Psychological Stress and Physical Disorders – A Struggle Between Body and Mind

     Psychological stress and physical disorders are thought of as the mind-body problem – how mental problems may produce physical symptoms and vice versa- has been debated for centuries. New research has demonstrated that state of mind influences the body, as well as such diseases as the common cold and cancer.

a) Psychological Stress: Stress can be defined in terms of the activity that causes the stress, the persons reaction to the stress, and how they view this stress. How someone physically or mentally reacts to stress depends on the type of stress, how that person characteristically responds to the stress and their level of reactivity (highly or lowly reactive).

b) Coronary Heart Disease: Coronary heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S., is influenced by complex relationships of physical, psychological and social factors. These include – family history of disease, lifestyle (drinking and eating habits etc.), and stress level. As well, hypertension, or high blood pressure, has been linked to anger and hostility.

c) Cancer: Cancer may not be caused by stress, but several studies have found that cancer patients who participate in group therapy, as well as receive medical treatment, live longer as they may be better able to overcome feelings of stress and helplessness.

d) AIDS: With aids, therapy has been more successful in preventing risky behaviour caused by stress rather than in slowing the progress of the disease.

Related Links

Abnormal Psychology
Emotional & Behavioural Disorders
     Anxiety Disorders
     Dissociative & Somatoform Disorders
     Mood Disorders
     Personality Disorders
     Substance Use Disorders
     Sexual Dysfunction’s, Paraphilias & Gender Identity Disorders
Psychotic and Neuropsychological Disorders
     Acquired Brain Disorders
     Disorders of Childhood & Adolescence
     Mental Retardation & Autism
     Antisocial & Violent Behaviour