Abnormal Physiological States Causing Psychological Difficulties

Distress and impaired functioning can be caused by the mutual relationship between events, behavior, physiological and psychological dysfunctions. Organic disease can be influenced by psychological factors, e.g. stress, and vice versa. Clinical psychophysiology is the study and understanding of mechanisms of anomalous reactivity in the individual (Tranel, 2006), e.g. an exaggerated cardiovascular response to situational events that may evolve into chronic arterial hypertension; psychogenic phenomena (Aleman, Medford, & David, 2006), e.g. a spontaneous acceleration of the cardiac heartbeat that may induce elevated anxiety or trigger a panic attack; and anomalies of activation (Britton, Taylor, Berridge, Mikels, & Liberzon, 2006), that may indicate a pathogenesis due to physiological or psychological disorders. Clinical psychophysiology integrates the resources experimental psychology, which provides methodological principles for the study of the mind and behavior, with physiology, which supplies diagnostic and laboratory instruments for the measurement of functional and dysfunctional parameters of the organism (ANZJP, 2006; WCP-IOP, 2006).