Health Psychology

Chronic Pain

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Acute or Chronic Illness

Health Anxiety

Psychosomatic Problems

 

 

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is explained or unexplained pain that has lasted beyond its expected healing time.  This kind of pain is persistent and disrupts routine life.  Chronic pain is more than just a physical symptom; it may also cause depression, anxiety, anger and frustration.  It can interfere with work, relationships and activities of daily living. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be used to consider negative thoughts about the pain and can help increase enjoyable activities within the limits of the pain.  An alternative treatment, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, has also been shown to be effective at helping people come to terms with living with chronic pain.
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and also known as Myalgic Encephalopathy - ME) is a condition that causes marked long-term fatigue and other physical symptoms which can not be attributed to any known medical condition.  The general approach to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME is in managing the condition.  In the absence of a conclusive cure, the treatment tends to focus on the symptoms such as fatigue, reduced activity, stamina and mood problems.  The best treatment options available with the best evidence for making positive improvements is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which involves graded exercise, life style advice and other self-help techniques.
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Acute or Chronic Illness

The presence of illness, whether acute or chronic, can cause changes in people's psychological well-being.  The range of physical health problems that can be supported by psychological help are varied and wide ranging and include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders or unexplained symptoms.  Psychological interventions can help address issues such as adjustment to diagnosis; adjustment to treatments or intrusive medical investigations; feelings of depression or anxiety as a result of the illness; impact on daily life; sex and relationships; and issues around death and dying.
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Health Anxiety

Health anxiety used to be commonly known as hypochondriasis.  The essential feature is a persistent preoccupation with the possibility of having one or more serious physical disorders.  Normal or commonplace physical sensations are often interpreted by people as abnormal and the early signs of a life threatening illness.  These concerns may be heightened by reading about illnesses in books or on the internet.  People may seek reassurance from health care professionals such as GPs, hospital specialists and through private medical providers.  Health anxiety can have a significant impact on mood and well-being.  Seeking therapy to help understand the underlying causes for the excessive worry about health and reaching a better way of managing the uncertainty of states of health can lead to improvements in day-to-day life.
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Psychosomatic Problems

Psychosomatic problems are where mental or emotional disturbance is thought to adversely affect physiological (somatic) functioning.  Psychosomatic disorders may include hypertension, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension headaches, sexual dysfunction, and skin complaints.  Many people with psychosomatic conditions have improved their health through the use of therapy.
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