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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 - Physical Disorders and Health Psychology

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PSYC 3140
Stephen Fleming

Chapter 9 At the beginning of the twentieth century, the main causes of death were:  Influenza  Pneumonia  Diphtheria  Tuberculosis  Gastrointestinal infection Nowadays, some major contributing factors to illness and death are:  Psychological  Behavioural Physical Disorders have known or strongly inferred physical causes and for the most part, observable physical pathology. Psychosomatic or Psychophysiological disorder – psychological factors affected somatic (physical) function. These terms used to be used, but less often today. Behavioural Medicine  Knowledge derived from behavioural science is applied to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical problems.  Psychologists, physicians and other health professionals work closely together to develop new treatments and preventative strategies. Health Psychology  Considered a subfield of behavioural medicine  Studies psychological factors important in health promotion and maintenance. Psychological and social factors influence health and physical problems in two distinct ways. 1. They can affect the basic biological processes that lead to illness and disease  Negative emotions and stress can lead to physical disorders/diseases AIDS is directly affected by stress which may promote its deadly progression. 2. Long standing behaviour patterns may put people at risk of developing certain physical disorders  Smoking  Drinking  Poor eating habits  No exercise A variety of things we choose to do put us at risk for AIDS – unprotected sex or sharing needles. Smoking is a major behavioural contributor to mortality. General Adaptation Syndrome Sequence of reactions to sustained stress described by Hans Selye 1. ALARM response to immediate danger or threat 2. With continuing stress, pass into a stage of RESISTANCE, in which we mobilize various coping mechanisms to respond to the stress. 3. If the stress is too intense or lasts too long, we may enter a stage of EXHAUSTION, where our bodies suffer permanent damage or death Stress  Body's physiological response to a stressor, which is any event or change that requires adaptation Cortisol = stress hormone Self-efficacy  Person's perception that he or she has the ability to cope with stress or challenges. Immune System  Body's means of identifying and eliminating any foreign materials (e.g., bacteria, parasites, even transplanted organs) that enter. Antigens  Fo
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