The main fields of social psychology discussed in this chapter are mental and physical health. Health psychology covers a range of fields, which include jobs in hospitals, universities, medical schools, and government agencies. Psychologists may also apply their psychological knowledge to promote physical health by preventing and treating illness. The understanding of what causes stress or how the body responds to stress is also paramount to the achievement of good health. This paper also analyses the perception of individuals on disease treatment and prevention, as well as the social influences these health concerns have.
Social psychology is significant in health since it is highly related to the way people associate, achieve happiness and get satisfied in life. In a normal state, an individual should be able to cope up with conditions of life. However, when life pressure is too demanding of an individual’s ability, stress occurs. Factors, which cause this situation include loss of jobs, searching for work, divorce, arguments, unwanted pregnancies and if the loved ones fall sick. The survey in 2008 by the American Psychological Association is the research article that reveals how people lamented of money and economy as the source of stress.
Social psychology relates to this field when it identifies the symptoms that show how stress affects the health, and wellbeing of an individual. The signs include anger, irritability, fatigue, lack of motivation and energy, headache, nervousness, and depression. Social psychology provides means of coping with stress whether the situation is mild or serious. Apart from understanding the causes of stress, social psychology further tries to explain what happens to an individual when stress occurs. Subsequently, this understanding will allow psychologists to suggest the best way an individual may relate to the environment for the reduction of stress sparks. Therefore, an individual’s experiences and strategies of coping with pressure, which involve feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that reduce stress, all contribute to general health.
Through social psychology, the effective strategies of coping with stress assist individuals to maintain good health. The causes of stress in life can be divided into three major groups; this includes catastrophes, daily hassles and major events in life. Crises and catastrophes involve stress that arises from the natural phenomena caused by people. Tragedies such as terrorist assault may cause stress to individuals. The use of social psychology in this field reveals the effects that accompany natural catastrophes to people’s life. This includes recurring thoughts, memories, dreams, lack of sleep and concentration at the workplace and anger (Kassin, 2010).
In the field of stress, traumatic events such as sexual abuse, accidents, death, and natural disasters that involve floods and earthquakes also contribute to this situation. Social psychology in this field reveals the reactions of people after these stressful events take place. People tend to react through making calls to mental health officials, filing violent reports to police, and paying visits to emergency rooms. For instance, when an earthquake occurs, it leaves people distressed, and those who suffer from psychological stress afterward are individuals who encountered the danger during the earthquake.
Social psychology in this field reflects psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, somatic complaints, and phobias that affect people who suffer from catastrophic events. The research article that contributes to growth in this field is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder PTSD, which reveals the problems that arise in a case of stress caused by traumatic situations. It further indicates that most individuals experience attention problems, sleeplessness, recurring anxiety, and social withdrawal. According to researchers, soldiers experienced mental health problems six months after the war, which increased their rate of PTSD from 49 to 59 percent. In matters that concern major life events, social psychology reveals that people can avoid catastrophes but not stress.
Prove to support this concept from the hospital patients reveal that, their illness was due to changes that took place at some point in their life. Change can arise because of positive stress such as marriage and negative stress. In this case, we focus on the negative events that involve jobless situations. Social psychology reveals how the health consequences may be different in a person. For instance, when an immigrant moves to a new state and can speak the language, the situation becomes less stressful. On the contrary, when the married couple discovers infertility problems, they become devastated and act emotionally. Social psychology explains why the changes that take place in a person’s life may cause stress, and affect his life in the future.
Microstressers is a field that incorporates hassles in the daily life of an individual. It cites environmental factors such as loud noise and changes in weather as sources of stress. The social psychology reveals that, however micro the issue is, it causes more stress and illness to a person with a long-lasting impact. According to social psychologists, the human body defends itself against stress just as it defends against infection. The human body responds to stress alarm, tries to resist stress and sometimes gets exhausted the adaptation syndrome. There are different ways people respond to stress. For example, while men develop mechanisms to fight stress, women simply find a friendly way of coping with stress.
The terms highlighted in this chapter are health psychology, which reveals the study that involves physical health, and illness by psychologists and their different approaches. Stress is arousal that presents an unpleasant state, which exceeds the ability of people to alter their demands. A stressor is any factor that leads to stress while cope is how an individual can reduce stress. General adaptation syndrome is a process that involves three stages in which the body responds to stress. On the other hand, the immune system is a biological term that shows how the human defenses detect foreign substances that enter the body and fights them.
This subject is interesting because it imparts knowledge of how an individual can play the role of the nurse in assisting patients with stress. As a nurse, am able to know what stress can cause to the heart, such as death. This is if blood vessels fail to transport nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle because of the situation. I will also be able to know what will happen to the patient because of stress such as pressure, nausea and poor breathing effects. This subject provides light to my area of interest as a nurse by offering ways, which can help a patient cope with problems and emotions to reduce stress (Stroebe, 2000).
Behavioral and cognitive efforts work best in handling stress since it focuses on the problem that causes stress, hence, the name problem-focused therapy. In contrast, emotional-focused therapy management of emotional stressors rather than changing aspects that cause stress in the problem-focused. This subject also talks about how a person can aim for good health. This is beneficial because it adds skills that improve my interest as a nurse. For instance, I will employ effective approaches to giving advice to the patients on how to take part in health practices. This subject will enable me to foster my skills in the field through patient relations. A good relationship with patients, coupled with good psychological skills will undoubtedly boost good health in patients who will now choose healthy character rather than unhealthy behavior.
Good health also involves the behaviors of other people around us, using this knowledge; it gives me guidelines on how to mold patients to act as role models in society. This is through pursuing happiness in life by avoiding, and knowing how to handle stressful events in life.