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Lecture 7

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Western University
Psychology 2030A/B
David Vollick

Chapter 9- Physical Disorders and Health Psychology  Physical Disorders and Health: An Overview  Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Factors (Bio-psycho-social map)  Psychological Approaches to Health and Disease o Behavioral medicine: prevention, diagnosis, treatment of medical illnesses o Health Psychology: psychological factors in promotion of health- change life style o Psychosomatic: problem; suggests no biological component  DSM-IV and Physical Disorders o Coded on Axis III; may be playing a role in psychological disorders o Recognize that psychological factors can effects medical conditions  Overview of Stress and the Stress Response  Nature of Stress o Stress: Physiological response of an individual to a stressor; varies from person to person  Stress Response and the General Adaption Syndrome (Hans Selye) o Phase 1: Alarm response (sympathetic nervous system arousal) o Phase 2: State of resistance (mobilized coping and action) o Phase 3: State of exhaustion (chronic stress, permanent damage)  Biology of Stress  The Function of the Hippocampus in HYPAC-Stress Response Cycle o Stress activates the sympathetic branch of the AND o Hypothalamus secretes corticotropin releasing factor, which activates the pituitary gland, which activates the adrenal gland, which secretes cortisol activating the HPA axis o The Hippocampus is very sensitive to cortisol and if stimulated, helps turn off the stress response o Chronic stress may damage cells in the hippocampus; interfering with stopping the HPA loop  Psychological and Social Factors: Their Relation to Stress Physiology  Primate Research: High and Low Social Status o High cortisol is associated with LOW social status; cant get food  Fewer lymphocytes and immune suppression; prone to infection and illness  Less sensitive to cortisol= less efficiency in turning off the stress response o Dominant males benefit form stability, predictability and controllability  The Immune System: Overview and its Functions  Function of the Immune System o The keep us healthy; destroy pathogens; identify and eliminate antigens (foreign materials) from the body o Leukocytes (WBC) are primary agents  Leukocytes: Subtypes and Functions o Killer T: Go after viruses and cancer o Helper T: Tell the killer T to destroy and B cells to make antibodies o Suppressor T: Suppresses production of antibodies when no longer needed  Stress dramatically and quickly alters immune function; chronic stress worse because it lasts longer  Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus (AIDS)  Nature of AIDS o Diagnosed only when other disease occurs; studies show people who have been diagnosed still have unprotected sex o Median time from initial infection to full-blown AIDS is 7.3 -10 years o Most die within 1 year of diagnosis o 15% survive 5 years or longer; often exercise and eat well o AIDS is 100% preventable; safe sex and not sharing meals  AIDS is influenced by psychosocial, behavioral and social factors  AIDS: Psychological Interventions  Psychological Interventions o Coping skills, stress reduction, build social support; need to instill hope o High stress and low social support speeds progression of disease o Reduce stress of diagnosis, leads to improved immune system functioning (ISF)  Group Therapy: improves ISF and endocrine activity; stress-reduction procedures also work  Outcomes of all of the above: o Increased helper and killer T cells; endocrine efficiency o Enhanced psychological adjustment o Less disease progression o Increased adherence to treatment  Information pamphlets are the least effective in reducing risky behavior  Cancer: Psychological and Social Influences  Psycho-oncology o Study of psychosocial influences on cancer such as:  Perceived lack of control  Inappropriate coping responses (e.g. denial); protective mechanism  Overwhelming stressful life events; worse for males  Life-style risk behaviors; unhealthy eating, unprotected sex  Distraction for children; less pain  Cancer is influenced by psychological, behavioral and social factors  Cancer Treatment o Figure 9.6  Cardiovascular Problems  Cardiovascular Diseases: o Heart, blood vessels  Hypertension: High Blood Pressure o Major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease o Causes wear and tear of blood vessels o 26.7% of individuals between 35 and 64 suffer from hypertension in North America o Contrib
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