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Unit 12- Stress and Health

Unit 12- Stress and Health - Unit 12 Stress and Health...

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Unit 12: Stress and Health STRESS AND ILLNESS (Module 41): Behavioral Medicine: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) proclaims that half of the deaths in the US are due to people’s behaviors (smoking, alcoholism, unprotected sex, insufficient exercise, drugs and poor nutrition). Psychologists and physicians have thus developed an interdisciplinary field of behavioral medicine: an interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge. Health Psychology: Health Psychology is a field of psychology that contributes to behavioral medicine. The field studies stress-related aspects of disease and asks: 1. How do emotions and personality factors influence risk of disease? 2. What attitudes and behaviors prevent illness and promote health and well-being? 3. How do our perceptions determine stress? 4. How can we reduce or control stress? Stress: Psychological states can contribute to physical illness. Stress is the process experiences when the demands of the situation exceed person’s perceived resources. When severe stress is felt, it impairs our ability to cope with it. Stress and Illness: Stress can be adaptive – in a fearful (stress-inducing) situation we can run away and save our lives. Stress can be maladaptive – if it is prolonged (chronic stress) it increases the risk of illness and health problems. Stress and Stressors: “Stress” is a slippery concept. At times it is the stimulus (missing an appointment) and at other times it is a response (sweating while taking a test). Stressor : the condition eliciting the reaction.
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Stress reaction : the physiological/ behavioral/ cognitive response to the stressor.
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