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It has been known for centuries that psychologicalemotional factors are related to many physical illnesses--some emotional reactions cause problems and some psychological circumstances or techniques help us feel better Emotional trauma can cause physical problems A recent study reported that women who experience trauma--domestic violence--have 50 to 70 more neurological gynecological and stress-based physical problems than women who have never been abused Johns Hopkins School of Nursing 2002 Archives of Internal Medicine Of course the reverse is true too having a physical problem may cause us distress and sadness while good health contributes to happiness Usually there is a two-way relationship between the psychological and physical aspects An entire issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology July 2002 documents well the role of psychology in the management of many specific physical problems and diseases Negative emotions influence our hormones and lower our immunity to several diseases Depression anger and social isolation contribute to heart disease psychology can and should be part of the treatment see heart section below Different behaviors contribute to healthy and to unhealthy aging Stress affects asthma digestive track disorders and many other physical ailments psychological techniques can help one relax Behavioral control methods are of course related to maintaining the all important healthy diet and exercise program Behavioral self-regulation is at the crux of weight controldiabetes managementof pain and headache managementof somataform disordersand of many other problems that are commonly seen as physical Consider for a moment a throng of people the 1000s of fans who watched the Marlins baseball teams play the Cleveland Indidans the 1000s of spectators watching a marathon the millions who watch Seinfeld each Thursday night These people act together often in unison as if they were one interconnected being Yet each person in the mass is unique in many ways Some of these uniqueness are physical--unique fingerprints unique brain structures unique genetic makeup But others are psychological uniquenesses qualities that they share with
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