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Stress and Illness Assignment

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Our readings and resources for this week highlight the relationship between stress and illness. Despite the fact that this relationship has found its way onto mainstream media, many individuals continue to be unaware of the effects of stress on their own lives, coping, and health.

After reviewing the lecture, reading this week’s material, and viewing Dr. Sapolsky’s documentary (see link below), think about someone you know who might benefit from understanding the link between stress and illness in their own lives.

Imagine that you will have the opportunity to discuss this topic with them as a health psychologist who is knowledgeable on the stress-illness relationship, but wishes to deliver this message in an approachable format. Draft out a ‘script’ of what you might say to them during a session/interaction and use examples from their own lives or illness-related circumstances to explain to them how identification of stress-inducing events as well as stress-reducing strategies may have a positive impact on their coping and health.

Make sure to apply your knowledge to the individual’s particular condition (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, etc.) and have this shine through in your ‘script’. You may cover aspects of the the stress-illness relationship that are present both at disease onset as well as during illness progression.

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