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Topic 7 - Chapter 9 Notes.docx

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Psychology 2030A/B
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Psychology 2030BTopic 7Chapter 9 NotesIntroduction thStart of 20 centuryleading causes of death influenza pneumonia diphtheria tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections oSince then the death rate from these diseases has been greatly reducedrevolution in public health that eliminated many infectious disease However at present some major contributing factors to illness and death in Canada are psychological and behavioural Psychological and social factors play very important roles to many different types of disorders psychological disorders and others such as diabetes AIDS etcoThe difference is that disorders such as diabetes and AIDS are physical disordersthey have KNOWN or strongly inferred physical causes and for the most part observable physical pathologyThe study of how psychological and social factors affect physical disorders used to be distinct and somewhat separate from the remainder of psychopathologyoEarly on the field was called psychosomatic medicinepsychological factors affected somatic physical functionPsychophysiological disorder was a label also used to communicate a similar idea oThe terms are no longer used because they gave the impression that psychological disorders of mood and anxiety did not have a strong biological component which is not viable The contribution of psychosocial factors to the etiology and treatment of physical disorders is widely studied oEG effect of anger on heart function oEG psychological treatment can increase survival time in patients with cancer The shift in focus from infectious disease to psychological factors has been called the second revolution in public health and resulted in the development of two closely related fieldsoBehavioural medicine is a field where knowledge derived from behavioural science is applied to the prevention diagnosis and treatment of medical problems oHealth psychology is considered a subfield of behavioural medicine where practitioners study psychological factors that are important to the proption and maintenance of health also analyze and recommend improvements to health care systems and health policy formation within the discipline of psychologyPsychological and social factors influence health and physical problems in two distinct wayso1 They can affect the basic biological processes that lead to illness and diseaseEG Stress promotes the deadly progression of AIDSo2 Longstanding behaviour patterns may put people at risk of developing certain physical disorders EG Smoking can increase the chance of contracting lung canceroSometimes both of these contribute to the etiology or maintenance of diseasePsychological and Social Factors That Influence BiologyEvidence suggests that the same kinds of causal factors active in psychological disorders play a role in some physical disordersoBut the factor attracting the most attention is stress The Nature of StressHans Selye was the first to discover the concept of stress in terms of biologyoHe first noticed it when injecting rats with chemical substancescaused them to develop ulcers and other physiological problems Happened in all rats regardless of what they were being injected with It was the act of injecting them that caused the effect pursued this to find out that many different types of environmental changes produced the same resultsoSelye theorized that the body goes through several stages in response to sustained stress which he called the general adaptation syndrome GAS1 Alarmresponse to immediate danger or threat2 Resistancewith continuing stress we mobilize various coping mechanisms 3 Exhaustionif the stress is too intense or lasts too long our bodies suffer permanent damage or deathThe word stress means many things in modern lifeoIt can be a response or a stimulus oWe concentrate onas the physiological response of an individual to a stressorstressThe Physiology of StressStress activates our sympathetic nervous system SNS Stress also increases endocrine system activity via activation of HPA axis oMuch attention has focused on the endocrine systems hormones that affect the nervous systemoThese neuromodulating hormones act very much like NTs in carrying the brains messages to various parts of the body Corticotropin releasing factor CRF is one such hormonesecreted by hypothalamus stimulates the pituitaryPituitary and autonomic nervous system ANS activate adrenal glandsecretes cortisol Cortisol and other related hormones are known as stress hormones The HPA axis is closely related to the limbic system contains the hippocampusoThe hippocampus is very responsive to cortisolWhen stimulated during HPA axis activity the hippocampus helps turn off the stress responsecompletes a feedback loop between the limbic system and parts of the HPA axisThis feedback loop is very important levels of cortisol in response to chronic stress can kill hippocampal cellsIf hippocampal activity is compromised excessive cortisol is secreted and over time the ability to turn off the stress response decreasesfurther aging of hippocampuschronic stresschronic secretion of cortisol which may have long lasting effects on physical function brain damage SapolskyMeany 1986Contributions to the Stress Response Stress physiology is profoundly influenced by psychological and social factors oSapolsky studied baboons with psychological sources of stress Baboons arrange themselves in a social hierarchy Life is difficult at the bottomsubordinates are bullied by those at the top of the pack and have less access to food resting places and sexual partnersSapolsky found that dominant males had lower resting levels of cortisol than subordinate males But in an emergency dominant males cortisol levels rose faster
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