last posts

What is health psychology?

 What is health psychology

In the past, psychologists have only taken care of mental state and ignored physical health. In the mid-twentieth century, however, there was an increased interest in the role of psychological influence in the overall health of the individual.

Health psychology, which studies the impact of mental state and biological and behavioral factors on human health, has therefore emerged and is also interested in improving health status, preventing diseases and knowing how to treat them. Specialists in this field are also studying how people deal with the disease and how long they recover. This science is called "medical psychology" or "behavioral medicine".

What are diseases related to health psychology?

After we knew the answer to the question (what is health psychology?) We need to know what diseases this science is about to study. Health psychology arose in the 1970s, when people had a much lower average age than they are now, due to lack of sanitation, lack of medicines and the spread of infectious diseases.
Therefore, health psychology has played an important role in studying, treating and preventing certain diseases associated with psychological and behavioral factors.

The most important of these diseases are:
  • brain attack.
  • heart disease;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS).
  • Infectious diseases.
  • birth defects.

What are the areas of health psychology?

There are many books on health psychology that show us the importance of this science and its various fields. Some of the most prominent areas of health psychology include:

Clinical Health Psychology

Focuses on studying the impact of an individual's lifestyle on their health, and researchers in this field collaborate with people to change bad habits that negatively affect their physical health.

occupational health psychology

The field of occupational health psychology is interested in studying the impact of work pressures on the physical and mental health of workers.
 Companies currently employ workers in this field to help employees overcome the psychological problems they face in the workplace, and are also encouraging workers to balance work and family. 
This area aims to create a happy and healthy working environment, so that the employee wants to work harder, thereby increasing the production rate.

community health psychology

Community health psychology examines factors affecting the health and well-being of members of society, improves their physical and psychological health, and also examines the causes of the spread of infectious diseases and how to prevent them.

public health psychology

Government policies are concerned with this area, which is keen to improve public health, especially among low-income people, as it aims to organize awareness campaigns for certain population groups, such as uneducated pregnant women and smokers.

Factors affecting the study of health psychology

Human health or disease is affected by such factors:
  1. Psychological factors: they are represented in the person’s lifestyle and the pressures he is exposed to, whether at work or in his personal life, and chronic mental illnesses, such as depression and general anxiety disorder.
  2. Social factors: An individual's health status is affected by the support of family and friends, and by his cultural beliefs and social principles.
  3. Biological factors: they are personal traits, genes, and hereditary diseases.

Why do we study health psychology?

You may now ask why we are studying this science, and is it just complex scientific theories? 
Most people know the side effects of bad habits, such as smoking and excessive sugar intake, yet these behaviors are widespread in society.
 Therefore, it is the role of health psychology that examines the causes of these behaviors and tries to discover new ways to encourage people to maintain healthy habits.
 Not only are they healthy people, but it helps people with chronic diseases accept their disease and overcome the spirit of despair that prevents them from recovering quickly.

Health psychology interests

Health psychology books not only explain the foundations and theories of this science, but also teach us how to use it in our daily lives. The most important areas in which this science is used include:

weight reduction

Obesity is the most common medical problem, and bad health habits contribute to the onset of the problem, possibly due to some genetic factors and genes. 
Health psychology therefore helps understand people's behavior and motivations, so that they can change these habits and replace them with a healthy lifestyle.

Reduce pressure

When you continue to be under constant stress, you can develop some chronic mental illnesses, such as depression, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders. 
This is where this science tries to help people adapt to their problems, and finds new ways to control feelings of anger and tension.

stop smoking

We cannot mention all the side effects that a smoker may have over time, but the most important ones are:
  • Decreased efficiency of the lungs.
  • Hypertension.
  • Psychological tension.
  • Increased body fat.
  • premature death.
This science examines the smoker's behavior, and the psychological and physical problems that made him resort to the habit, so that we know the appropriate way in which a person can stop smoking.

Disease prevention

Health psychology helps understand the nature of diseases in society, work to control them, and educate individuals on how to prevent them.

The role of the health psychologist

We may not find this specialty currently widespread, but its role is no less important than that of the psychiatrist. In the following points, we will learn about the importance of this role:

  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of an individual's personality.
  • Mental status assessment by follow-up with a psychiatrist.
  • Trying to understand the person's motives, behaviors and bad habits.
  • Identify behaviors that may cause a risk to a person's health, such as smoking and poor diet.
  • Using psychological theories to change the bad lifestyle that causes mental illness and disorders.
  • Encouraging the person to follow a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and perform preventive medical examinations.

best health psychology books

If this article is the beginning of your knowledge of health psychology, you can read these books so that you can learn more about the importance of this science:

Introduction to health psychology book.

This science is the most difficult branch of psychology, so the author here tries to simplify information with a textbook that contains an attractive and interesting introduction that shows you the foundations and different theories of this science.

Health Psychology: Social Interactions book.

The author discusses current research and theories that illustrate how health psychology relates to social relationships, and talks about age, social and cultural differences between people, and different coping methods.

The emotional life of your brain book

This book is one of the most important books in health psychology, offering new ways to understand feelings and how to deal with them, and also discusses some practical strategies that can be used to change negative emotions.
Researchers are currently developing the field of health psychology and raising awareness of its importance in society, enabling us to prevent health problems before they arise, and to control widespread diseases. In doing so, it helps us to see life with a positive outlook.


Font Size
lines height