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Health Psychology (9) Christine L. Whitley. Phychophysiological disorders are those that link physical symptoms with psychological factors  Some psychophysiological.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Psychology (9) Christine L. Whitley. Phychophysiological disorders are those that link physical symptoms with psychological factors  Some psychophysiological."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Psychology (9) Christine L. Whitley

2 Phychophysiological disorders are those that link physical symptoms with psychological factors  Some psychophysiological disorders are brought about purely by psychological factors (e.g. anorexia nervosa)  Some psychophysiological disorders have a larger physical component, and are less closely related to psychological factors (e.g. cardiovascular disease) although psychological factors are still important  Nuclear Conflict Theory holds that each physiological disorder is associated with certain specific (unconscious) emotional conflicts.

3 Freud Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. - Sigmund Freud

4 The Psychoanalytic Perspective  Psychoanalysis  Freud’s theory of personality that attributes our thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts  techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions  Free Association  in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious  person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing

5 Stress and Illness  Stress  the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging

6 What Is Stress?  Stress is the emotional and physiological process that occurs as one tries to adjust to or deal with environmental circumstances that disrupt, or threaten to disrupt, one’s daily functioning.  Stressors are the environmental circumstances that cause people to make adjustments.  Stress reactions are the physical, psychological, and behavioral responses displayed in the face of stressors.


8 Stress Appraisal Stressful event (tough math test) Threat (“Yikes! This is beyond me!”) Challenge (“I’ve got to apply all I know”) Panic, freeze up Aroused, focused Appraisal Response

9 The Process of Stress

10 Chronic stress and the effects on the body Test your daily hassles


12 Found on: /Intro_Understandg_P.htm /Intro_Understandg_P.htm

13 Stress and Illness  General Adaptation Syndrome  Selye’s concept of the body’s adaptive response to stress in three stages Stress resistance Phase 1 Alarm reaction (mobilize resources) Phase 2 Resistance (cope with stressor) Phase 3 Exhaustion (reserves depleted) The body’s resistance to stress can last only so long before exhaustion sets in Stressor occurs

14 PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY: the field that examine the relationship between psychosocial processes and nervous, endocrine, and immune system functioning.  The Immune system is a group of cells and organs that work together to fight infections in our bodies. Some of these organs are the thymus, spleen and lymphocytes.  The Immune System protects our body from pathogens, disease- causing agents, such as bacteria.  There are two parts of the Immune System called nonspecific defenses and specific defenses.  Nonspecific defenses, also known as the innate immune system, guard infections. These defenses can find foreign tissues, but do not recognize a particular invader.  Specific defenses, also known as the adaptive immune system, can track down pathogens that passed through the nonspecific defenses. Resources:


16 Health information  Social Network: Family Friends …

17 Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD) is also linked to stress, with “stressed out” individuals… Type A Tendency to respond to environmental stressors in a particular way; of its components (hostility, competitiveness, aggressiveness, and mistrust Hostility is most reliably linked to CDH Type B Individuals are calm and relaxed - essentially they are the anti Type A Not a risk factor for CHD Type C Can’t express hostile emotions, are overly agreeable, and avoid conflict. At risk for cancer but there is no clear empirical evidence

18 5 general strategies 1) Seeking information refers to evaluating possibilities and their likelihood for success 2) Taking direct actions refers to actually doing something to change the situation 3) Inhibiting action refers to suppressing the desire to act; it’s effective if there really is nothing that can be done. 4) Engaging intrapsychic efforts involves suppressing or ignoring upsetting thoughts or reframing them into more positive ones. 5) Calling on others involves asking other people for physical or emotional support or help.

19 5 major goals associated with coping efforts  A. Dealing realistically with the problem  B. Tolerating or adjusting emotionally to the negative realities  C. Attempting to maintain a positive self- image  D. Attempting to maintain emotional equilibrium  E. Attempting to continue satisfying relationships with other people



22 Social-Cognitive Perspective  Personal Control  our sense of controlling our environments rather than feeling helpless  External Locus of Control  the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate

23 Social-Cognitive Perspective  Learned Helplessness Uncontrollable bad events Perceived lack of control Generalized helpless behavior

24 Social-Cognitive Perspective  Personal Control  our sense of controlling our environments rather than feeling helpless  Internal Locus of Control  the perception that one controls one’s own fate

25 Optimistic ThinkingPessimistic Thinking Challenge: open to change. take risks. willingness to make the effort. 'I can do it' 'I will try my best' Control: take responsibility for their actions. proactive. 'I have choices and options' 'If I make a mistake I will do whatever it takes to correct it' Commitment: tendency to persist. 'I will keep trying until it works' 'I will make it happen' Personalize: tendency to take the blame for everything. freeze. 'Its my fault' 'I am bad' or 'I am wrong' Pervasive: tendency to over- generalize. feel overwhelmed. 'Everything I do is wrong' 'I can do nothing right' 'I always make a mess of things' Permanent: tendency to exaggerate. 'It will always be this way' 'Nothing I do will make it change' 'It is always a mess'

26 Professor Aaron Antonovsky (1923– 1994): the father of the salutogenesis  We are coming to understand health not as the absence of disease, but rather as the process by which individuals maintain their sense of coherence (i.e. sense that life is comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful) and ability to function in the face of changes in themselves and their relationships with their environment. -Aaron Antonovsky.

27 Emotion  Emotion  a response of the whole organism  physiological arousal  expressive behaviors  conscious experience

28 Wellness Exercise properly Sleep adequately Maintaining a healthy diet

29 Diathesis-Stress Approach to Psychopathology James D. Laird and Nicholas S. Thompson, Psychology. Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Reprinted by permission.


31 Promoting Health  The religion factor is multidimensional Religious involvement Healthy behaviors (less smoking, drinking) Social support (faith communities, marriage) Positive emotions (less stress, anxiety) Better health (less immune system suppression, stress hormones, and suicide)

32 Life events Tendency toward HealthIllness Personal appraisal ChallengeThreat Personality type Easy going, Nondepressed, Optimistic Hostile, Depressed, Pessimistic Personal habits Nonsmoking, Regular exercise, Good nutrition Smoking, Sedentary, Poor nutrition Level of social support Close, enduringLacking Promoting Health

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