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Psychology Notes

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Western University
Psychology 2036A/B
Yves Bureau

Psychology NotesMar 20 People with chronic illnesses need good social support Symptoms that are constant produce discouragement and fear symptoms that are in remission produce hope symptoms that are unpredictably erratic produce anger and frustration and symptoms that are relentlessly progressive produce exhaustion and a sense of being overwhelmed Cancer Involves uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells which often form a tumour Cancer is metastasized when abnormal cells spread from the original site to other parts of the body Cancer cells grow too quickly for the immune system to attack them Some people are able to turn their lives around so much that they can improve their immunes and spontaneously go into remission There are many forms of cancer with different symptoms The most common types are lung breast prostate and colorectal The lifetime probability of getting cancer is 40 for males and 36 for females Psychological responses to cancer A cancer diagnosis often brings psychological responses and emotional distress Some people may feel hostile and hostility is bad for the cardiovascular system There may be some pain associated with the cancer and pain management is sometimes not always done well If people dont manage their pain well they will get stressed their immune system will become suppressed the cancer may get worse and the pain may get worse Managing pain effectively can improve mood and quality of life and can impact the outcome of the disease positively Suffering among cancer patients may occur in three areas 1 PhysicalAccounts for 60 of suffering It can include fatigue pain and side effects of treatment Physical suffering can be illnesscaused and treatmentcaused 2 PsychologicalAccounts for 44 of suffering and includes depression and fear Talk therapy and medications are important for dealing with this 3 SocialAccounts for 13 of suffering The primary problem is withdrawal People dont know how to approach and talk to people with cancer Some people may think cancer is contagious Cancer and physical distress Pain management is a major challenge More than 90 of pain can be controlled by current treatment but it tends to be underused Patients attitudes and behaviour are a major influence in this They may fear drug tolerance or addiction so they are hesitant to seek treatment They may believe pain must be tolerated so they are hesitant to report pain Cancer and psychological distress A lot of people with cancer experience fear and depression The negative consequences of depression are poorer quality of life reduced compliance longer hospital stays higher mortality rates and greater reported pain This depression is linked to intrusive memories which are unwanted thoughts related to memories of cancer These intrusive memories result in poorer coping due to anxiety and a sense of hopelessness and helplessness Cancer and coping style The psychological response is influenced by the patients coping style Emotionfocused coping is when the person focuses on reducing the emotional impact of the disease typically through avoidance Blunters will tend to avoid things Problemfocused coping is when the person focuses on addressing stressors typically through actions such as compliance and increasing their knowledge Monitors are more likely to engage in problemfocused coping Emotionalapproach coping is when the person faces their emotional responses to a disease and deals with them effectively Treatment of cancer Typically treatment involves one or a combination of the followingsurgery to remove tumours radiation therapy to shrink tumours chemotherapy to treat metastasized cancer or prevent it from spreading and hormone therapy to reduce the presence of tumourstimulating hormones
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