Psychology and Your Health

Health and illness are influenced by a wide variety of factors. While contagious and hereditary illnesses are common, there are many behavioural and psychological factors that can impact overall physical well-being and various medical conditions and a person’s ability to cope. Prior to being diagnosed with a medical condition or experiencing an injury, most people cope well with the stressors in their lives. However, the added stress associated with being diagnosed with a medical condition or injury can often lead to a number of stressful life style changes that make it harder to cope. In some cases, the lifestyle changes associated with adjusting to or managing a medical condition can contribute to experience of depression and anxiety.

Psychologists can assist in helping patients in adjusting to or managing their health conditions in 2 ways. Firstly, by providing therapy for emotional and social problems associated with various health problems (e.g. cardiac disease, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive airway disease, cancer) or injury. Secondly, psychologists can provide assistance to patients to better manage their health problems (e.g. adhering to medical regimes, needle phobia, managing pain).

If you are finding it hard to cope with your medical condition or know someone who does, you or your friend may benefit from talking to your General Practitioner or Specialist about obtaining a psychology referral. Lilley Place Clinical Psychology has several members on staff that have experience working with and assisting patients to better cope and manage the day-to-day impacts of their medical conditions.

About the Author: Peta Lilley

Peta completed the Clinical Psychology PhD Program within the School of Psychology, The University of Queensland (UQ). The focus of her research was the development of emotional and behavioural difficulties (particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD) in children and adolescents following trauma. Peta has also completed a post-doctoral research fellow position in the School of Medicine at UQ.

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