Explain the relationship between psychology and health

What is the relationship between psychology and the biological sciences? - hair-restore.info

explain the relationship between psychology and health

Answer to: What is the Relation between psychology and education. By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework. Free Essay: A coherent relationship between the mental faculties The relationship between psychological health and physical health has long been established. Co-Occurring Disorders What are co-occurring disorders?. People with depression often have worse physical health, as well as worse People with any chronic physical disease tend to feel more psychological distress 22 percent of the participants had at least mild depression, defined as a score of.

Women more often seek social support than men during times of stress. Some large spread human and animal studies have shown that uncontrollable stressors increase gastric lesion tendencies, and reduce immune defenses.

The thirty-year study showed an increase in high blood pressure among air traffic controllers, assumed to be because of their high stress jobs working away at their nervous systems. However, inDeFrank established that the high blood pressure was because of an increase in alcohol consumption among the air traffic controllers. Their health was not just caused by the biological affect of years of stress, but on the behavioral response of drinking because of their increased stress. Stress may not have directly caused the high blood pressure, but it did cause a change in behavioral responses within the air traffic controllers.

It is important to remember that not all stress is bad for the body or mind. Has stress at school or work ever prompted you to achieve something worthwhile and helped you develop new skills?

Many Psychologists have found that not all stress is bad. Stress can help motivation, problem solving, and the fighting of infections. Some Cancer survivors emerge with a newfound spirituality or stronger self-esteem because of the stress they endured and then conquered. A personal battle with long-term health problems can be very difficult and stressful, however some individuals start to develop a new self worth and new dreams and desires because of it.

When someone survives an illness or life-threatening situation more times than not a person will take life less serious and live everyday thankful to be alive. This attitude is what helps most survivors deal with the situation that has arose in their lives. It was this positive stress outcome that helped mold my life into what it is today. My first semester at college I became very ill with what I believed to be a horrible stomach bug.

As the days and then weeks passed and symptoms became worse, I began seeing doctors and specialists daily. I had to leave school and soon became hospitalized. It took doctors weeks to finally discover what was wrong and plan a course of action. After months of being too ill to walk without blacking out, I still remember the first day I successfully walked around my house, and then down the block and can even recall the fresh air after spending so long in hospitals and inside lying in bed.

I felt a sense of joy and excitement towards life and the smallest of things that I had never felt before. The vascular mechanism constricts the vasculature, thereby increasing blood pressure much like constricting a hose increases water pressure.

Specific stressors tend to elicit either myocardial or vascular responses, providing evidence of situational stereotypy Saab et al. Laboratory stressors that call for active coping strategies, such as giving a speech or performing mental arithmetic, require the participant to do something and are associated with myocardial responses.

From an evolutionary perspective, cardiac responses are believed to facilitate active coping by shunting blood to skeletal muscles, consistent with the fight-or-flight response.

In situations where decisive action would not be appropriate, but instead skeletal muscle inhibition and vigilance are called for, a vascular hemodynamic response is adaptive. The vascular response shunts blood away from the periphery to the internal organs, thereby minimizing potential bleeding in the case of physical assault.

Finally, in addition to the increased availability and redistribution of energy, the acute stress response includes activation of the immune system. Cells of the innate immune system e. From there, the immune cells migrate into tissues that are most likely to suffer damage during physical confrontation e.

Chronic Stress Responses The acute stress response can become maladaptive if it is repeatedly or continuously activated Selye For example, chronic SNS stimulation of the cardiovascular system due to stress leads to sustained increases in blood pressure and vascular hypertrophy Henry et al. That is, the muscles that constrict the vasculature thicken, producing elevated resting blood pressure and response stereotypy, or a tendency to respond to all types of stressors with a vascular response.

Chronically elevated blood pressure forces the heart to work harder, which leads to hypertrophy of the left ventricle Brownley et al. Over time, the chronically elevated and rapidly shifting levels of blood pressure can lead to damaged arteries and plaque formation. The elevated basal levels of stress hormones associated with chronic stress also suppress immunity by directly affecting cytokine profiles.

Cytokines are communicatory molecules produced primarily by immune cells see Roitt et al. There are three classes of cytokines. Proinflammatory cytokines mediate acute inflammatory reactions. Th1 cytokines mediate cellular immunity by stimulating natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells, immune cells that target intracellular pathogens e.

A Th2 shift has the effect of suppressing cellular immunity in favor of humoral immunity. In response to more chronic stressors e. Intermediate and chronic stressors are associated with slower wound healing and recovery from surgery, poorer antibody responses to vaccination, and antiviral deficits that are believed to contribute to increased vulnerability to viral infections e.

Chronic stress is particularly problematic for elderly people in light of immunosenescence, the gradual loss of immune function associated with aging.

What is the relationship between psychology and the biological sciences?

Older adults are less able to produce antibody responses to vaccinations or combat viral infections Ferguson et al. Although research has yet to link poor vaccination responses to early mortality, influenza and other infectious illnesses are a major cause of mortality in the elderly, even among those who have received vaccinations e.

The underlying mediators, however, are unclear in most cases, although possible mechanisms have been explored in some experimental studies. An occupational gradient in coronary heart disease CHD risk has been documented in which men with relatively low socioeconomic status have the poorest health outcomes Marmot Much of the risk gradient in CHD can be eliminated, however, by taking into account lack of perceived job control, which is a potent stressor Marmot et al.

Other factors include risky behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, and sedentary lifestyle Lantz et al. Among men Schnall et al.

However, in women with existing CHD, marital stress is a better predictor of poor prognosis than is work stress Orth-Gomer et al. Although the observational studies cited thus far reveal provocative associations between psychosocial stressors and disease, they are limited in what they can tell us about the exact contribution of these stressors or about how stress mediates disease processes.

Animal models provide an important tool for helping to understand the specific influences of stressors on disease processes. This is especially true of atherosclerotic CHD, which takes multiple decades to develop in humans and is influenced by a great many constitutional, demographic, and environmental factors.

It would also be unethical to induce disease in humans by experimental means. Perhaps the best-known animal model relating stress to atherosclerosis was developed by Kaplan et al. Their study was carried out on male cynomolgus monkeys, who normally live in social groups.

The investigators stressed half the animals by reorganizing five-member social groups at one- to three-month intervals on a schedule that ensured that each monkey would be housed with several new animals during each reorganization. The other half of the animals lived in stable social groups. All animals were maintained on a moderately atherogenic diet for 22 months.

Animals were also assessed for their social status i. The major findings were that a socially dominant animals living in unstable groups had significantly more atherosclerosis than did less dominant animals living in unstable groups; and b socially dominant male animals living in unstable groups had significantly more atherosclerosis than did socially dominant animals living in stable groups.

Other important findings based upon this model have been that heart-rate reactivity to the threat of capture predicts severity of atherosclerosis Manuck et al. In contrast to the findings in males, subordinate premenstrual females develop greater atherosclerosis than do dominant females Kaplan et al.

Whereas the studies in cynomolgus monkeys indicate that emotionally stressful behavior can accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis, McCabe et al. This rabbit model has a genetic defect in lipoprotein clearance such that it exhibits hypercholesterolemia and severe atherosclerosis. The rabbits were assigned to one of three social or behavioral groups: The stable group exhibited more affiliative behavior and less agonistic behavior than the unstable group and significantly less atherosclerosis than each of the other two groups.

The study emphasizes the importance of behavioral factors in atherogenesis, even in a model of disease with extremely strong genetic determinants. Upper Respiratory Diseases The hypothesis that stress predicts susceptibility to the common cold received support from observational studies Graham et al.

One problem with such studies is that they do not control for exposure. Stressed people, for instance, might seek more outside contact and thus be exposed to more viruses. Therefore, in a more controlled study, people were exposed to a rhinovirus and then quarantined to control for exposure to other viruses Cohen et al.

Those individuals with the most stressful life events and highest levels of perceived stress and negative affect had the greatest probability of developing cold symptoms. In a subsequent study of volunteers inoculated with a cold virus, it was found that people enduring chronic, stressful life events i.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus The impact of life stressors has also been studied within the context of human immunodeficiency virus HIV spectrum disease. Inflammation, the Immune System, and Physical Health Despite the stress-mediated immunosuppressive effects reviewed above, stress has also been associated with exacerbations of autoimmune disease Harbuz et al. Evidence suggests that a chronically activated, dysregulated acute stress response is responsible for these associations.

Recall that the acute stress response includes the activation and migration of cells of the innate immune system. This effect is mediated by proinflammatory cytokines. During periods of chronic stress, in the otherwise healthy individual, cortisol eventually suppresses proinflammatory cytokine production. But in individuals with autoimmune disease or CHD, prolonged stress can cause proinflammatory cytokine production to remain chronically activated, leading to an exacerbation of pathophysiology and symptomatology.

With cortisol unable to suppress inflammation, stress continues to promote proinflammatory cytokine production indefinitely. Although there is only preliminary empirical support for this model, it could have implications for diseases of inflammation.

For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, excessive inflammation is responsible for joint damage, swelling, pain, and reduced mobility. Stress is associated with more swelling and reduced mobility in rheumatoid arthritis patients Affleck et al. Similarly, in multiple sclerosis MSan overactive immune system targets and destroys the myelin surrounding nerves, contributing to a host of symptoms that include paralysis and blindness.

Again, stress is associated with an exacerbation of disease Mohr et al. Even in CHD, inflammation plays a role.

explain the relationship between psychology and health

The immune system responds to vascular injury just as it would any other wound: Immune cells migrate to and infiltrate the arterial wall, setting off a cascade of biochemical processes that can ultimately lead to a thrombosis i. Elevated levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein CRPare predictive of heart attacks, even when controlling for other traditional risk factors e. Interestingly, a history of major depressive episodes has been associated with elevated levels of CRP in men Danner et al.

Inflammation, Cytokine Production, and Mental Health In addition to its effects on physical health, prolonged proinflammatory cytokine production may also adversely affect mental health in vulnerable individuals.

During times of illness e. It was once thought that these symptoms were directly caused by infectious pathogens, but more recently, it has become clear that proinflammatory cytokines are both sufficient and necessary i. Sickness behavior has been suggested to be a highly organized strategy that mammals use to combat infection Dantzer Symptoms of illness, as previously thought, are not inconsequential or even maladaptive. On the contrary, sickness behavior is thought to promote resistance and facilitate recovery.

For example, an overall decrease in activity allows the sick individual to preserve energy resources that can be redirected toward enhancing immune activity. Similarly, limiting exploration, mating, and foraging further preserves energy resources and reduces the likelihood of risky encounters e. Furthermore, decreasing food intake also decreases the level of iron in the blood, thereby decreasing bacterial replication.

Thus, for a limited period, sickness behavior may be looked upon as an adaptive response to the stress of illness. Much like other aspects of the acute stress response, however, sickness behavior can become maladaptive when repeatedly or continuously activated. Many features of the sickness behavior response overlap with major depression.

Indeed, compared with healthy controls, elevated rates of depression are reported in patients with inflammatory diseases such as MS Mohr et al. Granted, MS patients face a number of stressors and reports of depression are not surprising. However, when compared with individuals facing similar disability who do not have MS e. In both MS Fassbender et al. Thus, there is evidence to suggest that stress contributes to both physical and mental disease through the mediating effects of proinflammatory cytokines.

McEwen has also suggested that cumulative increases in allostatic load are related to chronic illness. These are intriguing hypotheses that emphasize the role that stressors may play in disease. The challenge, however, is to show the exact interactions that occur among stressors, pathogens, host vulnerability both constitutional and geneticand such poor health behaviors as smoking, alcohol abuse, and excessive caloric consumption.

STRESS AND HEALTH: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants

Evidence of a lifetime trajectory of comorbidities does not necessarily imply that allostatic load is involved since immunosenescence, genetic predisposition, pathogen exposure, and poor health behaviors may act as culprits.

It is not clear, for example, that changes in set point for variables such as blood pressure are related to cumulative stressors per se, at least in healthy young individuals. Thus, for example, British soldiers subjected to battlefield conditions for more than a year in World War II showed chronic elevations in blood pressure, which returned to normal after a couple of months away from the front Graham In contrast, individuals with chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome may show a high rate of relapse after a relatively acute stressor such as a hurricane Lutgendorf et al.

Nevertheless, by emphasizing the role that chronic stressors may play in multiple disease outcomes, McEwen has helped to emphasize an important area of study. Psychopharmacological approaches have also been suggested Berlant In addition, writing about trauma has been helpful both for affective recovery and for potential health benefit Pennebaker However, the presence of sleep problems or hypercortisolemia is associated with poorer response to psychotherapy Thase The combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy seems to offer a substantial advantage over psychotherapy alone for the subset of patients who are more severely depressed or have recurrent depression Thase et al.

STRESS AND HEALTH: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants

For the treatment of anxiety, it depends partly on the specific disorder [e. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors also show efficacy in anxiety Ballenger et al.

Psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral stress management CBSMhave a positive effect on the quality of life of patients with chronic disease Schneiderman et al. Such interventions decrease perceived stress and negative mood e.

Psychosocial interventions also appear to help chronic pain patients reduce their distress and perceived pain as well as increase their physical activity and ability to return to work Morley et al.

There is also some evidence that psychosocial interventions may have a favorable influence on disease progression Schneiderman et al. Morbidity, Mortality, and Markers of Disease Progression Psychosocial intervention trials conducted upon patients following acute myocardial infarction MI have reported both positive and null results.

Most of these studies were carried out in men. Thus, because primarily white men, but not other subgroups, may have benefited from the ENRICHD intervention, future studies need to attend to variables that may have prevented morbidity and mortality benefits among gender and ethnic subgroups other than white men.

Psychosocial intervention trials conducted upon patients with cancer have reported both positive and null results with regard to survival Classen A number of factors that generally characterized intervention trials that observed significant positive effects on survival were relatively absent in trials that failed to show improved survival.

In one study that reported positive results, Fawzy et al. The intervention also significantly reduced distress, enhanced active coping, and increased NK cell cytotoxicity compared with controls.

These variables associated with disease progression include distress, depressed affect, denial coping, low perceived social support, and elevated serum cortisol Ickovics et al.

explain the relationship between psychology and health

Those in the intervention condition showed lower distress, anxiety, and depressed mood than did those in the control condition as well as lower antibody titers of herpesviruses and higher levels of T-helper CD4 cells, NK cells, and lymphocyte proliferation Antoni et al. Improvement in perceived social support and adaptive coping skills mediated the decreases in distress Lutgendorf et al. All creatures face threats to homeostasis, which must be met with adaptive responses.

Our future as individuals and as a species depends on our ability to adapt to potent stressors. At a societal level, we face a lack of institutional resources e. At an individual level, we live with the insecurities of our daily existence including job stress, marital stress, and unsafe schools and neighborhoods. These are not an entirely new condition as, in the last century alone, the world suffered from instances of mass starvation, genocide, revolutions, civil wars, major infectious disease epidemics, two world wars, and a pernicious cold war that threatened the world order.

Although we have chosen not to focus on these global threats in this paper, they do provide the backdrop for our consideration of the relationship between stress and health. It is clear that all of us are exposed to stressful situations at the societal, community, and interpersonal level. How we meet these challenges will tell us about the health of our society and ourselves.

In contrast, if stressors are too strong and too persistent in individuals who are biologically vulnerable because of age, genetic, or constitutional factors, stressors may lead to disease. This is particularly the case if the person has few psychosocial resources and poor coping skills. In this chapter, we have documented associations between stressors and disease and have described how endocrine-immune interactions appear to mediate the relationship. We have also described how psychosocial stressors influence mental health and how psychosocial treatments may ameliorate both mental and physical disorders.

There is much we do not yet know about the relationship between stress and health, but scientific findings being made in the areas of cognitive-emotional psychology, molecular biology, neuroscience, clinical psychology, and medicine will undoubtedly lead to improved health outcomes.