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Psychological Effects On Physical Disorders Notes

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Incentive motivation is characterised by the production of pleasure or displeasure which appears to be related to activity level in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Certain drugs activate this system and suppression of this system can lead to lack of desire for food, sex, water etc.

Lecture 8: Clinical/social psychology: Psychological effects on physical disorders Stress and its effects Individual differences in susceptibility and response to disease Health related behaviour

Stress refers to 'experiencing events that are perceived as endangering one's physical or psychological well-being'. The events are referred to as stressors and people's reactions to them are termed stress responses. Stressful events
 Events that are perceived as stressful usually fall into one or more of the following categories: 1. Traumatic experiences 2. Uncontrollable events 3. Unpredictable events 4. Events that challenge the limits of our capabilities and self-concept or 5. Internal conflicts.
 Traumatic events. Situations of extreme danger which are outside the normal range of human behaviour are obviously very stressful and may include: physical assault, natural disaster, car/plane crashes etc.
 Uncontrollable events. The more uncontrollable an event seems, the more likely it is to be perceived as stressful e.g. death of a loved one, being made redundant or serious illness. Research has shown that more than anything, it is our perception of the controllability of an event as opposed to the actual controllability which determines the associated stress. Being able to predict a stressful event, even if it can't be controlled usually reduces the severity of the stress perhaps by allowing some sort of preparation for the event.
 Events that challenge the limits of our capabilities. e.g. in the week before exams, an individual may be in control and know that they are capable of passing the exam but still be stressed because it is pushing them to their limits.
 Internal conflicts. e.g. when a person must decide between their goals/desires and the right thing to do. Two inner needs may be in conflict e.g. independence vs dependence, intimacy vs isolation, co-operation vs competition or impulses vs moral standards. Psychological reactions to stress
 Anxiety. Post traumatic stress disorder is a common response to a highly traumatic incident such as rape or natural disaster and can cause feelings of numbness to the world, lack of interest in former activities, a tendency to relive the experience in memories and dreams and also sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating.
 Anger and aggression. Anger is a common reaction to a stressful situation and frequently although not invariably can lead to aggression. The 'frustration-aggression' hypothesis suggests that whenever a person's efforts to reach a goal are blocked, an aggressive drive is

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