Term Paper: Dysfunctional Behavior That Strikes

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[. . .] She was earlier admitted to the College of Costa Mesa Hospital for stabilization of mental illness, medical management and relapse prevention, but she said that she was not coping and that she continued to be severely depressed and lack energy. So she was discharged from the Costa Mesa Hospital and, consequently, admitted to this College Hospital of Cerritos. The patient was anxious, mildly confused, disheveled and crying when her history was taken from her verbal and voluntary report and account.

B. Development History

The patient was the eldest child of a Japanese father and an American mother and the first to be subjected to distinct cultures in upbringing - Eastern and Western. Japanese culture, specifically, emphasizes efficiency and endurance in both sexes and an intolerance for failure and waste. American culture, on the other hand, puts much weight on self-reliance and productivity and loses out on the strength of the nuclear family. Both parents similarly had high expectations and imposed high moral and ethical values, while yielding low-level personal openness. But the patient reported that both parents were verbally and emotionally abusive towards her. Per record, the patient had tricotillomania, or the urge to pull out body hair, since she was only 7. Tricotillomania is a form of anxiety, and in the patient's case, it appeared to have later developed into full-blown OCD.

The patient did not give any more information about her father than his nationality and that he was alcoholic. Although she deplored this behavior in him, she nevertheless acquired the vice in 1989 and stopped only in 1997 when she had a nervous breakdown. Her poor father figure and his vice created a deep lack in her life and made her feel empty and wanting even as a child.

She described her mother as equally unsympathetic and unsupportive of her emotional needs, especially in times like this. Having been raised in another culture, her mother could hardly be expected to understand or condone the vice and irresponsibility of the patient's father.

Her younger siblings were twin boys, another boy and a girl. One of the twin brothers died in a car accident many years ago when he worked as a police officer. That was something that remained etched in her memory. On the whole, the patient described her childhood as lonely. Deep within, she yearned to escape from the situation but found no way to realize that escape. She sometimes felt something like depression or despair, except that she was unable to label it correctly when she was younger. And whether with flattery or guilt, she distinctly remembered that her father's friend kissed her, for she gave no additional information about the incident or experience.

She managed to finish high school and three years of college work. She hinted that her siblings finished school too But all those intervening years, she opened a small home business, avoiding the outside world while trying to survive. Soon, her parents had a divorce. Her mother since then had lived on her father's support, while her siblings grew up and out of the home, marrying and raising their own families, except herself. Somehow, she resigned herself to her situation - that there was nothing but loneliness for her.

But in 1986, she met this man. He was involved in her small business and, for a time, they went together. She thought had life would change. He was everything to her and she hoped he would make up for the void in her life. She waited and waited for him to propose marriage, but he never did. Instead, he asked her to leave her mother and live with him. She was not too happy about the proposal. All her siblings got married properly, just like her mother. Her boyfriend did not believe in marriage. He did not feel comfortable with it. She wanted to feel decent by being married to the man with whom she would live, but, decency at that time, was not as important as belonging to someone. And she was not getting any younger. She was not sure any other man would come to her life, and thought that some time in the future, the man would marry her.

Her mother was not too happy about the relationship. She was never happy about anything that concerned the patient. The patient found it difficult to conclude anything about the matter with her mother, not even to open the topic and gain some progress. Her mother and her boyfriend did not like each other and the patient had to make a choice.

She left her mother and some of her savings from their small business to keep the latter for some time. Her mother did not run after her, nor resent the patient's choice: it was not the first time the mother was abandoned. She simply became even more distant from the patient. She had enough to live with from her husband's support and the savings given by her daughter. She invested these modest amounts in the bank to keep her alive in relative comfort.

On their own, the patient's inborn diligence revealed the boyfriend's inborn idleness. He depended on the patient's income and gave nothing for the household needs. Instead, he used up the small salary he got from his casual employment with his unsavory friends in fun, drinks, and women. The patient and her boyfriend often quarreled about his waywardness, but he always had some justification and she always gave in. She was forever frightened about losing him, the last man in her life. In a year's time, she gave birth to their daughter, spending practically all her savings for it. She had to work harder because of increased expenses, another mouth to feed and a wastrel husband. There were times that she wanted to force him to change, but she didn't know how Just the same, she did not give up, hoping that he would change his ways and ask her to marry her, after everything. She did not build all that hope alone. When he felt that she would reach breaking point, he would somewhat make it up to her in simple ways - sometimes bringing her some goodies, asking her to dine out or to walk in the park. / and he always won her back, no matter how badly he behaved and how much he grieved her. The patient survived her ordeal by living in the belief that through it all, he actually loved her.

In their fourth year together, her boyfriend figured in an embezzlement case filed by his employer, an insurance firm. He did not remit the insurance premiums he collected from some policyholders. The patient pledged the repayment and the case was dropped but the insurance firm obtained a temporary restraining order against her boyfriend to stay away from its branches and all its policyholders. The event was most distressing to them. Her boyfriend lost his job and it was not easy for him to find another because he lacked educational capabilities as well as the motivation to hold a job. And worse, he would not stay away from the places he was restrained from. He was jailed temporarily but the patient always managed to set him free because she could not live without him, even if she had to sacrifice her business savings intended for their growing daughter.

The following year, she got pregnant again. On her fourth month in this second pregnancy, her doctor said that her baby had Downe's Syndrome. She was devastated by it. Her boyfriend and her mother were equally indifferent - she had hoped they would be more sympathetic. Instead, both of them blamed her for the defect. Her mother said the patient deserved it for all her misconduct and her choice of a man. And her boyfriend accused her of carrying the Downe's gene. Someone in her office suggested that she get an abortion. The idea was horrible even to think about, but there did not seem to be any other option open to her then. She simply felt alone, frightened yet wanting to keep the baby if she could.

The abortion left an indelible mark in her memory. She could not exactly figure out what she felt but the act of aborting a child rebelled inside her. A sense of helplessness and guilt kept coming back. There were times she would have nightmares and she would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming. To calm herself, she would resort to alcohol again.

In 1993, she got pregnant a third time. It was a normal pregnancy and she delivered a boy. She was then 39 years old and all through her pregnancy, she would hear rumors about her boyfriend carrying on with his former girlfriend. She remembered him talking about this girl in the past, but whom he said… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Dysfunctional Behavior That Strikes.  (2002, October 30).  Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/dysfunctional-behavior-strikes-1/9971598

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"Dysfunctional Behavior That Strikes."  Essaytown.com.  October 30, 2002.  Accessed March 19, 2019.
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