Mental Health: A Case Study & Psychological Theories

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1524 Words
Date:  2023-02-25


The health of an individual is mostly affected by the psychology of the patient and the people surrounding them. The psychological effects include the faith and beliefs of the people involved. Health psychology is a field that relates human psychology to the maintenance and the treatment of people. This paper explains a case study, the cause of the case problem, the possible causes and the psychological theories that can explain the case scenario.

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The Main Problem in the Case

The main problem in the case is a psychological medical scenario where a particular medical situation or a complaint is seen a product of a pre-existing and an underlying emotional conflict. John is raised in a middle-class family, living in a rented home with a decent income. He is in good terms with the parents and relatively lives a happy life. The problem starts when he is taken ill. His vomiting and nausea become critical, and it is difficult for doctors to find where the problem is located. The scan is done but fails to detect the problem. The parents are superstitious that there might be evil spells affecting the entire family. The family is in debt from a failed investment hence hopelessness. The problem is psychologically related, and the application of principles of psychology can help in the diagnosis and the treatment of John and the solving of the family's problem.

Cause of the Problem

The leading cause of the issue is possibly the believe that the health and the well-being of the person can be affected by the evil spiritual forces. This faith has affected the ability of parents of john to cope up with the sickness of their son. It has also changed their perception about the behavior of the debtors after the failure of the investment. John is scared of staying alone because of a paradoxical fear, that can be explained by a behavioural model that demonstrates that children undergoing some painful medical conditions, feels overwhelmed and scared. The concern is caused by a paradoxical situation where the parents are available but cannot help prevent the pain. No parent can allow their child to undergo some pain without assistance. This psychological feeling of helplessness has adverse effects on the health situation of the patient. John's case is being made worse by the thoughts of being alone without possible remedy. Any psychological, social and biological factors affect any health or illness(Taylor,2015). John is likely worried about the failure of their parent's projects. This worry might be the reason for the continued vomiting despite medical attention. The belief that there are some evil spirits in control of the situation might be the main reason why John cannot stay alone because of fear. A model discusses these factors called the Biopsychosocial approach model that seeks to explain the relationship between health and the factors that surround the patient.

Psychological Theories

Two psychological theories can explain the case scenario. The two approaches surround the understanding of the expected behavior of any individual in the face of a situation. The method of reasoned action is a psychological theory that an intention of behavior, combined with the attitudes that existed before the behavior, can predict the individual's response. This is an explanation of the fact that expectations, perceptions and attitudes of a person affect a person's behavior. According to the theory, intentions of response is mainly affected by the orientation or opinions the person has on whether a behavior is good or bad, positive or negative. The other factor that affects the intentions of an act is the current situation faced. This situation might be the pressure from other people or inner motives. The understanding of this theory will help John calm down, knowing that the parents intend to see him get well again. The behavior of seeking spiritual assistance does not necessarily mean that actual spiritual evil forces are affecting him. This assurance will help him trust the process of the doctors and go back for a re-examination.

The second psychological theory the client needs to understand is the theory of planned behavior that makes assumptions that the behavior of a person is a reflection of his attitudes and beliefs in the workability of an act performed. This theory is almost similar to the theory of planned action in that, the norms that an individual is subjected to, before the current ordeal, are likely to affect the intentions (Spector &Pindek,2018). An example of this factor is the upbringing of a person to be social. This type of education makes the individual get affected by the actions of other people around them. The other factor that affects the behavior of an individual is the perception of social control. How the person sees his ability to control the situation happening affects the actions taken to solve a crisis. There are two types of inspections that an individual considers; The internal control, that takes into account, the persons, abilities, skills and the discipline, while the other, is the external control, that deals with the influence of other people and the social events. The parents of the client are facing hard times in the face of the sickness of their son. The belief in the presence of evil spirits is enforced by the failure of the doctors to find a diagnosis for their son. The belief that there are evil forces is an idea that already existed during, the upbringing and is likely to affect John, who possibly believes, this notion. The knowledge of this theory will help the client understand that any health belief, influences the behavior, either to reduce the threat, or the costs incurred.

Peer-Reviewed Journals

There are peer-reviewed journals that can describe the interpretations of the case scenario and its relationship with the field of health psychology. The American journal describes behavioural medicine as a discipline that combines the behavioural, social and the biomedical sciences, with the understanding of sickness and health(Bond&Cavanagh,2015). The knowledge of these factors and their inter-relation has been used in the prevention, rehabilitation and even the diagnosis illnesses among the consumers. Behavioural medicine is applied by medical personnel like cardiologists, nutritionists and health psychologists who have proven its effectiveness. Behavior plays a significant role in the diagnosis of any health issue (Smith, 2015). The understanding of the biopsychosocial approach model has made the development of health psychology. The model suggests that the biological, psychological and social factor affects the health of an individual. Social occurrences include social support, family background and cultural beliefs. Emotions and learning are examples of psychological factors affecting the health situation of an individual. The model narrows down to the crucial role of behavioural interventions that can prevent disease, promote recovery and reduce the cost of health care. The models of health psychology are being applied in various dimensions of the medical fields including the integration in primary and managed care of patients, public awareness campaigns and in the development of crucial practical guidelines for practising nurses. It is being applied in the research by practising and learning, health psychologists.


In conclusion, health psychology involves the application of psychological terms and perspectives in understanding health management issues, promoting the well-being of persons and curing disease. It is a concept that is widely integrated with the medical fields such as psychosomatic and behavioural medicine. The two areas, relates the external factors such as social occurrence, to the health status and how they can affect, the well-being of a person. The case scenario of john's chronic vomiting and the parents seeking a spiritual solution is an example of a case that needs the intervention of a medical psychologist. The client needs to understand the working of two theories that are influencing the recovery. The first theory being the theory of planned activities and the theory of planned behaviour. Both the approaches suggest that the behavior of an individual reveals their beliefs, cultural upbringing and the psychological attitude. The parents of John are currently facing a huge debt and the constant abuse by the debtors. The prolonged sickness of john makes them believe that there is something beyond their ability trying to destroy the family. The client is cared for by the inability of the parents to offer any assistance. This fear affects him negatively as his health worsens. Behaviour affects either the health or illness of an individual.


Bond, R., & Cavanagh, K. (2015). How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies. Clinical psychology review, 37, 1-12. Retrieved from

Smith, J. A. (Ed.). (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage. Retrieved from,+J.+A.+(Ed.).

Spector, P. E., & Pindek, S. (2016). The future of research methods in work and occupational health psychology. Applied Psychology, 65(2), 412-431. Retrieved from

Taylor, S. E. (2015). Health psychology. McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from

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Mental Health: A Case Study & Psychological Theories. (2023, Feb 25). Retrieved from

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