social Security is going to last as long as they will, or even what they are going to say on a first date? Viewed from the perspective of the evolution of the human kingdom, psychological stress is a recent invention. If someone has just signed the order to hire a hated rival after months of plotting and maneuvering, her physiological responses might be shockingly similar to those of a savanna baboon who has just lunged and slashed the face of a competitor. And if someone spends months on end twisting his innards in anxiety, anger, and tension over some emotional problem, this might very well lead to illness.

Excerpted from Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky
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