Stress Disorder Case Study

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Case Study #2

Michael is a 40-year-old airline pilot who has recently begun to experience chest pains. The chest pains began when Michael signed his final divorce papers, ending his 15-year marriage. He fought for joint custody of his two children, ages 12 and 10, but although he wants to be with them more frequently, he only sees them every two weeks. This schedule is, in great part, a result of his employer's announcement that budget constraints would result in layoffs. Michael worries that without his job he will be unable to support his children and lose the new townhouse that he purchased. Michael's chest pains are becoming more frequent and he fears that he may be dying.

1. What are the causes of stress in Michael’s or Jennifer’s life? How is stress affecting Michael’s or Jennifer’s health?

Michael’s stress is brought about both from his home life and his work life. At home, his heart is broken after losing his wife and two children in a divorce. Although he can still see his children, it is not as often as he would like. Compiled on top of this stressful situation is the fact that his boss has implied that several individuals are going to be laid off from work. As a man who has worked all his life to support himself and his way of life, he has grown accustomed to a particular style of living. However, if he is laid off, there will be many sacrifices that have to be made.

Both of these situations are negatively affecting Michael’s health. His blood pressure is undoubtedly high, contributing to his chest pains. His deteriorating health will likely cause a heart attack, stroke, or other major health complications.

2. How are these stressors impacting Michael’s or Jennifer’s self-concept and self-esteem?

Michael’s self-concept is deteriorating. The way that he has interacted socially has led him to divorce. It now seems that he has done everything wrong, and that he has failed to acquire the American dream. Without doubt, if Michael’s life...
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