I found this week’s reading regarding stress and health particularly interesting largely because I’ve notices a trend in myself that whenever I am particularly stressed I inevitably get sick. I had never heard of the hormone cortisol before but its broad functions described by the book as well as the relationship described by the study of the Dominican community demonstrate just how important it is. As a child, both of my parents were ill and my health suffered. This correlates with the books description of the rise in cortisol during events that are associated with uncertainty and these are also considered “High-stress events”. The book goes on to mention this stress response system is associated with short term events and may be potentially harmful in the long run. While this is a good explanation for why I was frequently sick it would vary for other kids because this cortisol response is not a constant for everyone. This is interesting because it means that making broad hypotheses about cortisol responses are not necessarily applicable and predicting the evolution of these responses is even more difficult. The book ends the chapter by saying that afflictions like cancer, atherosclerosis, infectious disease and others are associated with social stress. Considering that my family stress was caused by cancer it would be far too ironic for the outcome of my stress to also be cancer. The book also describes how we have evolved to associate feelings and thoughts with social relationships. Knowing the results of the stress associated with this is this a helpful adaptation? What created this kind of social stress relationship?