Health psychology

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  • Health psychology
    • What is health psychology
      • Health psychology aims to study how and why people behave in an unhealthy manner and the methods that can be employed to persuade people to pursue a healthier action
      • It is a combines the study of the biological bases of behaviour, the way cognition affects the way we behave and the social aspects of behaviour
      • A key aspect of behaviour which can damage health is the taking of recreational drugs
      • Health psychology seeks to understand that behaviour
    • Substance misuse
      • Substance misuse is the intake of drugs in quantities that are potentially damaging to physical or mental health
      • Recreational drugs means that chemicals affect the mind
    • Biological aspects of drug use
      • A synaps is the junction between two neurons
      • Neurotransmitters are released by the neuron on one side of the gap and then taking up by the neuron on the other side
      • This is how the messages are passed within the brain.
      • Psychoactive drugs produce their effect by changing how this operates
      • If that effect is pleasant, the drug taker is likely to take the drug again
      • However repeatedly taking the drug may cause physical dependence
      • At this point, not taking the drug produces unpleasant symptoms because the body can no longer function normally without the drug being present
    • Psychological aspects of drug use
      • People taking drugs for the psychological effects they experience- drugs alter feeling, reactions and behaviour.
      • Repeated use of a drug can lead to psychological dependence on it because the individual believes they cannot manage without the drug
    • Social aspects of drug use
      • People often start using drugs for social reasons
      • Pressure from friends or peer group can be a powerful influence, as the drug- taking behaviour can be seen as normal in that situation and the individual doesn't want to feel left out
      • If drug taking always takes place in a particular social setting, it can also make breaking the habit much harder unless that social setting can be avoided


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