Stressful Life Events Case Study Paper Example

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1993 Words
Date:  2022-07-07

Sylvia's case

Sylvia is a woman aged 45 who is described as having lost her partner Judy in the 9/11 tragedy. She had looked forward to giving birth to their daughter and raising her together with Judy. However, since the death of Judy, Sylvia did not feel any more excited about having and raising the baby alone. She thought that it would not bring too much burden to her as she did not go to work. According to the scenario, it is evident that Sylvia sent a lot of time thinking about her demised partner Judy. Also, she thought about her parents who were dead and did not spend much time with them. This is because her mother spent too much time in her acting career raveling while her father juggled between two jobs so that she could keep his family happy (Basham, 2016).

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The thought of how her parents did not give her enough attention and failed to make contributions in her life made her fall into depression. Coupled with the problem of thinking a lot about Judy, he depression condition became severe such that she could not sleep properly. She would experience nightmares through the night with images of her being trapped in a building on fire (Chapman, Dube & Anda, 2007). This is an indication of her continued thinking about the event of 9/11 where Judy lost her life. Additionally, whenever she goes to work, she gets migraines and is not able to work effectively. However, when she is out of work, her head does not experience any pain. She also feels depressed due to the condition of her daughter that has become severe over the years.

According to social cognitive theory, there is a direct relationship between the behavior of an individual and their past experiences. If an individual has been exposed to horrific experiences in the past, they are likely to experience problems when exposed to such conditions. Sylvia being an individual who suffered the loss of her partner while she was pregnant developed depression. She kept thinking about the loss of her partner and how they had planned o raise their unborn child together (Cozolino, 2014). The thought that this could no longer be accomplished made her depressed. When she went to work, she was in an environment where she was used to meeting with Judy. It is the place where they had met while working together.

Therefore, exposing herself to that environment reminded her of them, the memories they had with Judy. This could be detrimental to an individual's concentration and personal health (Cozolino, 2017). The memories she had of her partner at work strained her brain leading to her having migraines. Additionally, she had a lot of thoughts in her mind that did not give her space to do other things. Constantly thinking about something and not finding a solution to it would lead to severe depression at some point. This is the main reason why Sylvia was always depressed and experienced nightmares within the night.

Additionally, she had had bad memories of her parents not taking care of her when they were alive. She felt remorseful for them and always wondered whether she would seem to be a bad person if she did not mourn them (Chapman, Dube & Anda, 2007). She had gone through times and did not fathom taking care of her child alone without Judy. This led to her depression is worse every day. Also, despite her being depressed she did not seek medical attention and would constantly experience anger when she thought about her past experiences. The Social cognitive theory is a theory that explains well about the exhibition of the symptoms that were evident with Sylvia.

The dissociation theory states that the behaviors of an individual are likely to change due to past experiences they have had. When an individual is exposed to traumatizing events, their behavior and perception of things are completely changed (Gaugler et al., 2008). It is an occurrence that is witnessed in both children and old people. Usually, people that are severely affected by traumatizing situations try to isolate themselves from other people so that they can try to recover. There is normally a sudden change of behavior and routine from what they were used to doing. Children would close themselves up in their rooms while adults would engage in new activities that would not remind them of their past environments or experiences. Concerning the case of Sylvia, it is evident that when her partner Judy passed on, she was traumatized by the event. She could no longer concentrate on her life. Her life became distorted, and she could see it as a movie unfolding. She did not believe that she was left alone to raise her child alone without Judy.

She has considered an introvert and most of her friend s that she could talk with lived in new york. They had also been affected by the event of 9/11. Talking to them would have thus made her relieve her pain of losing a loved person (Lupien et al. , 2009). Most of her close friends advised her to go out again and try to move on with her life. However, Sylvia seemed fixated on her life with Judy and could not move on from it. She felt that she could not take care of her daughter alone yet she did not want to go out and find another partner.

In addition to this, she was quick to get angry and did not have patience in many things that she did. Her anger led to her not being in sync with her daughter's life. They constantly quarreled with her due to her anger (Cozolino, 2014). However, she would later come to her senses, and they would hug out. Also, Sylvia would always stay in the house stressed the whereabouts of her daughter. She did not want to lose her like she had lost her partner Judy. Therefore, it was evident that the past events had led her to have long-term trauma. What made it worse is that she kept it to herself by disassociating herself with other people. Her social life completely changed and she saw herself as an individual whose life was torn apart. Being a cold, strict disciplinarian to her daughter was also due to the life she had been exposed to by her parents. Sylvia requires psychological attention that would help her recover from her condition. Failure to seek medical and psychiatric attention would lead to her situation being worse. Also, she could transfer her traits to their daughter due to their constant fights.

Virginia case

Virginia has been presented as a woman who had gone through a lot of problems in her family. She had been the primary breadwinner of her family and was taking care of her husband after her working hours. It is indicated that she could get late to work due to the long hours spent taking care of her husband in the night who had a stroke. This inconsistency in her job made her lose it. In addition to this, she lost one of her sons who was in Afghanistan under the army. She was traumatized by the situation to the extent of having memories of her elder brother who was killed in the military when she was young. Her current situation of depression and anxiety made her be admitted to hospital.

According to medical reports, Virginia had been diagnosed with hypertension and anemia. This is two health complications that may affect the brain of an individual (Chapman, Dube & Anda, 2007). For the brain to fiction properly, there should be a proper flow of blood through it. It requires a constant flow of oxygen which is facilitated by the blood. When an individual lives with hypertension, they are considered to be at a high risk of their brain being affected. The constriction of the arteries responsible for circulating blood into the brain means that it may not receive enough oxygen as required. The brain being a vital organ of the body requires a constant supply of oxygen at all times.

Additionally, it is identified from the reports that there was a high level of cholesterol in eth body of Virginia. This could have resulted from her poor nutritional habits. When an individual has a high amount of cholesterol within the body, it may form layers o the hearts surface. The cholesterol may also be deposited in arteries responsible for blood circulation to different parts of the body. Considering that Virginia had a high level of cholesterol, there was constriction of blood vessels taking blood to the brain. This would thus present the entry of enough oxygen into the system. According to medical research, an individual who does not get enough oxygen in the brain is highly susceptible to stroke. Stroke is usually symptomized by collapsing. This is the main reason why Virginia had difficulty breathing and felt palpitations of the heart. The palpitations were as a result of the heart struggling to pump blood to different parts of the body among them the brain. The fat layers that are formed in the arteries cause constriction and thus high blood pressure which affects the normal flow of blood in the circulation system.

Psychological theories

During the development of a person, they undergo various changes. At the different stages of development, people exhibit varying behavioral traits. This means that children have different psychological traits as compared to young adults and aged individuals, according to the psychosocial development theory; it presents different stages of development of individuals (Chapman, Dube & Anda, 2007). At old age, many individuals tend to reflect on their lives, the things they have done in the past and decide whether they were satisfied with whatever they did, or they have regrets. When people feel that they failed in their past, they would hate themselves and live to do things that would hurt themselves in future. However, there are also individuals who do not give up and continue trying to make their lives better in the future despite being old. Relating this theory to Virginia's case, she had been taking care of her husband who had a stroke which led to her losing her job (Cozolino, 2014). Later on, she lost everything and started living on the streets. However, she moved to live with relatives where she juggled between caregiving jobs. When one of her patients lost their lives, she was devastated and felt bad about herself. She reflected on her past life and though she had faced enough deaths and problems in her life to continue living the same life.

She reflected on her losing her son in Afghanistan, her brother while she was young and also her husband. This dark past led to her being depressed in the long run. The reflection of her past life as a person who would be successful in future hurt her emotionally and the only thing she felt was comforting to her was her phone and being in church. Therefore, relating to the developmental psychological behaviors, it's evident that thinking about the many things that had happened to her in the past, Virginia felt that she could not take it anymore (Moran, Burker & Schmidt, 2013). When she loses her phone, she falls into a severe depression as she considered it to be the dearest thing attached to her. Also, the thought of her being neglected by her family members and becoming homeless, being attacked and sexually harassed made her have serious anxiety.

Social orientation

According to the cases study, Virginia underwent a stressful life where she was sexually harassed by her uncle but did not report it. She lived with the problem which traumatized her for a long time. This means that when she was first sexually harassed, she was traumatized and there was the possibility of her developing depression. Being young, she should have reported the issue to other older adults who could have helped her to get counseling from a prof...

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