Psychological Factors in Health
By Samantha Weitzell
Axia College of the University of Phoenix
Contracting an illness rather it be the flu, a cold, or even heart disease can have many factors, some including genetic and lifestyle. Most of us only look at genetic factors when it comes to our health. If our grandmother had cancer then we will probably contract it as well. This is not entirely true, studies show that behavior, culture, environmental and stress can make a big difference in our health. Chapter 4 in our book states the multicultural model is “The belief that health and illness are a function of multiple factors involving biological, psychological, and cultural domains, and their interactions” (Axia College, 2009, Week Four reading).
When we think about psychological factors such as anxiety or depression we tend to believe those only affect our mental health, however preventing or controlling these psychological illnesses can have effect on our physical health and well being.
Psychological factors also are important in understanding and treating medical disorders. One medical disorder that is one of the biggest stress related are headaches. In the United States 20% of the population suffer from severe headaches (Axia College, 2009, Week Four reading). There are two types of headaches to discuss those are muscle tension headaches and migraine headaches.
Muscle tension headaches are caused from the contraction of muscles in the shoulder, head and neck. When our body is experiencing a great deal of stress these muscles start to contract constantly causing us to have a muscle tension headache. Blowing issues out of proportion can lead to these headaches as well. Tension headaches come on gradually, most people will experience pain on both sides of the head and pressure throughout the head (Gorman & Park, 2002).
One out of every ten Americans experience migraine headaches. A migraine headache is a throbbing headache caused by...
References: Axia College. (2009). Week Four Reading: Chapter 3: Stress: What It Is and How to Manage It. Retrieved June 8th, 2009, from
Axia College, Week Four, PSY/210—Introduction to Psychology Web site.
American Heart Association. (2000). Diseases and Conditions. Retrieved June 9th, 2009 from http://www.americanheartassociation.com
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