psychological and mental health

The assignment is to choose only two of my classmate’s post and reply to their post. One paragraph is enough for each of my classmates. Because it is like a discussion post try to be informal and use words like ( I agree/disagree, I like your points on…, I found your post really interesting, you have a good point…, when I read your post I…, I believe that ….) something like that (using the “I” word)

The question was:

As you have read the chapters and reviewed the content for this week, hopefully the intertwining of physical and psychological health has become apparent. However, in practice they are often conceptualized and treated separately. Discuss some ways in which psychological factors are important in wellness and illness, and share your thoughts about how healthcare can be improved by treating the psychological factors along with the physical factors associated with most (all?) illnesses. Give specific examples using the information in the text.

Your answer was:

According to Lifespan Development, examples of psychological factors in relation to wellness and illness include; stress, malnutrition and related disorder, adolescents among the youths, poverty, cultural factors, diseases, death among others. They have a significant effect on any individual in terms of health. Importance of such factors is mostly attributed to the negative side. For instance, it brings about emotionally discomfort for instance stress. On my view, stress is one of the most divesting disorder. It affects both children and adult and mostly leaves people in a state where they can help themselves. At long run is results to other complication such as heart disease and other related diseases which make individually unvenerable due to a poor health condition. From the above-mentioned psychological factors, non contributes to a positive impact on any individual. Therefore, they are our major concern and people should try their level best in managing them.

The health of an individual, therefore, should manage in a proper manner. For instance, better nutrition content, doing exercise, having friends you will rely on. In addition to that, better medication. The problem with most people is that they cannot access better medical care. Insufficient of the medicine and trained personnel I think has also contributed to rising of most health issue. The government which does not get concern with the health of its people is a dead government. Counseling is also a better way to improve wellness and illness of the individual. Most people choose to take out there live. This can be linked to either lacking someone to talk to. Youths are also a major concern; they face multiple issues in their life which some of them find themselves practicing unhealthy lifestyle. This can be minimized by finding a better way of correcting and guiding them throughout the youths.

The classmate’s answers:

Sarah’s answer:

This discussion ties to a very personal aspect of my life. I feel like it’s worth sharing because of its relevance to the discussion, and helps me connect with the chapters on a personal level.

I’ve lived with painful chronic migraines since I was 11 years old, which have been a debilitating force in my life, and have caused a great deal of emotional turmoil. My parents and I spent a lot of time in and out of doctors offices, where I went through a variety of screenings and treatments including (but not limited to) MRIs, CAT Scans, prescriptive medicine, acupuncture, biofeedback, and even electroconvulsive therapy. After a long time working with doctors and psychiatrists, I began to understand that my migraines were largely psychosomatic. I was susceptible to them during bouts of emotional stress and anxiety-inducing events. Trying to treat the migraines was perhaps the biggest stressor in my life – so you can see how it became a bit of an endless cycle! Today, I take an anti-anxiety medicine that has reduced my migraines from what used to be every other day to now just once a month.

It was hard pill to swallow (no pun intended) that my issues were caused by my own “head”. But, as I learned, and as the chapter suggests, our mental feelings can have real, physical implications on our wellbeing. I think that the healthcare system helped me understand a way to manage my anxiety, and thus my migraines.

Given my own experience, and the information in this week’s chapters, I think there actually IS a strong understanding of the link between psychological factors and physical factors in the world of healthcare. What I wonder though, is if I benefited from a system that would not have been as easily available, had I not had such a strong social support system in place. My success in treating my migraines was likely influenced by my family’s support, both emotionally and financially. When people don’t have that support, money, or motivation to seek treatment, they may continue to suffer and turn toward harmful coping mechanisms.

On a completely different note, I had a few thoughts to share when reading the segments about eating disorders that may be controversial. I think that healthcare professionals, and laypeople in general, understand the connection between anorexia and bulimia and mental health problems. That link is clear. I feel like that link between a different type of eating disorder, obesity, is less clear, or even talked about. Since so many people struggle with too much weight, it’s become a bit taboo to suggest a connection between mental health and overweight individuals. In many – not all, but many – overweight individuals, I feel that overeating is a coping mechanism for stress. In my opinion, it’s very similar to how anorexics find comfort in restrictive dieting. People should love themselves at every size. Putting yourself down will only be yet another cause for stress, depression, and anxiety. BUT, we should also strive to be our healthiest selves. I think understanding how mental health impacts our physical health is a great step in getting there.

Shereef ’s answer:

This weeks readings really solidified the link between healthy psychology and physiology in my mind. I think the most obvious link is how psychology influences one’s behavior; an unhealthy state of mind can result in a host of harmful behavior from eating unhealthy and exercising less, to social isolation or self medicating with certain drugs. One’s psychology also has direct physical effects on the body; stress can lead to under/overactive immune responses, as well a hormonal imbalance predisposing one to accumulate fat tissue. These are just a few of many examples tying physical and mental health together.

One important take away that can assist in better treatment of many, if not all, diseases is how physical and psychological factors can feed into each other cyclically. For example, someone experiencing great amounts of stress due to their job, won’t take the time to eat properly or rest up, in part leading to a more vulnerable immune system. If they contract some kind of illness, this may effect the quality or time put into their work, or cost time and money to treat, which in turn may produce more stress.

The outcomes of this type of lifestyle directly opposes the notion that hard work is inherently rewarded. I think there is great benefit in training people to cope with stress, through meditation, exercise, or otherwise from a young age. Even more important I think is education on life perspectives and positive psychology, which would be very refreshing in a school system full to the brim with stress. It may not work for everyone, but I see it as a step in the right direction.

This next topic might land me some heat because its so relevant into today’s political sphere, but I also think that its a little sad that the stress of dealing with an illness is often topped off with the stress of paying excessive medical fees. Universal government provided medical care is clearly a topic of debate in the US, and there is something to be said about successfully integrating it into the current system, I doubt it could be done without a degree of error at first. But that being said, I think it would be moving in a positive direction, and could certainly be improved on over time. Many people feel locked into a stressful job due to the health care packages provided to them, and employers who need to pay for such packages do so at the cost of other benefits that could be given to employees. Simply put, its my opinion that a system of universal health care can help minimize stress for groups that need that help the most, as well as improve socioeconomic mobility during a time where such a gap is consistently widening.

Fiona’s answer:

People often don’t see a connection between physical and psychological health, which is complete backwards logic. A person that is super focused on physical health, for example, might spend 3 hours at the gym a day and takes away 2 hours of sleeping. But those two hours of sleep lost could severely damage your overall psychological health.

Many people who struggle with mental illness, will also struggle with their physical appearance and health. Someone with depression or stress may experience weight gain or loss. Someone with self-image issues may experience bulimia or anorexia. Specifically, a person trying to come to terms with death may  psychological and mental health, ever since I’ve seen first-hand how the stress of suppressing their depression has caused a friend to rush to the hospital due to intense lower abdominal pain. One of the physical illnesses that I was introduced to from the text was nonorganic failure to thrive, and it further proves my belief. The fact that a lack of love and emotional support can lead to a child feeling the effects of malnutrition without actually being that way, highlights how intertwined psychology is with physical health. Therefore, actually being malnutritioned can lead to stunted physical growth, amongst other things the text state, and the reason for this, I believe, is the very obvious lack of nutrition that is needed for one’s physical and mental growth.

Furthermore, I think one of the best ways to improve healthcare is by asking patients questions about their mental state along with their physical state. Other ways healthcare has allowed for there to be a slight improvement in psychological health through physical health is the vaccine that prevents some kingive up on their overall health and as a result, struggle even more with late adulthood.

If healthcare were to focus on treating mental illnesses and conflicts such as depression, stress, eating disorders, etc., we would see an increase in the physical well being of many people. Lots of people have health issues, but most are caused by factors we can control. For example, heart issues may stem from genetics, but they still can be helped through mental awareness and effort to eat healthier.

Oussama’s answer:

I genuinely believe that there is a direct link between ourds of HPV and should be legally administered to girls from ages 11 and 12, especially since if these girls face some form of sexual abuse, this will help lessen the psychological toll since they wouldn’t have to focus on a possible disease.

Dana’s answer:

Healthcare can be improved by taking into consideration the whole person throughout the lifespan as well as surrounding system/supports or lack thereof.

According to the text, long term exposure to stressors can lead to deterioration of the heart, blood vessels, can lead to common ailments, depression, anxiety and can also be a factor in risky behaviors. Risky behaviors include not getting proper exercise, nutrition and engaging in substance abuse.

Healthcare is often very reactive instead of proactive. It medicates for the ailments and symptoms once they appear instead of working with individuals to prevent ailments throughout their lifespan. In order to increase proactive care, a large mental health component to healthcare should be introduced, since stress, anxiety and depression are responsible for many illnesses. Clinicians should also work with schools and families to help teach resilience, stress management and make sure the environment is not unnecessarily stressful for kids.  Later, these same kinds of alliances can help adults manage stress in the workplace. The key is early intervention for mental health issues so skills and behaviors can be modified before there are long term somatic consequences.

Ivy’s answer:

Psychological factors can greatly affect your physical health. Many issues with one’s mental health also have physiological effects that can have a negative effect on one’s physical health. One example of this is having anxiety. As someone who deals with anxiety every day, I know that this mental state also has a negative effect on your physical health. Some of these issues include weight fluctuation, heart issues, blood pressure issues, and many more. Having anxiety can also affect your immune system. If you are constantly anxious, then it causes your body to be working too hard and your immune system can suffer. If you consistently have a high heart rate due to anxiety, this means your heart is working way harder than it should be.

It is so important to be in a healthy mental state not only for your mind but for your body as well. That is why healthcare needs to be improved so that having psychological check-ups is normal and a part of everyone’s life, not just those who have mental illness. Providing psychological check-ups to everyone, along with physical check-ups will help improve the daily lives of everyone. Treating our psychological issues like physical issues will ultimately lead to better physical health as well.

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