Pulaski Technical College Hlsc Instructor


Psychosocial health is very important to our appreciation of life and so contributes greatly to our quality of life.
Chapter 2 discusses the intellectual , emotional, social and  spiritual qualities of health  that make up the very heart of how we perceive all that we experience.  This chapter also discusses important issues such as depression and suicide , helping the student to understand when to get help or  how to recognize when friends need help.


1.  Define psychosocial health in terms of its mental, emotional, social, and spiritual components, and identify the basic traits shared by psychosocially healthy  people.

2.  Consider how internal and external factors that influences psychosocial health may affect you.

3.  Discuss the positive steps you can take to enhance psychosocial health.

4.  Discuss the mind-body connection and how emotions influence health status.

5.  Identify and describe common psychosocial problems of adulthood and explain their causes, methods of prevention, and available treatments.

6.  Illustrate the warning signs of suicide and actions that can be taken to help a suicidal individual.

7.  Explain the goals and methods of different types of health professionals and  therapies.


1.  Defining Psychosocial Health.
    A. Definition.
       1.  It encompasses the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of health.
       2.  There are several basic elements shared by psychosocially healthy people.
           a.   They feel good about themselves .
           b.   They feel comfortable with other people.
           c.   They control tension and anxiety.
           d.   They are able to meet the demands of life
           e.   They curb hate and guilt.
           f.   They maintain a positive outlook.
           g.   They enrich the lives of others.
           h.   They cherish the things that make them smile.
           i.   They value diversity.
           j.   They appreciate and respect nature.

B.  Mental Health describe the " thinking" part of psychosocial health.
       1.  This includes the ability to reason , interpret, and remember from a unique perspective.
       2.  One can intellectually sort through information, attach meaning, and make decisions.
       3.  Mentally healthy persons think rationally with fairly accurate perceptions and events.

C.  Emotionally Health refers to the " feeling" or subjective part of psychosocial health.
       1.  Emotions are intensified feelings or complex patterns of feelings that we experience.
       2.  Richard Lazarus identified  four types of emotions.
          a.  Emotions resulting from loss, harm, or threats.
          b.  Emotions resulting from benefits.
          C.  Borderline emotions, such as hope and compassions.
          d.  More complex emotions, such as grief, bewilderment, and curiosity.
       3.  Emotionally healthy people are able to respond in a stable  and appropriate manner to upsetting events.

D.  Social Health refers to our interaction with others and our ability to adapt to social situation.

       1.  There are two factors that are important to social health.
           a.  Presence of social bonds or social linkages.
           b.  Presence of key social supports, expressive or tangible.
       2.  Socially healthy people have a wide range of social interactions with family, friends, acquaintances, and individuals with whom they may only occasionally come into contact.

       a.  They are able to:

            1. listen
            2. express themselves
            3. form healthy relationships
            4. act in socially acceptable and responsible   ways       
            5. find a best fit for themselves in society

E.  Spiritual Health refers to the possession of a belief in some unifying force that gives purpose or meaning to life or to a sense of belonging to a scheme of existence greater than merely personal.

  1.  Dr.  Lee-Smith defines spiritual health as:

            a.  the quality of existence in which one is at peace with self and in good stead with the environment.
            b.  a sense of empowerment and personal control that includes feeling heard and valued, feeling in control over one's responses
            c.  a sense of connectedness to one's deepest self, to other people, and to regarded as good.
            d.  a sense of meaning and purpose- giving a sense of mission, finding  and wisdom in here -and -now difficulties, enjoying the process of growth, and having a vision of one's potential
           e.  Spiritually as a part of daily life, articulating your purpose in life, feeling joy, love, peace, and fulfillment.  Includes faith, hope and love.

       i.  Faith is the belief that helps us realize our purpose in life.
       ii. Hope is the belief that allows us to look confidently and courageously into the future.
       iii.Love involves accepting, affirming, and respecting self and others.

d.  Living in harmony with  our community.

3.  Spirituality is a factor in well-being when four basic  needs in  recent years.

II.  Factors Influencing Psychosocial Health.

    A. External influences are those factors that we do not control, such as who raised us.

1.  The family influences includes family upbringing.
      a.  Healthy , nurturing  families produce more well-adjusted adults.
      b.  Dysfunctional families may produce confused adults who have a harder time adopting to life.

2.   Internal factors include environment include safety, access to health  services and programs, and socioeconomic status.

3.  Social supports and social bonds are  key to psychosocial health.

     A. External factors include hereditary traits , hormonal  functioning, physical health  status, physical fitness, and other selected elements of mental and emotional health.

1.  Self-efficacy  refers to a person's belief  about whether he or she can successfully engage in and execute a specific behavior.

2.  Learned helplessness is a response to continued failure where people give up and fail to take action to help themselves.

3.  Personality is not static:  It changes as we move through our lives.  The following traits appear to be found in psychosocially healthy people.

a.  Extroversion
b.  Agreeableness
C.  Emotional stability
D.  Conscientiousness

III.  Enhancing Psychosocial Health

A. Self-esteem can be improved in several ways.

    a.  Support groups
    b.  Completing required tasks.
    c.  Forming realistic expectations.
    d.  Taking/ making time for you.
    e.  Maintaining physical health.
    f.  Examining problems and seeking help.

B.  Getting adequate sleep can improve psychosocial health.
    1.  There are several methods to conquer sleeplessness.
       a.  Establish a consistent sleep schedule.
       b.  Evaluate your sleep environment and change anything that could keep you awake.
       c.  Exercise regularly.
       d.  Limit Caffeine and alcohol
       e.  Avoid eating a heavy meal at bedtime.
       f.  If unable to get to sleep in 30 minutes , get up and  do something else for a while.

       g.  If you nap, do so only during the afternoon, when you are  especially sleepy.

      h.   Establish a relaxing nightime ritual that puts you in the mood to sleep.

IV.   Mind-Body Connection.

     A.  Subjective well-being (SWB)   is that uplifting feeling of inner peace and wonder called happiness which is defined by three central components

         1.   Satisfaction with present life
         2.   Relative presence of positive emotions
         3.   Positive presence of negative emotions

B.  People with SWB are typically resilient, are able to look on the positive side, get back on track quickly  and do not despair as deeply over setbacks.

C.  Maintaining an optimistic  mind-set, including expression of emotions and using laughter , is linked to improved immune function.
       1. Stressed out people with a strong sense of humor become less depressed.
       2. Students who use humor as a coping mechanism are in better moods
       3. Senior citizens with a sense of humor are more likely to recover from depression.
       4. Laughter has been shown to increase T-cell  function in the immune system, protecting us from illness or helping us to recover faster.
       5. Telling a joke, particularly one that involved a shared experience increases social cohesion.

V.    Common Psychosocial Problems.  See web-site:
Mental Health: http://www. cmhc.com

A.  Depression strikes millions of Americans each year, with a less than half receiving treatment

      1.   There are two main types of depression.
              a.  It is normal to feel blue or depressed in response to experience such as the loss of something or someone of great value, divorce , etc.
              b.  Major depressive  disorder is a form of chronic mood disorder that involves extreme and persistent sadness, despair, and hopelessness.
              c.  Other symptoms include:

i.    significant weight loss or weight gain
ii.   inability to find joy in pleasure -giving activities
iii.  preoccupied with failures, overly concerned with  what others think
iv.   diminished or increased appetite
v.    fatigue and loss of energy , slow down reactions
vi.   sleep too much   or too little, insomia
vii.  loss of sex drive or interest in close interactions with others
viii. withdrawal from friends and family
ix.   feeling agitated, hopeless, or worthless
x.    difficulty concentrating

      2. Facts and fallacies of depression

a. True depression is not a natural reaction to crisis and loss
b. People will not snap out of depression by  using a
little willpower.
c.  Frequent crying is not a hallmark of depression.
d.  Depression is not " all in the mind"
e.  It is not true that only in-depth psychotherapy can cure clinical depression.

     3.  Two-thirds of all people suffering from depression are women.
         a.  Biological theory states hormonal fluctuation in women as the reason.
         b.  There are proposed differences in gender strategies.

    4.  There are several different types of therapy used to treat depression.
         a.  Cognitive therapy aims to help patients look at life rationally.
         b.  Intrapersonal therapy helps correct relationship problems.
         c.  anti-depressant drugs relieve symptoms in nearly 80% of chronic depressives.
   5.  Bipolar disorder is considered another form of depression.   It is characterized by alternating emotional highs  (mania) and lows ( depression).

B. Anxiety disorders are the number-one mental health problem in the U.S. They are plagued by persistent feelings of threat and anxiety about everyday problems of living.  They include:

1.  Generalized Anxiety dis-order involves excessive worry and anxiety that interferes with normal living.

2.  Panic attacks are sudden onsets of disabling terror.
3.  Specific Phobias are  deep persistent fears of objects , activities or situations.
4.  Social Phobia is characterized by the  persistent fear and avoidance of social situations.

C.  Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression known as the winter blues.
    1.  It is associated with reduced exposure to sunlight.
    2.  It is treated with light therapy, stress management, sleep restriction, medication, and psychotherapy.

D. Schizophrenia is characterized by the alteration of senses: the inability to sort out incoming stimuli and to make appropriate responses; an altered sense of self;  and radical changes in emotions, movements, behaviors.  Victims of this disease may not be able to function in society.

1.  It is treatable, but not curable.
2.  Treatments include hospitalization, medication, and supportive therapy.

E.  Gender bias has been shown to influence diagnosis of psychosocial disorders.

1.  Research has shown that the gender of the patient made a substantial difference in the diagnosis given.

2.  PMS has been provisionally included in the DSM-IV.  Some dispute is occuring about the whether this is a mental or physical disorder.

However, the diagnosis label may further the bias against using in certain desirable jobs.

VI.  Suicide : Giving Up on Life.

     A. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-24 year-old, accounting for almost 20% of all suicides.
     B.  There are several common warning signs of suicide intent.
     C.   Take action if someone you know threatens suicide.

VII.   Seeking Professional Help

A.  There are several types of mental health professionals.

1. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who spends up to 12 years studying psychosocial health and disease.  A psychiatrist is able to write prescriptions.

2. A psychoanalyst is a psychologist or psychiatrist trained in psychoanalysis.  This type of therapy helps people remember early traumas that blocked personal growth.

3. A psychologist usually is a  PhD  trained in various types of therapy, including behavior and insight therapy.

4. A clinical/psychiatric social worker has a Master's degree and at least 2 years of experience in clinical setting.

5. A counselor often specializes in one type of counseling such as family, marital, relationship, children, etc.

6. A psychiatric nurse specialist is certified by the American Nurses Association in adult, child, or adolescent psychiatric nursing.

B.  What to expect in therap[y.

1.  Explain needs, learn fees, and  expect to spend an hour during your first visit.

2.  The first session includes a personal history and problem identification.

3.  Be open and honesst in order for them to help.
4.  Do not exoect to be told how to behave.
5.  If you don't  feel cocmfortable with the therapist, have the courage to say so.


1. What is psychosocial health ?  What indicates that you either are  or aren't psychosocially healthy?  Why you think the college environment may provides a real challenge to your psychosocial health?

2. Do you know anyone who has high self-esteem?  What characteristics does this person possess?

3. Why do you think the number of women with depression outnumbers the men with depression?

4. How might you know if a person is clinically depressed or temporarily sad, lonely, unhappy, or moody?

6. How have psychosocial disorders been portrayed in movies?  What are some specific examples?

7. What actions could you take if close friend shows some warning signals of suicide?


Make a list of 5 short-term goasl  to complete by the end of this term.  Next to each goal write the percentage ( from 1-100%) of self-efficacy you feel toward that goasl.  If there  are any goals with percentage under 80%, rework the goal until you have a high level of self-efficacy towatrd achievement of the goal.

Visit the site for Spirituality & Health: www.spiritualityhealth.com and find out how to improve your own Spiritual Health.  Write a short paragraph critiquing the site.

Diverse Poplulation/Non -traditional:

How do people regard the mentally ill in other cultures?  Find out if there is the same disproportionate number of women who suffer from depression in other cultures and suggest an explanation.


My Quia activities and quizzes
Untitled - (copy)
Make a list of short -term goals to complete by the end of this term.
Mi familia
Bravo 1 Unidad 4 lección 1
Capitals of Spanish Speaking Countries
Bravo 1 Unidad 6 Leccíon 1
Basic Spanish Vocabulary
La Ropa
Useful links
Last updated  2008/09/28 07:07:36 CDTHits  1885