Physical Disorders and Health Psychology

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Chapter 9: Physical Disorders and Health Psychology
psychosomatic medicine- psych factors affect physical function •behavioral medicine- applied to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical problems •health psychology- psych factors that are important to the maintenance and promotion of health opsych and social factors:

(1) affect biological processes
(2) long-standing behavior patterns put ppl at risk for certain disorders o50% of deaths from top 10 leading causes in US can be traced to lifestyle behaviors •poor eating habits, smoking, lack of exercise,

General Adaption Syndrome (GAS)- Selye
oalarm- response to immediate danger or threat
oresistance- mobilize coping mechanisms to respond
oexhaustion- body suffers permanent damage
chronic stress may cause permanent body damage and contribute to disease •stress= physiological response to stressor
HPA Axis
ohypothalamus- pituitary gland- adrenal gland
oimportant for stress
ocortisol= stress hormone
baboon case study
odominant males have less stressful lives due to predictability + controllability olower males experience stress from bullying, higher cortisol levels osense of control important
stress, anxiety, depression related
osimilar underlying physiological processes
oself-efficacy: sense of control and confidence that one can cope with stress or challenges •stress can lead to decreased immune system functioning
oincreased rates of infectious diseases, mono, colds, flu, •Immune system
oeliminates antigens- foreign maerials, bacteria, viruses, parasites o2 main parts:
humoral→ B cells, antibodies neutralize antigens
cellular→ T cells, destroy viral infections + cancerous processes owhite blood cells do most of the work (leukocytes)
omicrophages= first line of defense
autoimmune disease
oimmune system overactive, attacks body cells
rheumatoid arthritis- too many suppressor T cells, body subject to invasion by antigens •HIV- human immunodeficiency virus
AIDS-related complex first: minor health problems before AIDS diagnosis w. pneumonia, cancer, dementia, wasting syndrome… treated w/ highly active antiretroviral therapy
reducing stress, social support, CBT help
psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)
opsych influences on neurological responding implicated in immune response •Cancer
opsychoncology- psych influences in development of cancer
otherapy can help treatment to reduce stress, improve mood, alter important health behaviors, supportive relationships •reduce cancer recurrence and dying
influence support + development of cancer
o“benefit finding”- deepening spirituality, changes in life priorities, closer ties to others, enhanced sense of purpose opsych procedures important to manage stress especially w/ children who undergo surgery •Cardiovascular problems

ocompromise heart, blood vessels and control mechanisms
ocardiovascular disease
ocerebral vascular accidents- temporary blockages of blood vessels to brain cause temporary/ permanent damage ohypertension- high blood pressure, risk factor for other heart probs •blood vessels constrict, heart works harder, pressure

essential hypertension- no verifiable physical cause
“silent killer”
blacks more at risk than whites
genetic influences
anger + hostility increase blood pressure
ocoronary heart disease
heart disease in #1 cause of death in western cultures
blockage of arteries supplying blood to heart muscle
chest pain
deficiency of blood to a body part
heart attack- death of heart tissue when artery clogged
stress, anxiety, anger contribute (+lack of coping skills and low social support) •myocardial stunning- heart failure as a result of severe stress oType A behavior pattern
excessive competitive drive, sense of pressured for time, impatience, high E, angry outbursts •at risk for CHD (although cultural diffs significant)
oType B behavior pattern
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