People's attitudes or behavior can negatively affect any disorder (such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, or migraines) or symptom (such as pain). Attitudes and behavior can make a disorder or symptoms worse, sometimes resulting in hospitalization or a visit to an emergency department. For example, severe stress can temporarily weaken the heart, or chronic work-related stress can increase the risk of high blood pressure. The risk of suffering, death, or disability due to the disorder can be increased.
Factors that can worsen a medical condition include the following:
Psychological factors affecting other medical conditions is diagnosed if a psychological factor clearly affects how a disorder progresses.