Assignment: Psychology and Health Problems Lyndsay McPheron Axia at UOP Sept 20, 2010 Assignment: Psychology and Health Problems The multi-factorial model uses many different factors to analyze and see how it affects our health. This model embraces the fact that a healthy person is a result of multiple factors working together. This model has been an essential tool to gain a better understanding of a person’s health overall, including physically and psychologically. The multi-factorial model uses many genetic and lifestyle factors in order to diagnose psychological disorders that can directly affect a person’s health physically. The model can also be used to determine if a person is prone to having a psychological disorder. It incorporates a wide range of factors, such as Biological, Sociocultural, and environmental. These factors play significant roles, as well as our personality traits, behavioral patterns, and everyday stressors. These aspects will be discussed further throughout the following reading, along with some specific health problems, and the role that Psychology plays in understanding, as well as managing these health concerns. Biological factors are factors which cannot be controlled by an individual. Examples of biological factors include exposure to illness, injuries encountered, family medical history, disabilities relating to birth defects, medication history, genetics, age, and gender. Many of these biological factors start at childhood and continue throughout life. The sociocultural factors include things like access to healthcare, family circumstances, and health- related cultural and religious beliefs. Environmental factors include quality of the water and pollution of land and air. The behavioral pattern is about diet, sleep patterns, level of physical activity, as well as other activities an individual would do to protect health. Personality traits that affect the body include psychological conflicts, depression, anxiety, optimism or pessimism, and holding grudges. Everyday stressors such as daily hassles, major life changes, frustration, pain, and climate in the workplace can have a positive or negative affect on a person’s overall health. There were four different health problems that were discussed in the chapter reading; headaches, menstrual problems, Coronary Heart Disease, and Cancer. Headaches and menstrual problems are two of the health issues explained in the text that will be discussed in the reading. I found them to be most related to my experience. I learned a good deal of information from the week’s reading. Both of these problems are a result from stress, as well as other factors combined. Stress is a major part of some of the pain people deal with every day. It can cause a person to completely withdraw from the world. Stress is a psychological factor that has different effects on each individual. It has been linked to many problems such as anxiety, panic attacks, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, digestive tract diseases, and many more. It can affect us both psychologically and physically, and take a major toll on the body overall. Headaches are very common in 80 percent of Americans. The two most common types are tension and migraine headaches. These types of headaches are overwhelming for some people to handle. The stress makes the headaches worse and in turn brings more stress. Most people who complain of headaches suffer from anxiety and depression. A health care provider can help manage your headaches as well as the anxiety and depression. Headaches are brought on by several things such as the way we live. It is important to know what triggers the migraine and try to avoid those things. For some people with tension headaches many things can cause them to come on such as stress, anxiety, depression, overworking, poor nutrition, and poor sleep patterns. For people who suffer from migraine headaches there are several triggers such as foods, smells, stress, poor sleep pattern, changes in the environment, and even medications. Several different things can cause headaches; everything from stress to major life threatening illnesses. The way to relieve and manage the headaches is through pain-relieving medications that are taken when needed and lifestyle changes. There are also preventive medications that can be taken daily; these are needed in severe cases. Lifestyle changes include avoiding stress, eating healthy, getting enough rest and trying to relax, getting good sleep without over sleeping, and do muscle relaxing exercise. Keeping a diary of headache occurrences, and then showing them to a doctor will help learn more about what triggers the headaches. About 50 to 75 percent of women complain of problems with their menstrual cycle. A woman’s menstrual cycle is a very sensitive thing. If it is disturbed it can cause irregular cycles for many woman. Having a regular menstrual cycle is a sign of good health. Many factors can cause a woman to experience an irregular cycle. Women can suffer long-term irregularity or short- term irregularity. In short term and long term irregularity are caused by things such as stress, tension, poor diet, some medications, too much caffeine, too much exercise, and fatigue. Short term irregularity is very common in most women and shouldn’t be of much concern. This is because it doesn’t last very long and it is possible to get back on track. In long term irregularity, a woman can experience extreme bleeding and pain for months and months, or no cycle at all. There is treatment for a woman who suffers from irregular menstrual cycles. Speaking with a gynecologist about the menstrual cycle history and a physical exam can help learn what it is that is needed to treat the problem. As irregular menstrual cycle is tested according to the cause, it is determined with a blood test, ultrasound and biopsy. Often times it is found that a hormone imbalance is the major cause for an irregular menstrual cycle. This can be treated with the appropriate drugs or hormones, and sometimes surgery is required to fix the problem in serious cases. The multi-factorial model can be used in a variety of ways in psychology. It uses many genetic and lifestyle facts in order to help to diagnose or prevent future medical problems that a person may experience. The model can also be a great psychological tool to determine and help diagnose people with psychological disorders or those who could be prone to them. This model has helped psychology be able to better understand and manage many health problems. It takes into consideration many different factors that can cause illness. This can help others in the future to quickly recognize problems and get it treated sooner.
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