Life Events as Triggering and Formative Agents in Physical Disease

  • T. K. J. Craig


Despite the fact that virtually all organic diseases are characterised by disturbances in physiologic or organ function which precede the subjective experience of illness by months or even years, investigations into psychosocial aetiological factors is often confined to the time period immediately prior to the emergence of frank symptoms of illness. As a consequence, most recent research confounds two quite separate causal mechanisms. First, psychosocial stressors may act as triggers of incipient disease — a mild stressor which may have little impact on the healthy organism may be sufficient to lead to a deterioration which cannot be accommodated by an already diseased organ. Second, psychosocial factors may play a formative role, by initiating and maintaining the disease process itself.


Multiple Sclerosis Psychosocial Factor Organic Disease Formative Role Functional Abdominal Pain 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. K. J. Craig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUnited Medical & Dental SchoolsLondonUK

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