Psychophysiological Etiology of Illness



Research has documented multiple examples of linkages between psychological states and physical conditions in chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, metabolic diseases, and respiratory illnesses. The target systems or tissues are partially determined by heredity, lifestyle choices, and environment in various proportions. This chapter will describe several paradigms that were developed to explain the general psychophysiological pathways to illness, while later chapters will provide examples of specific disorders. Although this is not an exhaustive list, the models chosen for discussion here will facilitate understanding of stress-related, frequently observed pathways to illness and lay the foundation for the later chapters on pathways to health.


psychophysiology of stress somatization acute stress chronic stress physiological mechanisms 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA
  2. 2.School of Mind-Body MedicineSaybrook UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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